Archive for November 2018

Seasons of Fun

November 17, 2018

This post is sponsored by Huffy; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
If your family is anything like ours, you spend most of the holiday months searching for that one special gift to proudly display under the tree. The one that will bring eyes full of wonder and faces full of smiles. The one that will fill your home with squeals and laughter all season long. Unlike previous years where we’ve scrambled at the last minute or fought the crowds on Black Friday, this year we actually found ours early. The Huffy Radio-Control Monster Truck is everything we look for in a holiday gift. It was super simple to put together - just attach the steering wheel and it’s ready to go. I may never live down the year I made my husband assemble an entire kitchen on Christmas eve, but no last minute building this year! It’s also two toys in one – doubling the play potential. It easily converts from a monster truck ride-on into a super-size radio-control monster truck. 

The truck is really easy to use;  it took Jacob no time at all to figure out the buttons, steering wheel, and foot  pedal – and he has no motor controlled vehicle experience whatsoever. He thought it was so funny to switch it from driving forward to driving backwards, and the loved taking it on to the grass. Those big sturdy wheels make off- roading no problem! To convert the ride-on into a radio-control just remove the steering wheel and it becomes your controller. For ease of mind and child safety, the radio controlled power only operates when the steering wheel is removed and there is no weight on the product. Jacob had a blast going back and forth between radio controlling and riding. I’m not exaggerating at all when I say it provided us hours of entertainment. 

While this is no doubt a present for Jacob, it’s also going to make things a little easier for mom and dad. We love to go walking in the evenings, but the stroller presents a challenge because Jacob will be fast asleep before the walk is over, every single time without fail. As you might guess, this then makes getting him to bed at a reasonable hour a challenge.  Now he can ride along on his Monster truck while the whole family gets in some exercise and fresh air. The monster truck is also affordable, which is always a selling point for us during the holiday season when it feels like our hearts and wallets are being pulled in a million different directions. 
The Huffy RC Monster Truck is recommended for kids age 3-7 and is perfectly sized for the early elementary set.  Looking for a present full of fun and wonder? You can find the Huffy RC Monster Truck at Walmart, along with other Huffy products – there’s something for every kid! What’s on your kid’s wish list this year? 

Southern Hill Farms // The Value of a Day

November 15, 2018

This post is sponsored by Vanguard but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

This past weekend we had the joy of spending the day with my mom at Southern Hill Farms Fall Festival. In the spring and summer their farm is full of fresh fruit - blueberries and peaches, ripe for the picking. But in the fall they transform their farm into a harvest wonderland. We arrived on a crisp, sunny day and I knew the weather was going to be just perfect for creating memories. When you arrive you park across the street and then you cross over to the farm, down endless rows of blueberries towards the big red barn.

Jacob saw the inflatables right away and I knew we would spend a big chunk of our day there. You can purchase individual tickets or you can spring for the wristband, which is what we did. If your kiddo loves jumping around in bounce houses the wristband will be well worth your money. The wristband also works on a few rides, though there are height and weight restrictions for those. We let Jacob run and bounce to his hearts content and he got out quite a bit of energy. Once he was good and tired we were able to convince him to check out some of the other areas of the farm.

On the other end of the farm, opposite of the bounce houses is a pumpkin patch filled with pumpkins and squash in every size and shape. We had a good time checking them all out before deciding on a large pumpkin to carve and a small one for Jacob to decorate. There's also a playground on that side of the farm and Jacob could have played there for hours. He made a few new friends but mostly had fun showing off for Grandma and Mom. He is a completely different kid since starting Pre-k, no fear on the playground at all anymore!

In the middle of the farm is a cluster of food trucks, as well as a food stand and some fire pits. The food stand sells s'mores kits that you can then roast around the fire pits, but we had our eye on something else. Fresh apple cider donuts. Our favorite. Those donuts are an integral part of our fall memories - one of my favorite photos is of one year old Jacob with sugar ALL over his face. He loves them just as much as his momma. We got an order of one dozen as well as some iced apple cider and set ourselves up at a little table near the playground.

