The Non-Housewives
Friday, May 10, 2019

Garlic Parmesan Crock Pot Chicken Wings - Easy, Low Carb Recipe

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Garlic Parmesan Crock Pot Chicken Wings - Easy, Low Carb Recipe
I majorly struggle with dinner time. It's so hard to take time to meal plan over the weekend since we are always so busy, and by the time I get home at night, I'm exhausted, and the kids are hungry.

I've become a huge fan of crock pot dinners, especially ones I can prep the night before. I recently tried a chicken wing recipe that turned out great. Paired with a caesar salad and it made for a fantastic meal.

My recipe is inspired by this one from Wholesome Yum. I made a few changes that makes the prep a little faster.







Ingredients:

4lbs of chicken wings
Garlic salt & pepper
1/2 cup of butter (or 1 stick)
6 tablespoons of minced garlic
1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Melt butter (over stove or microwave)
2. Mix garlic in with butter
3. Place chicken wings in your crock pot
4. Sprinkle garlic salt and pepper over the wings
5. Pour melted butter and garlic mix over wings
6. Cook wings on HIGH for 3 hours
7. After 3.5 hours, place wings on a foil lined baking sheet and put under broiler for 5 minutes (or until crispy - keep an eye on them, they will brown fast!)
8. Remove from broiler and sprinkle with parmesan cheese
9. Enjoy!

I don't like to leave my meal prep for mornings, so I prepped this recipe in the crock pot at night, put it in the refrigerator, and then put it in the following afternoon. I LOVE my new crock pot that switches to 'warm' after the timer is up (highly recommend for busy moms!). I never feel like it's overcooked even when on 'warm' setting for an hour. I made these again tonight and my husband said to me "I don't know how you make these, but they are GOOD!" Even my boys loved them.

If you have other fast, busy mom recipes please share in the comments!

Saturday, May 4, 2019

4 Tips for Infant Swim Classes

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School is almost out so it's time to chat about summer activities. Swim classes are always a good idea, no matter the age! Reporting back on my 1 year old's swimming lessons...he loves them! I'm so glad we started doing swim lessons with Xavier at an early age.


Tips for infant swimming lessons:
1 - No goggles needed - but swim diapers are a must! I bought these reusable swim diapers to go over the disposable ones. Make sure you pack extra for accidents!

2 - It's hard enough getting an infant ready for class, let alone yourself too. Since you'll have to be joining your young one, I'd recommend getting ready beforehand, and wearing your bathing suit under your clothes.

3 - Bring your stroller in plus a bottle and/or snacks. After class, your young one will probably be hungry! Get them changed into dry clothes and strap them into their stroller with a snack to buy yourself a few minutes to get changed. Every minute counts!

4 - Keep your swim bag packed and ready to go the night before, so you’re not scrambling to make it on time. As soon as I wash swimsuits and towels they go right back into our swim bag for the next week’s lesson.


Here's a rundown of Goldfish Swim School Mini classes: 
Goldfish Swim School’s Mini Classes offer high quality swim lessons for babies starting at 4 months of age. Mini Class activities include singing group songs, practicing tummy time, and getting little ones comfortable in the water. Babies practice their grasp reflex, move to holding onto the edge of the pool wall and eventually inching their way along it. With the help of mom or dad, babies work on their pulling paddle, glides, floats and kicks. As babies progress through the Mini Program, they will work on their breath control, crab walk, and getting out of the pool safely by using the fin, fin, belly, flipper technique.

Contact Goldfish for a free intro class! 
Saturday, April 27, 2019

8 Tips for Long Flights with Toddlers

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We recently completed a trip from Detroit to London with both boys. And guess what? We survived! I'm here to tell you that you can do a long flight with kids. It's not easy or relaxing, but don't let it keep you from booking an epic family trip.

Here are tips on how to prep for your long trip ahead:

1 - Be strategic about your flight times
If you can, plan your flight around bedtime or nap time. Our only option to fly to London was overnight, so that was a no-brainer.

2 - Stay on schedule for the day
Keep your kids on schedule for that day. For my boys specifically, being "over tired" is usually worse than just being tired, so I made sure they stayed on schedule for naps the day we traveled. I let them run in the airport before flight, up and down moving walk ways, etc., so they get their wiggles out and wear themselves out.

3 - Plan an "in-flight" bedtime routine
After our in flight dinner we tried our best to do a "modified bedtime routine" to try and get the boys in the bedtime mindset. Wiped down hands and faced, changed diapers, brushed teeth, read books, got into sleep blanket, and then had a bottle. I didn't pack a portable sound machine for this flight, but I have used this one in the past for flights. 

