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  • Moms + Meals: Buffalo Chicken Pizza
  • It’s Fall Y’all! 20 things you will want to do this fall!

Moms + Meals: Buffalo Chicken Pizza

pizzaThis time of year, all of the time, I am on the look-out for quick, easy, delicious meals I can serve my family. I am not a great cook, but I try. One of my favorite things to do is throw something in the crock-pot in the morning before rushing out the door to work. It is the best feeling to get home after a long day and know dinner is basically done.

buffalo-wingsOne of our favorite crock-pot dishes is shredded buffalo chicken. You literally throw three ingredients in the crock-pot and done:

  • frozen chicken breast (4-5 large breast)
  • Frank’s buffalo sauce
  • one packet of ranch dressing mix

Set on low and enjoy 6-8 hours later! I typically serve on warm tortillas, on a baked potato or just eat plain. My husband pops a couple of pieces of  bread in the toaster and eats it on a sandwich. I can’t lie though, my kids (2 & 5) won’t eat. They do, however, like buffalo chicken pizza.

This week, I attempted to whip-up a buffalo-chicken pizza and, well… It was a success! Both kids ate 1.5 pieces!

So, here is what I did:

  • made the buffalo chicken (just like above)
  • took half of the chicken, drained, and mixed with ranch dressing
  • spread mixture over a pre-made wheat pizza crust (doesn’t have to be wheat, just whatever your family likes best)
  • asked the kids to sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top
  • Baked at 425 for around 10 minutes

Like I said, I am all about easy! This was a win at my house… Maybe your family will enjoy it too! Happy cooking, mommas!

Fall TV: must watch shows this season

In case you missed the memo, fall has officially arrived! With all the wonderful things fall brings; weather, pumpkin everything and football, we can’t forget that fall brings the BEST TV shows.

If you are looking for a new show to fall in love with this season, look no further. Here are some of our favorite must watch TV shows for fall:

download1. This is Us: If you didn’t realize from your Facebook news feed that this is probably the best new show to watch this fall, we are telling you now. If you loved Parenthood you will for sure want to jump in on this new series. Tuesdays, 9:00 on NBC.

download-22. Designated Survivor:  Kiefer Sutherland stars as Tom Kirkman, a lower-level cabinet member who is suddenly appointed President of the United States after a catastrophic attack on the US Capitol during the State of the Union. Kirkman will struggle to keep the country and his family from falling apart, while navigating the highly-volatile political arena and leading the search to find who is responsible for the attack. Wednesdays, 9PM on ABC.

download-13. The Good Place: This new comedy presents a version of the afterlife we haven’t quite seen before. In The Good Place, people who have lived virtuous lives are sent to a neighborhood where they and 321 other perfectly chosen souls spend eternity together in perfect harmony. Conversely, and equally important, it doesn’t mock religion or make religion the target of its jokes. It just focuses more on Eleanor’s secular life, then and now. Mondays, 7:30 on NBC.

download-34. No Tomorrow: What would you do if you had only eight months to live? That’s the question at the heart of this charmingly whimsical romantic comedy that finds a play-it-safe wallflower (Tori Anderson) falling for a mysterious free-wheeler (Joshua Sasse from “Galavant”).Series premiere Tuesday October 4th at 8:00 on the CW.

download-45. Speechless: This smartly crafted comedy stars Minnie Driver as an outspoken — often pushy — mom who will do anything for her family, especially her teen son with special needs. That includes changing schools six times in two years. ABC“Speechless” mixes humor with plenty of heart, much of the latter provided by Micah Fowler, an actor who in real life has cerebral palsy. He simply lights up the screen.

download-56. American Housewife: a confident, unapologetic wife and mother of three, raises her flawed family in the wealthy town of Westport, Connecticut, filled with ‘perfect’ mommies and their ‘perfect’ offspring. Katie’s perfectly imperfect world is upended when her neighbor’s decision to move notches her up from her ideal social standing and sets her on a path to ensure that doesn’t happen, regardless of the consequences. Series premiere Tuesday October 11th at 7:30 on ABC.

download-67. Pitch: Talented baseball pitcher Ginny Baker immediately rises to fame when she is called up by the San Diego Padres and becomes the first woman in Major League Baseball. She immediately sets in on the task of proving herself to her teammates, starting with team captain and catcher Mike Lawson. The two share an immediate chemistry, putting Mike in the middle of tensions between the beautiful new player and certain teammates who don’t appreciate a woman out on the mound. Not all of her fellow Padres are so averse to change, with center fielder Blip Sanders providing support through her journey. Thursdays, 8:00 on Fox. 

So sit back, set the DVR and enjoy everything fall has to offer, including great TV.

Sunday Devotion: Parenting with Guts

We ran across this video on Facebook and had to share it! If you haven’t taken the time to see it, please do. No matter how old your kids are, it is something to think about.

Do you have the guts enough to want your children to fulfill His plan–even if it isn’t how you “pictured” their life?


Fitness: Brain Break

BPFitnessSeries_SWMom_640x128-hdr (002)by Kelsey Fields

Work. We all do it. Whether your day is spent chasing around your naked toddler with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich begging them to eat or facilitating a corporate meeting, the last thing you are thinking about is your health and well-being.

dvr-aloneI do my best to set aside time five days a week to exercise, but let’s be honest, my sick baby who just wants to cuddle is going to trump working out every single time. Okay and maybe I get sidetracked by my comfy bed and new DVR shows. Okay and maybe sometimes I just come home exhausted and need to do nothing.

If you are having a hard time finding time, why not make the most of your time, and work out while you work?!

