Monthly Archives

September 2018

  • Fall Sensory Bin – A Quick and Easy Kid Activity

    I made one of these for my son last year and he loved it! My child who is usually wild and extremely active was suddenly captivated and focused. 

    Sensory bins offer kids an opportunity to explore their senses – touch, sight, sound (even smell & taste if you want to go there) while simultaneously learning and discovering. They are cheap, easy to make, and provide a stimulating experience right at home.

    Fall Sensory Bin - A Quick and Easy Kid Activity | Rock It Mama | Make this fall sensory bin just in time for the season! This cheap and fun activity is great for learning and discovering the senses

    The sensory bin featured here is timely geared toward the fall season, but you can get creative and make it your own!

    Fall Sensory Bin - A Quick and Easy Kid Activity | Rock It Mama | Make this fall sensory bin just in time for the season! This cheap and fun activity is great for learning and discovering the senses

    Sensory bins offer kids an opportunity to explore their senses – touch, sight, sound while simultaneously learning and discovering!

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • White plastic bin (I used one that I had lying around)
    • Dried beans
    • Autumn colored cotton balls
    • Shiny leaves
    • Rocks
    • Small red cups
    • I also used some dinosaurs to make it fun to dig and bury.

    Fall Sensory Bin - A Quick and Easy Kid Activity | Rock It Mama | Make this fall sensory bin just in time for the season! This cheap and fun activity is great for learning and discovering the sensesI noticed that my son really enjoyed the texture of the sparkly leaves and rigid rocks. He discovered the contrast of weight between the beans and the cotton balls.

    Fall Sensory Bin - A Quick and Easy Kid Activity | Rock It Mama | Make this fall sensory bin just in time for the season! This cheap and fun activity is great for learning and discovering the senses

    Filling the cups with the different items was also one of his favorites. If you’d like to add the senses of smell and taste you could add candy corn and pumpkin seeds and a fall aroma spray.

    A sensory bin can also be used as a calming tool & distraction for tantrums.

    It’s important to note that while playing in a sensory bin, children build skills in many different areas. Measuring and guesstimating amounts can be applied to math and science. Socially, kids can develop team-working skills.  A sensory bin can also be used as a calming tool & distraction for tantrums.

    I can’t emphasize enough how easy (and fun) it is to create a sensory bin at home! Now, gather some items from around the house and get started!

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  • Authentic Filipino Chicken Adobo

    Growing up, chicken adobo was a staple dish in our family, so there is always a wave of nostalgia when making the recipe for my own family.

    Maybe it’s the familiar vinegar ingredient prevalent in so many filipino dishes, or the intense flavor – but this recipe is a fam fave. Not only is it easy, but kids LOVE it. 

    And when I say easy, I mean my five-year-old can make this, hence the photo to ensue: my little helper making chicken adobo. 

    Ingredients:

    • 1 white onion, sliced
    • 8 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
    • cilantro, for garnish
    • 1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
    • green onions, for garnish
    • 1 1/3 cups soy sauce
    • 2/3 white distilled vinegar
    • 1 tbsp minced garlic
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • red cayenne pepper

    Add minced garlic and sliced onions in pot with olive oil over medium heat. Cook until soft.

    Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place in pot over medium high heat with olive oil. Brown the chicken on all sides.

    Add in coconut milk, soy sauce, vinegar, pepper and garlic. Do not add any salt into the recipe, as the soy sauce is enough.

    Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to low. Cover continuing to simmer for 50 minutes. Turn the heat to medium-high for another 10 minutes.

    Serve over rice and garnish with green onions and cilantro. I also add a dash of red cayenne pepper at the end as well. Enjoy!

    Enjoy!

    Chicken Adobo
    Prep Time
    5 mins
    Cook Time
    1 hr
    Total Time
    1 hr 5 mins
     


    Keyword: adobo, chicken, easy, family, filipino, recipe
    Servings: 4 people
    Ingredients
    • 1 white onion sliced
    • 8 chicken thighs skinless and boneless
    • cilantro for garnish
    • green onions for garnish
    • 1 1/3 cups soy sauce
    • 2/3 cup white distilled vinegar
    • 1 tbsp minced garlic
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • red cayenne pepper to taste
    • 1 can coconut milk
    Instructions
    1. Add minced garlic and sliced onions in pot with olive oil over medium heat. Cook until soft.

    2. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place in pot over medium high heat with olive oil. Brown the chicken on all sides.

    3. Add in coconut milk, soy sauce, vinegar, pepper and garlic. Do not add any salt into the recipe, as the soy sauce is enough.

    4. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to low. Cover continuing to simmer for 50 minutes. Turn the heat to medium-high for another 10 minutes.

    5. Serve over rice and garnish with green onions and cilantro. I also add a dash of red cayenne pepper at the end as well. Enjoy!

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  • Postpartum Depression – To The Struggling Mom

    Hey Mama, let’s talk about it. The tough stuff. Postpartum depression and anxiety. I suffered from it. And I’m here to say it’s ok if you are too. And you know why? Because it’s not your fault and you’re not alone.

    In fact, an estimated 20% of all new moms will be affected by postpartum depression, anxiety and other mood disorders.