We demolished half the box before Jacob got a second wind and lead us right back over to the bounce houses. We took a trip on their hayride around the farm before leaving and as you can probably guess, Jacob fell fast asleep on the way home. Likely dreaming about sugared donuts and bouncy slides.

When I think about the value of a day - and the money that's going to be spent, I take a few things into consideration. I first look at where the money is going - is it something that's going to last or something that will be gone quickly? I then think about whether that money is going to make a long term impact on our memories, and on Jacob's childhood. In this case, the money wasn't going towards anything that we were going to be keeping for a long time - those donuts were eaten immediately, the pumpkins eventually rotted, and once we left the wristband had no value; but I know that the value of our day went far beyond that. Jacob will remember this day with his mom and grandma, bouncing to his little hearts content, running around the pumpkin patch, walking down the rows of blueberries under the bright blue sky, hopefully forever.

While $160 may not seem like a lot, over time, it can really add up! Choosing a higher-yielding cash account can allow us to experience more of these fun, memorable days. To get the most out of my cash, it’s important to assess my options and determine which provider fits best into my plan. Some companies, like Vanguard, are built in a way that better aligns to my interests. If you haven’t looked at your cash investments recently, maybe it’s time to ask yourself some questions: “Am I getting the most from my cash?” “Does my financial provider have my best interests at heart?” Check out more at Vanguard. According to recent data, if you hold $10,000 in cash, you could earn about $170 in a year, at the current average yields of money market mutual funds. In a bank savings account, you’d only make about $10.*

This post is sponsored by Vanguard, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
*This illustration uses 1.69% average yield for money market mutual funds and 0.09% national average yield for bank savings, both as of 9/30/2018, according to and These rates are not guaranteed.
Vanguard is owned by its funds, which in turn are owned by their investors.
All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest. Bank deposits are guaranteed (within limits) as to principal and interest by an agency of the federal government. There may be other material differences between products that should be considered before investing.

Easy Green Enchiladas with Real California Milk

November 12, 2018
This post is sponsored by Real California Milk but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Goodness friends, the holidays are quickly sneaking up on us aren't they? I thought I'd share with your one of my favorite holiday potluck dishes in case you're in need of a crowd pleaser! These chicken enchiladas are quick and easy to whip up, feed a large group, and are always a hit! I love to hit the gourmet cheese section at Publix where I know I'll find the perfect cheeses for my dishes. I always look for the Real California Milk seal to know that I'm getting a product made with 100% milk and supporting dairy families in the process. 99% of California dairy farms are family owned and operated. We love the peace of mind knowing that we are getting real food from real people - California has over 1,300 dairy farms! Find Real California Dairy products HERE.

Here's how you make Easy Green Enchiladas

1 jar salsa verde
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
1 cup Real California shredded pepper jack cheese
1 cup Real California queso fresco
1 cup navy beans
1 small can of green chilis
half an onion, diced small
1/4 cup cilantro
1 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper to taste
12 corn tortillas
splash of olive oil
avocado for serving
Real California sour cream for serving

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a pan cook onion with a splash of olive oil until translucent.
3. Transfer onion to large bowl and mix in chicken, pepper jack cheese, beans, green chilis, and cumin. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Place corn tortillas on a plate and cover with a dish towel. Microwave for 45 seconds until warm so they won't break when rolled.
5. In a large bowl pour salsa verde. One at a time dip tortillas in the salsa, then fill with 1/4 cup filling and roll.
6. Line up rolled tortillas in a shallow pan.
7. Pour one cup salsa verde over the top of the rolled tortillas, then sprinkle queso fresco on top.
8. Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
9. Top with cilantro and serve with avocado and sour cream.

This dish pairs well with yellow rice (also easily made in big batches for a group!) or your favorite vegetables. What's your favorite potluck dish?