4 - Snacks are key
My advice, make them a surprise for when you get on the plane. Don't pack them in the kids' bags. My boys would start eating them in the car ride to the airport! I tried to find new snacks as well, so they would hold more bribing power. We had the most amazing crew on our latest Delta flight, and they were extremely generous with the kids - mommy had her fair share of Biskoff cookies as well.

5 - New Toys!
Five Below, Dollar Tree, Target & Amazon have great options for new toys, crafts and things to keep your little ones busy. Again, I recommend not showing them these distractions until you need to use them on the plane, and space them out - don't hand them all out at once. Here are some things that worked for us:
  • Melissa & Doug On the Go Water Wow! books
  • Wikki Stix
  • Headphones! I liked this pair from Amazon, for our 1.5 year old. They are noise limiting so he can't accidentally turn them up full blast. Not all flights have TV screens, so I usually try to pack an old phone with a few movies downloaded on it.
  • Crayons, coloring books and doodle pads. I purchased Crayola triangle crayons so they wouldn't roll off of the tray tables. 
  • We also loved these doodle books from Stephen Joseph Gifts. They come with stickers and an attached carrying case with crayons. 
  • Learned from a very smart, creative momma friend that window clings can keep kids busy if you are sitting near a window! 
  • My 1.5 year old LOVED this Melissa & Doug shape sorter. We used this for both our California trip and London. It's a little bulky, but totally worth it. If your carry on is tight on space you could always a store a few things in side of this toy as well. 
6 - Plan for the worst
Bring extra wipes and napkins for spills (keep these out in the seat pocket so they are easily accessible), extra clothes for spills or blowouts, and double check electronics are charged and movies are downloaded in case they don't have in flight entertainment screens.

7 - Gate check your stroller
We always opt to gate check our stroller (as opposed to checking it with our bags). This way the kids can ride in it to the gate if they get tired of walking, and more importantly, we can use it to stack our carry on bags, diaper bags, purses, etc. Most airlines have gate checked items waiting for you when you de-board the plane so you can load your kids up and hustle to baggage claim.

8 - Be strategic about boarding
I like to limit my time on the plane, so I never board early with kids. They always invite families to board early, but I just think the less time on the plane, the better. If I needed to reconfigure our seats and potentially switch with a stranger, I'd maybe board early, but that may be the only case. If you don't have seats together, it's always worth asking the gate agent if he/she can arrange you to sit together.

I've told many friends, especially lately, you just have to go into a flight like this with low expectations. You can be as prepared as possible but kids will always find a way to throw you a curve ball. Just know that it won't be a relaxing flight, but definitely worth it once you reach your destination!

Do you have a tip from traveling with your kids? If so, please share in the comments below!

*This post contains affiliate links
Saturday, July 7, 2018

DIY Birthday Party Banners

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I love shopping on Etsy, especially for personalized items, but the problem is, they aren't available on Amazon, and it would be impossible for them to offer 2 day shipping. So, for last minute birthday party planners like me, have to look elsewhere for fun party decorations. 

Pinterest had me falling in love with burlap birthday banners, but anything customized with my son's name was going to take at least 2 weeks to receive via Etsy, and of course, I started planning decorations for my son's party the weekend before. Typical! So, I had to get creative. 

I went to Michael's and found two different kinds of banners. The key was getting a set that I didn't have to cut! Check out my 3 different banners below and everything I purchased to make them! They were so easy and a lot cheaper to make than buying them off Etsy. They were a fun touch for our family birthday party celebrations! 


'ONE' high chair or door banner

What I used:
Fabric strips (choose colors or patterns that match party theme)

I stenciled the letters first with bright colored chalk. Once threaded on the burlap, I spaced them out evenly and tied my fabric strips. You can buy pre-cut fabric strips, or, choose a fabric that fits the theme of your party, and cut it into strips. This banner took me about 1 hour to make.


'Wild One' Burlap Birthday banner

What I used:
Burlap banner + string/twine  (they usually come with this)

Painting within the stencils was just as easy as using the chalk. I did one coat of paint, then let it dry for a few minutes, then put a second coat on to make sure letters really 'popped.' When using the paint, you'll have to be able to set the stencils aside for at least a few hours to let them dry before stacking them up again (it's the inevitable, paint gets on the actual stencils when using them this way). This banner took me about 30 minutes to make.


Chalkboard Name Birthday banner

What I used:

I didn't want to use the fabric strips for this banner since it was going to be hanging over the desserts. Instead, I used different colored ribbon, tied in knots, between the letters, to add some color. This banner took me about 30 minutes to make.