    I’ve made it a personal commitment to shed light on this vexing illness, that is far more common than we understand. I want to share my experience & advice here in the hopes that you’ll find comfort and perhaps relief in knowing that I am healing and I truly believe you will too. 

    Know Yourself

    For the first few weeks after my son was born I knew I didn’t feel like myself but I wasn’t convinced it was postpartum depression because I kept hearing about the baby blues. Let me say this loud: there is a difference between baby blues and postpartum depression, but the line is not clearly defined. Knowing yourself and trusting your instincts will help you discern between the two. Though it varies from person to person, inability to sleep (even when baby was sleeping) loss of appetite and lack of interest in everyday activities are a few of the symptoms (none of which I’d encountered before) that led me to seek help. My deepest regret is not recognizing that I was suffering sooner. Diagnosis is the first step in feeling better. 

    You’re Not Alone

    This leads me to my biggest piece of advice: Tell someone how you’re feeling. Confide in your partner, your mom, a trusted friend or coworker and most importantly inform your doctor. A professional can help you find the right method of treatment and recovery. As isolating as postpartum depression can feel, please remember you’re not alone. There are many factors that contribute to the onset of PPD and all of them are out of your control. Reach out to others who are sharing a similar experience. Talking to other moms will help you find hope, inspiration and strength to navigate this difficult time. To find a support group near you, consult here.

    Postpartum Depression | Rock It Mama | The signs that you have postpartum depression and advice to get you through

    “As isolating as postpartum depression can feel, please remember you’re not alone.”

    Remedies

    A few things that helped me: exercise, affirmation and mediation. Going for a walk outside in the sunshine helped clear my mind of clutter and overwhelming anxiety. I told myself that I was a good mom, even on the days I felt inadequate. I took time to be grateful for the small victories like getting baby to sleep or hitting a milestone. You’d be surprised at how the little things can affect the big picture.  

    Make a Plan

    When I found out I was pregnant with my second son I decided to make a plan with my doctor to reduce or mitigate the symptoms of PPD, should it happen again. An advantage to baby number two is knowing the signs immediately. Make your doctor aware of your postpartum history and devise a strategy for coping this time around. This will enable you to jumpstart treatment before it negatively impacts your life. 

    As an afterthought, you will be okay Mama. Life has peaks and valleys and this just happens to be part of your motherhood journey. I hope you’ve found solace in my words and that I’ve helped illuminate an illness that we can all conquer together. 

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  • Family Emergency Binder – Free Printables to Create Your Own

    This year, I took the time to really invest my energy in home organization. One of the very first items I worked on was a family emergency binder for our home.

    Family Emergency Binder - Free Printables to Create Your Own | Rock It Mama | Learn how to create your own emergency family binder for grab-and-goIt’s important to note that the family emergency binder is different than a home management binder, which is geared towards keeping your family on track on a daily basis.

    Putting all of our important information and documents together in one place has not only been smart and practical for at-home use, but it is the perfect grab-and-go item in case of an emergency.

    Now, each emergency binder will be unique across the board – some families choose to have very in-depth binders and others have just the vital information (I like to think mine was less elaborate). How and what you choose to put in yours is up to you!

    Family Emergency Binder - Free Printables to Create Your Own | Rock It Mama | Learn how to create your own emergency family binder for grab-and-go

    Here is how I put together our family emergency binder, as well as some additional ideas you can incorporate and some free printables so you can start your own!

    1. Create your family binder with some simple supplies:
    2. Gather your information and documents
      • Contact information (including emergency contacts, neighbors, hospital, primary care, pediatrician, veterinarian, insurance providers, etc.)
      • Medical information (personal medical details such as allergies, medications, etc.)
      • List of utilities (account numbers, authorized users and login username/password)
      • Important documents
        • Legal documents (marriage license, custody, car titles, lease information, etc.)
        • Tax documents
        • Property documents (deed, titles, etc.)
        • Testamentary documents (wills, trusts, etc.)
      • Identification material
        • Birth certificates
        • Passports
        • Copies of drivers license or state issues ID card
        • Social security cards
        • Military records
      • A list of usernames and passwords to vital websites
      • Contacts of family and friends
      • List of birthdays and anniversaries
    3. Print out the free family emergency binder printables I have made below, which include:
      • Family binder cover
      • Emergency numbers and information
      • Family personal profile
      • Birthdays and anniversaries
      • Contacts of friends and family
      • Utilities and services

    Family Emergency Binder - Free Printables to Create Your Own | Rock It Mama | Learn how to create your own emergency family binder for grab-and-goFill out your printables and place in the page protectors. Make sure you place all your documents in a spot you will remember (I place our documents towards the back of the binder, in different sections).

    Family Emergency Binder - Free Printables to Create Your Own | Rock It Mama | Learn how to create your own emergency family binder for grab-and-goThere you have it – in just a few steps, you have an easily accessible “command center” binder!

    Want to include more? Here are some additional ideas you can put in your emergency family binder:

    • Babysitter worksheet
    • Petsitting worksheet
    • Immunization records
    • Credit/debit card information
    • Medical release forms (you can even notarize these)

    Hopefully we never ACTUALLY have to run out of the house with this binder in an emergency, but the fact that we have it eases my mind exponentially.

    Have you made a family emergency binder?

    If you enjoyed this post and want more printables for your family binder, check out this post.



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