Taco Casserole

Taco Casserole. So good and so easy! {The Mommy Games}

I’ve forever loved Mexican food. The cheese dip, guacamole, salty chips, piles of sour cream – YUM! I would be pretty happy eating it every day, and we rarely go a week without having some kind of Mexican dish. Taco night is most certainly a favorite since the kids can either mix everything up into one big taco of their choosing (half of which inevitably ends up on the floor), or divvy it out into separate little sections. It’s amazing what giving the littles some interpretive room can do for their appetites.

It’s nice to switch it up every once in a while though, and this awesome taco casserole is just the way to do it. It gives you all that satisfying taco flavor in one easy dish. Just bring this over to the table along with a few bowls of toppings and let your family have at it. This was an instant hit in our house and has been added to the few dishes we rotate regularly. You will love how simple and delicious it is!

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30th Birthday Celebration and Giveaway!

Happy Food Healthy Life's 30th Birthday Giveaway! Your chance to win a KitchenAid Stand Mixer and Target cash as well!

My friend Holly is turning the big 3-0 and we are helping her celebrate with this awesome giveaway! One lucky winner will win a 5-Quart Kitchenaid Stand Mixer and a $100 Target gift card! How awesome is that?!  I know I would love to win this for my 30th (which will be here in only a few short months – eek!).

Let’s show Holly some love on her big day! And good-luck to everyone entering! Follow the instructions below to enter:

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Mommy Happy Hour

Mommy Happy Hour

Happy Friday friends! Sorry I missed last week, I just couldn’t bring myself to sit at the computer long enough to write this post. The kids and I have been on the go, and the few moments that I’ve had to myself have been spent reading and relaxing. Marathon training has taken a lot more out of me physically than I anticipated, and I’m finding I just don’t have as much gusto at the end of the day as normal. And boy am I ready for Brandon to start school in a week. Keeping two very energetic boys entertained is it’s own kind of exercise. So, let’s get on with what we are reading, eating, and loving this week:

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Croque Monsieur Bake

Croque Monsieur Bake. Delicious and Simple Make Ahead Breakfast {The Mommy Games}

I love the start of a new school year. Fresh notebooks and pencils. Backpacks and lunchboxes that haven’t been ripped and dirtied. A whole new set of classes and teachers. It’s my inner nerd that really gets excited about these sorts of things. I have a whole set of goals that I’m working to implement that will keep our family running smoothly with the start of school. This will be the first year that Brandon goes to school every single day (though just in the mornings), and I’m thinking that having to have everyone up and ready 5 days a week is going to be an interesting challenge.

One of the things I’m focused on is revamping our breakfast routine. My kids aren’t huge breakfast eaters. They just aren’t super interested in eating as soon as they wake-up, and are usually content with just some cereal and fruit. I’m not great about breakfast either, since I usually run around 9 am, which means I can only handle a small snack when I wake-up.  I generally wait until lunch to have a real meal (for all you interested runners – I do have a recovery shake right after my runs so I’m not totally going without). Since Brandon will be at school all morning, I want to make sure that he has something more filling in his stomach, so I’ve been experimenting with different hardy breakfast options. And I LOVE the idea of breakfasts that can be made the night before.

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Funfetti Muddy Buddies

Funfetti Muddy Buddies.  Fun and perfect for a party! {The Mommy Games}

Although I’m not exactly sure what classifies as a “funfetti” flavor, I sure know that I love it! Maybe it’s the sprinkles that give it that extra sweet and fun punch. Do you remember way back when instead of being in sprinkle form, there were little sprinkle type balls? Those were amazing and I wish would make a reappearance on the boxed cake mix scene. I’m certainly not above busting out some boxed mix to make a quick batch of cupcakes or even a last minute birthday cake. I say, as long as it tastes good, than there’s no matter whether it took me an extra 30 minutes to make or not. Just hide the evidence and no one will be the wiser.

These muddy buddies (or Chex snack mix/puppy chow) are the sweetest, cutest snack around. They would be perfect set out at a party, since it’s easy to make a large bowl full and are so fun for guests to eat. Scatter some extra sprinkles around and I guarantee that bowl will be empty before you even get around to serving cake. I might need to include a warning that they are super sweet – so if you find yourself alone with said huge bowl, try and utilize a  little self control, or you might just find yourself with one heck of a tummy ache (not that I would know from experience…).  The greatest part is that these are ready in no time, with only a little microwaving and stirring involved, so you’ll be party ready in no time.

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Mommy Happy Hour

MHH 20Hello weekend! Hope you all are having as glorious weather as we are in NYC. It’s pretty crazy how cool it is here, I even needed a jacket yesterday. Totally bizarre for August, but it certainly makes running around the city a little more enjoyable when you aren’t melting with each step. Rylan has finally adjusted to having just one nap a day, so we are now free to roam all morning long. You forget how nice it is not to have to rush home for naps. So far we’ve been to the zoo, a new playground, out for breakfast, and we actually got to use up the whole 2 hour allotment for childcare at the gym! I’m a big fan of that last one.

So here’s what we’ve been reading, eating, and loving this week:

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Busy Mom’s 3 Minute Make-Up Routine

Busy Moms 3 Minute Make-Up Routine {The Mommy Games}

Mornings can be rough. Actually getting out the door with your hair brushed, lunch boxes packed, and a fully equipped diaper bag, can be borderline impossible at times. The idea of putting on make-up is nearly laughable.  But I’m a firm believer that feeling put together and presentable makes us better moms and women in general. It gives you that extra little boost of confidence to attack the day. And it’s pretty nice not to have to fret going to the grocery store for fear of running into someone you know.

My philosophy is that daytime make-up should be all about looking fresh and natural. Save the dramatics for night time. I prefer to look special at “special” times, rather than the same day in and day out. So my daytime beauty routine is shockingly quick and easy, and will have you feeling ready to start your day in no time. In fact, it will only take you 3 minutes. One major key to making this routine so speedy is in keeping everything you need in a separate make-up bag. That way you aren’t rummaging through all your make-up, and since there are only a few items, it really won’t take up that much space.

Here’s how to do it:

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Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta

Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta  Amazing flavor packed into this easy weeknight meal! {The Mommy Games}I seriously love Pinterest. I mean I just love it. I could easily spend hours searching through crafts I’ll never make, impressive recipes I’ll never try, and clothes I’ll never wear. Oh, if only my real life reflected the one I lead on Pinterest. Occasionally I give myself a good swift kick in the pants, and commit to actually creating one of these “pinned” items that I was so eager to tuck away for later. Because truthfully, sometimes these amazing gems are forgotten as soon as they are filed away. After finding a recipe for sun-dried tomato chicken, then following it to the blog who created it, I knew this would be a perfect weeknight meal. And seriously, it’s pretty freakin’ fabulous. Everyone, picky kids included, gobbled this up. It’s creamy and rich, with a slight tang from the sun-dried tomatoes. This is the kind of meal that anyone would be happy with at the end of a long day.

See, making your Pinterest dream life a reality isn’t so hard after all. Now, on to the other 872 things I have pinned

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