Piroshki (Russian Meat-filled Rolls)

These simple meat-filled rolls are a family favorite and a tradition that has been passed down for generations. A few basic ingredients and a little TLC come together to create comfort food that will remind you of Grandma’s cooking.

These simple meat-filled rolls are a family favorite and a tradition that has been passed down for generations. A few basic ingredients and a little TLC come together to create comfort food that will remind you of Grandma's cooking. Every culture seems to have it’s own version of meat wrapped in bread. Latin Americans have empanadas, Asian countries steam or fry dumplings, Germans feast on bierocks, and America has…well, pigs in a blanket. I grew up eating a Russian variation of the ubiquitous meat-roll, called Piroshki. They’re super basic, and that’s why I always loved them as a child–and why my kids love them now.

Continue reading

Fall Family Fun Bucket List

Celebrate the coming of autumn with this fun family fall bucket list. Be reminded of classic fall activities, and discover some new traditions to try as well! 

Celebrate the coming of autumn with this fun family fall bucket list. Be reminded of classic fall activities, and discover some new traditions to try as well! Note: This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure for more information.

Confession: I don’t really like winter. I grew up in California where a white Christmas means it’s foggy, and “cold” means you have to wear a sweatshirt. When I moved to Utah for college 14 years ago, I had no idea that I would be settling here long-term.

But I do still live here so many years later, and I’ve come to love so many things about beautiful Utah. I still don’t love the snow, but I’m starting to fall in love with fall. Continue reading

Mountain Man Breakfast Skillet

This super-hearty breakfast skillet is filled with potatoes, eggs, sausage, cheese, and my favorite seasoning in the world. It comes together in under 30 minutes and is a great way to start the day….or to finish the day by making it breakfast for dinner. This super-hearty breakfast is filled with potatoes, eggs, sausage, cheese, and my favorite seasoning in the world. It comes together in under 30 minutes and is a great way to start the day....or to finish the day by making it breakfast for dinner.

Little Man’s favorite meal of the day is breakfast. When I’m still bleary-eyed from waking up earlier than I’d like and would like to just throw some cereal on the table, he’s bright-eyed and requesting a “special breakfast”. Waffles, pancakes, French toast…this boy loves a good breakfast. Today, I’m sharing with you another one of our favorites: “Mountain Man Breakfast”. Continue reading

Pirate Alphabet Treasure Hunt Preschool Game

This simple printable “buried treasure hunt” preschool game is a great way to get your kiddos moving, learning the alphabet, and practicing essential preschool skills–like matching.
This simple printable "buried treasure hunt" preschool game is a great way to get your kiddos moving, learning the alphabet, and practicing essential preschool skills--like matching.

Ahoy! Does anyone else ever question why we encourage our children to learn about and act like pirates? If you think about it, they go around hunting for buried treasure (usually other people’s) and making people walk the plank. Not exactly upstanding citizens. Oh well, I just choose gloss over the plundering part and focus on exploring the seven seas and finding “lost” treasure. We’ll worry about character education later on this one, I suppose.

Anyhow, as long as your moral dilemma about pirates doesn’t go any deeper than mine, I have another great pirate activity for your preschoolers today.
Continue reading

Motherhood Uncropped

In a virtual world of “Pinterest perfection,” let’s remember to celebrate the beauty of the everyday, imperfect realities of life and motherhood, even when they don’t seem particularly share-worthy.In a virtual world of "Pinterest perfection," let's remember to celebrate the beauty of the everyday, imperfect realities of life and motherhood, even when they don't seem particularly share-worthy.I have a love/hate relationship with the Internet. With technology in general, really, but especially with the Internet and all of the images on social media that bombard us every day. I love all the things I can look up quickly to answer my four-year-old’s questions about things like “What is a water tower for?” (In case you’re now wondering, here’s the answer.)

I love that I can get ideas for teaching my kids preschool, cute Halloween costumes, and limitless recipes. I love that I’ve learned how to refinish furniture, start a blog, and get my whites truly white again. Continue reading

Land Ho! (a preschool math & motor skills game)

This simple printable preschool game is a great way to get your littlest landlubbers practicing their numbers and developing gross motor skills.This simple printable preschool game is a great way to get your littlest landlubbers practicing their numbers and developing gross motor skills.Did you know that September 19th is Interational Talk Like a Pirate Day? Sometimes I wonder who in the world decided we even need a “talk like a pirate” day. At least it gives me an excuse make up fun and silly games to play with my kids.

This summer Little Man went to a summer day camp run by a few of the teenage boys in our neighborhood. One of the days was pirate-themed, and he loved it so much that I decided to make it one of our home preschool themes shortly thereafter. Continue reading

15-Minute French Dip Sandwiches

This quick and hearty French dip is great for nights when you don’t have much time to get food on the table.
This quick and hearty French dip is great for nights when you don't have much time to get food on the table.Fun fact: in my house growing up, “French dip” consisted of oval-shaped hamburger patties that were pan fried and then put on hoagie rolls to be dipped in Au Jus. I’m not sure how that started (probably a result of some picky eater children…sorry Mom), but the first time I ordered French dip at a restaurant, I was totally confused by the meal that the waiter brought me. Continue reading

The Busy Mom’s Guide to Cleaning Up: 7 Simple Cleaning Tips

Keeping a clean home can be a daunting task when you have so much else to do, but these seven simple cleaning tips will help you keep your home in order without spending all day scrubbing.Keeping a clean home can be a daunting task when you have so much else to do, but these seven simple cleaning tips will help you keep your home in order without spending all day scrubbing.I used to be a clean person. I like things tidy: my house, my car, my life plan, everything.

I am, after all, the girl who spent most of her recesses in fifth and sixth grade organizing books in the school library (yep…nerd to the max, and proud of it!). The girl who ordered and numbered all the movies in her house, and then typed up a list to keep track of them all. The girl who reorganized the kitchen as a Mother’s Day gift in high school. The girl who fought so much with her sister over the cleanliness of their bedroom (among other things) that they had to be moved into separate rooms (sorry, Mom). Continue reading

How to Get Your Kids to Clean Up: 6 Tried-and-true Strategies

Getting kids to clean up after themselves doesn’t have to be a chore. Try these simple but effective strategies for encouraging kids to clean up without a fight.Getting kids to clean up after themselves doesn't have to be a chore. Try these simple but effective strategies for encouraging kids to clean up without a fight.My children are brilliant. They already understand concepts of physics that I didn’t learn until college. What?!? That’s right, my boys have officially mastered the second law of thermodynamics.

“What is the second law of thermodynamics?” you ask. Let me explain. It’s all about ENTROPY. Continue reading

Toddler Trail Mix (perfect for moms on the go)

For busy families, snacks that can be eaten on the run are a necessity. This toddler trail mix is a great way to get your little ones a healthy, filling snack that will keep them going strong.For busy families, snacks that can be eaten on the run are a necessity. This toddler trail mix is a great way to get your little ones a healthy, filling snack that will keep them going strong.I officially became a soccer mom this week. I don’t know the rules of soccer much better than my four-year-old player, but I figure we’ll learn together. The important thing is that he has some awesome cleats and matching shin guards, so at least he looks the part. Plus, when we went to his first practice on Wednesday, he found out that his team is the purple team, which is his favorite color, so he is beyond thrilled about that. I think I’m gonna like this stage of life.

With school starting and soccer season ramping up, I’m realizing that life is going to be a lot busier around here for the next few months. We are going to spend more time driving in the car from one place to another, and I know I need to be prepared with snacks to keep everyone from getting hangry (I love that word…so accurate). Continue reading