a2 Milk® makes the perfect after school snack (for kids and moms!)

This post was sponsored by a2 Milk® as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

Can you believe it’s almost time to go back to school? In our household, the daily routine is pretty much the same whether or not school is in: wake up, eat breakfast, Miss L goes to school/camp and we go to work, pick MIss L up from after school/camp, hang out at home, eat dinner, hang out again, go to sleep.

In looking at that quick summary, it’s no wonder I care so much about the food we eat at home.. because that truly takes up two very important slots of our family time together. And there’s not just breakfast and dinner… but those in-between snacks on weekdays and weekends too. We try our best to only keep good snacks around the house (parents have cookie temptation too!), and that rule applies to beverages as well as food. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have our share of crazy requests!


Since we started keeping a good supply of a2 Milk® in the house, we’ve found Miss L rarely begging or asking for other beverages with her after school snacks or dinner. Instead, she’s requesting a2 Milk® almost all of the time! She really loves the taste of it and makes sure we always have a plentiful supply at home… and I love the fact that she is excited to drink real milk with her meals and snacks!


And guess who else gets to indulge in an after school snack? ME!  Thanks to a2 Milk®, I can once again enjoy all the goodness of an iced Chai Latte at home! For so long, I thought that it was the chai mixture that was causing me extreme stomach discomfort, since I was rarely drinking large quantities of milk on its own. Then, one day, it clicked that maybe the milk was the evil secret ingredient!  Since a2 Milk® only comes from specially selected a2 cows, whose milk is naturally free of the A1 protein, my tummy no longer deals with all of the discomfort caused by the A1 protein and I can drink chai lattes until the cows come home!


I hope that you really get the chance to try out a2 Milk® and see if it makes any difference in the milk consumption in your house. Every time I talk to a friend that has dairy issues or see someone complain about their tummy troubles due to milk on social media, I ask them if they’d be willing to try a2 Milk® out for a test drive. I mean, it’s worth a try, right?


I mean… I got back my afternoon chai lattes thanks to a2 Milk®… and that is worth so so much!






cat & jack from target is pretty irresistable

If you haven’t heard yet (or been into your local Target store this past week), there’s a pretty new and irresitable line of clothing out for kids.

It’s called “Cat & Jack” and you can find it all at each and every Target store and online!

And from 7/24-7/30, you get $5 off every $25+ order of Cat & Jack!

Umm…. I may have already made a few purchases on my last run into Target for Gatorade and saltines (sick kiddo this weekend), so I’m not quite sure how anyone will be able to avoid it for long!

*PURCHASED* This dinosaur shirt for girls is pretty much everything! And it's only $10!*PURCHASED* Can we ever pass up an adorable Boston Terrier shirt? Especially when it's $6?!?
You know YOU want this fox pencil case!Seriously... these clothes are amazing! Encouraging kids to "make a difference everyday!" Good thing we have a Target card already!
My 1st grade teacher told my parents I'd probably end up being President some day... it didn't happen for me, but hope that some other girl wears this 'Future President' shirt and dreams and believes big too!I think Miss L and I are going to start using the phrase 'challenge accepted' more and more... I just sort of love everything about it.
I looked everywhere last year for a comfy jacket for Miss L that wasn't a hooded sweatshirt. THIS is exactly what I wanted... it's cute and comfortable!I'm a sucker for great durable skirts... and this one, with its embroidered hearts, fits the bill!


What we’re loving right now: kids edition – July 2016

When Miss L got a package in the mail from our lovely friend Estelle, she literally tore the book away from my hands and RAN to the kitchen table.

Inside the package was this wonderful book: Paint by Sticker: Kids.

Inside, there are 10 different pictures which pretty much combine every child’s two favorite things: coloring books and stickers!

Miss L took no time to jump into her first picture: a bunny. She patiently picked up each numbered sticker and placed it in the appropriate space with some crazy 6-year-old precision. And then she kept going, sticker after sticker, until all of them were placed and complete.

I’ve already gone ahead and ordered a few of these books to have as “ready to go” birthday presents for Miss L’s friends, as I think they’re just perfect as a fun artistic addition to a present. (And probably will go over better than the messy tie-dye kits we’ve been gifting in the past!)