In my first grade classroom, we bust out “brain breaks” when the kids have been working tirelessly on a difficult concept. During brain breaks we dance, stretch, sing, and shake it for about five minutes, then it’s back to work. These small breaks are just enough to get the oxygen flowing through the body and provide a burst of energy necessary to stay on task for the remainder of the day. Also, who doesn’t love to shake their groove thang with kiddos who don’t judge? The thing is, I get just as much out of the brain breaks as my first graders do!

Here’s an idea: what if during the work day we took these brain breaks and tweaked them to fit our fitness needs? I had this epiphany while the kiddos were at art one day. I mean, I really wanted a big coffee, but I also wanted to sleep that night. It was at the end of the day and I was dragging. I got down on the floor and did a sun salutation and voila, instant energy.

My challenge to you is to take 5 minute mini-breaks twice during the workday to do a few of the following exercises:

  • 3-Sun Salutations (see pic below, this is my absolute favorite pick-me-up)sun
  • 15-Push Ups
  • 25-Squats
  • Plank (1 minute)
  • Wall sit (1 minute)
  • 25-Lunges
  • 25-Sit ups

Bonus– Keep a set of resistance bands in your desk to make these harder and help vary your routine!

You work in an office and think people would look at you like a lunatic if you started doing lunges in the corner? Use your lunch break to step outside and take a 20 minute walk. The weather is finally nice enough that you won’t come back drenched in sweat, so get outside while you can!

Studies show that even if you exercise, too much sitting is bad for your heart, raising the chances of developing cardiovascular disease. Give your brain and heart a break, set your computer to the side for five minutes, and get moving!

SWMO Moms fitness category, which is full of healthy tips for all women,  is sponsored by Bass Pro Shops Fitness Series.  

Their mission is to celebrate health, wellness, outdoor adventures and wildlife conservation in the beauty of the Ozarks.  They have a running/walking program targeted for kids called Rock4Kids that is designed to help kids love being active.  Join them for their fall Zombie Run, Saturday, October 22 at Rutledge Wilson Farm Park.  Kids can walk or run one of four distances and when they finish their event, they can attend the Fall Farm Festival at the park, turning the event into a day of family fun. CLICK HERE for more information or give them a call at 417.873.5214.BPFitnessSeries_SWMom_640x186-ftr (002)

headshotKelsey is a stay-at-home mom and full time student pursing a degree in elementary education. She is a Beachbody certified Insanity instructor, avid runner and yoga enthusiast. 

When she is not working out, you will find her cheering on the Denver Broncos and spending time with her family. She is wife to Blake and mom to busy 2 year-old son Max and newborn son, Mick.

The Rockwood Files: Down with brown

rockwood files colorBy Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

All I wanted was a new paint color. That’s it. But that one little wish pushed over the first domino in a long line of chore-related dominoes that landed me neck-deep in paperwork.

I blame the color brown for all this trouble. My home office, where I’m supposed to be creative and whimsical (on a deadline) was painted a horrible shade of brown. Inside the brown room was a brown desk. The built-in shelving unit on the wall? Brown. And guess what color the carpet is. If you said “brown,” you clearly see why something had to be done, right? I was bombarded by brown, and it was bringing me down.

“Honey, we have to paint this room,” I announced with conviction. “It’s sucking all the sunlight out of the room along with the energy out of my soul. It’s a depressing cave in here. I can’t take it anymore.”

Tom, who is used to these kind of far-flung excuses for why I’m having trouble writing, admitted that the room was dark. He even agreed to do the painting for me.

“That’s great!” I said. “I’ll get it ready to paint.”

I began moving things off the desk and into cabinets so they wouldn’t be exposed to paint splatters. But there was hardly any room in there because the cabinets were already full. I sat down on the floor and pulled out an overflowing basket of papers.

folder-1016290_640“What is this stuff? Do we even need any of this?” I asked, but Tom had conveniently vanished. As I leafed through the dusty papers, I realized most of them were paid bills, receipts, bank statements and tax assessment papers from more than a decade ago. We had at least three cabinets full of “just in case we need it” paperwork.

I asked Google how long I needed to keep these kinds of documents, and the IRS website answer was somewhere around three to five years. So that prompted what has become “The Great Sort of 2016,” which soaked up most of my weekend. By the time I finished, there was a huge pile of papers that will soon meet their fate in the fireplace. Perhaps we’ll roast marshmallows as the electric bills from 2007 go up in smoke.

One of the cabinets I purged was filled with photos from back in the time when we had to actually print photos if we wanted to look at them. I even found a bag of photo negatives from our wedding 17 years ago. Photo negatives seem downright prehistoric in this Instagram age, but a woman doesn’t toss wedding negatives. Back into the cabinet they went.

The last cabinet I tackled is home to a large box of mystery wires and adapters which seem to fit absolutely nothing that we still own but that Tom insists on keeping because “you never know” when he might need one. (Please note that, even if the mystery box does indeed have a cord or wire he needs one day, it would take more time to untangle that cord than it would to fly across the ocean to a Chinese factory and make the cord himself. Still, he was not swayed by my argument and insisted on keeping his beloved box of wires since I was stashing a 17-year-old bag of photo negatives.)

Despite an unglamorous weekend of sorting, purging and painting, I’m happy with the results. The walls lightened up to a crisp, icy blue, and the cabinets shed several pounds of paperwork. I’ve banished the brown and feel brand new in blue. How about you?

gwen-headshot-2014Gwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of nwaMotherlode.com. To check out Gwen’s book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.