There were so easy to make, I was wishing I had time to make more DIY decor. I would love to hear about other DIY birthday decorations you've done - please share in the comments below!

*Post contains affiliate links 
Tuesday, May 29, 2018

National Water Safety Month with Goldfish Swim

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May is National Water Safety Month, and our household is ready! Between weekly lessons at Goldfish (check out my swim lesson review here) and practicing water safety while out on the boat, we are ready for a fun summer of swimming and water fun.

We received a special package from Goldfish Swim School this week, and Max was extremely excited to dig into it.

Here's a clip of Max's unboxing...


Here are some important water safety reminders:
  • Never let anyone swim alone. Even the most experienced people need a partner. 
  • Pool noodles, plastic inner tubes and pool toys, etc. will not protect against drowning. Make sure everyone needing a life jacket has a coast guard approved jacket and it properly fits. 
  • Make sure to have a 'designated watcher' while kids are swimming. The 'designated watcher' should be watching kids at all time - no cell phone distraction allowed!
  • Keep toys not in use away from the water so they don't accidentally fall in.
  • This isn't swimming specific, but if outdoors, wear sunscreen! Make sure to reapply after swimming. 
As I mentioned in my review, Goldfish Swim School has been amazing for my son. Not only do they teach a strict swimming curriculum, but I wish I would have started him sooner. We started lessons with Xavier (10.5 months old) and he's having a blast. It makes me feel good that swim lessons is not only a fun activity/sport for my boys, but also something that is extremely important for them to learn and feel comfortable doing.

I'd love to hear any additional water safety tips you have in the comments below! 

*Goldfish sent me this box to review, but all opinions are my own

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Goldfish Swim School Lessons Giveaway

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A few weeks ago my son wrapped up 2 months of swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School in Ann Arbor, and I couldn't be happier with the experience we had there and how much he's learned. You can read my swim class review here.

If you're interested in experiencing Goldfish Swim School for yourself, you can enter below to win a free month of lessons from Goldfish Swim School Ann Arbor location. Contest ends Friday, May 18th. Enter up to once a day - Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

* Giveaway sponsored by Goldfish Swim School. Once I choose a winner, the winner will have 48 hours to respond with their contact information. If I do not hear back, I'll select a new winner. Good luck! 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Goldfish Swim School - Ann Arbor Review

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We've just wrapped up 2 months at Goldfish Swim School in Ann Arbor, and I couldn't be more proud of how far my little man Maximus has come!

I'm not going to lie...our first few lessons were rough. Max would start crying about not wanting to go to swim class before we even left the house, which would continue in the car ride and into swim class. He was so afraid to go under water, I think the fear made him stress about the entire class. His coach, Blair, was so great with him though. He'd go in to the pool area crying, and come out smiling and raving about how much fun he had. I was definitely able to see the progression of Max's comfort in the water. After a few lessons he was going underwater for rings (something he was terrified to do the first two lessons), and swimming from the ledge to the platform on his own.

I'm so impressed with the structure of Goldfish Swim School. Each class level has a list of skills the kids have to "master" before moving to the next level. It's a set "curriculum" that all the coaches follow which I think is great for a kid like Max, who needs consistency. The last few minutes of each class the lifeguards call the parents in to watch their child demonstrate what they learned that day and at this time the coach will provide parents feedback. Last week was 'test' week, and Max earned his way into the next level of swim class (Junior 2!). I almost cried when the coach went over Max's swim report card with me. I was so proud! Below is a video of him during his test.


Here are some of the other awesome things I love about Goldfish:
1 - The classes are small. At the most, there were 4 kids in each of Max's classes.
2 - The waiting area is very comfortable. There are plenty of seats along with the window so you can watch your little fishes. Parents are not allowed in the pool area so the kids are not distracted.
3 - There is also a play area for little siblings to hang out in while lessons are going on.
4 - They have several showers inside the pool area for kids to rinse off at before getting changed.
5 - There are several private dressing rooms (along with a large one with hair dryers and swimsuit dryers) and they are really clean.
6 - The staff, from the front desk, lifeguards to coaches, is super friendly and accommodating.

Class schedules are extremely flexible. You can pay for one, two or three lessons a week, or do a drop in class just to 'test the waters' (pun intended). They offer classes 7 days a week, which as a working mom, is amazing within itself since we can always find a time that works for our schedule! If you have more than one child in lessons, you can usually find a time that overlaps for both or back to back times.


I can't wait to see how much Max learns before summer. I'm so excited for him to test out his new swim skills this summer at the lake!

*I was hosted at Goldfish Swim School in Ann Arbor. All thoughts and opinions are my own.