Oh, and I’ve already preordered the Paint by Stickers: Masterpieces book for myself (it comes out from Workman Publishing on September 20th!)

this post contains Amazon affiliate links


Cleaning up at Costco

This post was sponsored by P&G as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

You know those click-bait articles about how working parents can’t get it all done? And that they should just forget about certain things and let others go? I’m always wondering what they actually mean… because I can’t very well give up doing the laundry or the dishes? Right?

In our house, instead of giving them up or outsourcing things altogether, we just make sure we have tips and tricks to tackle everything. And the main tip/trick in this house: buy the cleaning supplies that work better than the rest!

To make sure we have LOTS on hand, we always stock up at Costco and keep a dedicated set of cabinets in the house just for cleaning supplies. That way we can be proactive about cleaning up each day/week/month rather than putting it off for another supply run!


I mean… who only needs 1 Mr. Clean Magic Eraser in their life at a time? Someone who doesn’t have a child who loves to press her hands on every wall in the house? Or maybe someone who doesn’t have a gigantic Bernese Mountain dog who drools on everything? Yeah, I’ll take mine in bulk to wipe up every surface in the house, thank you very much!


And who has time for washing the dishes before your dishwasher does it? Isn’t that it’s job? Well, we just stick our dishes in and don’t think twice since we use Cascade Complete Action Pacs. And by stocking up on tons of them, I never feel guilty about running the dishwasher as often as we need to keep the sink free from dirty dishes!


Oh, speaking of not pre-washing the dishes, have you tried Dawn Platinum Advanced Power dish soap yet? Well, if you are not so great about cleaning up your cookware right after preparing a meal, this is your secret weapon! It literally cleans up a crazy dirty caked-on sauce or messes in seconds! I started using it last year and just stopped buying all other dish soap because this is all you need.


Now I can admit that there’s one area that I have chosen to neglect, but won’t anymore thanks to my new favorite P&G cleaning supply purchase: Swiffer Duster! I’m horrible at dusting the stair rails and baseboards, but these little guys are so easy and effective at the task that I’ve been doing it much more often now! Unlike my normal anti-static cloth, these actually grab all of the dust and d on’t shove it off to the side for another day of cleaning.

And now with all of these tips/tricks in the cleaning supply cabinet, we’re ready to tackle the next mess whenever it comes at us… or just proactively take care of things as we should each and every day. All I know is that I’m having a weekly dance party with my new Swiffer Dusters and every surface of the house because they really are that much fun!


poke for everyone

When we visited the Big Island a few years ago, we decided to make a stop at the Da Poke Shack in Kona for lunch one day. While I’d had poke before, I hadn’t ever seen the crazy variety of poke as was available there! Multiple types of tuna poke, salmon poke, octopus poke, etc! And while it was the perfect island treat, it was one of those food items that you definitely wanted to take home and enjoy more often!

Fast forward to today, where poke seems to be everywhere! We’ve got it at Costco in bulk, at various supermarkets and there are two “make your own” poke restaurants near my office in downtown Sacramento and many more in the region. This also means that my cravings for poke have increased exponentially as well!

So last week, I decided to make an extra stop at the fish market after Sunday’s farmer’s market and grabbed a pound of sushi-grade salmon to take home for poke! I found inspiration from a wonderful recipe from Daisy’s World, and on Monday night I was quickly whipping up a batch of delicious poke after work. And, wouldn’t you know, it was gobbled up within minutes of me serving it!

Salmon Poke

Yields 3-4 servings


1 tablespoon finely diced Maui onions (can substitute yellow)

1 tablespoon finely chopped green onions

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon furikake flakes

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil, or more, to taste

1 pound fresh sushi-grade salmon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

lightly toasted sesame seeds


Mix together the onions, salt, furikake flakes, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Add the salmon and gently mix together with the sauce. Garnish with a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve, simply make some rice and serve it along with seaweed salad (I rehydrate fueru wakame). (The fancy rice shapes are totally just for impressing foodie 6-year-olds)