Incredibly Easy Fresh Green Beans

These are easy and yummy! I told The Preschooler that they'd make him strong like Mr. Incredible, and he actually ate them! ;P SO much better {so much!} than frozen green beans!

The Recipe:

(everything can be adjusted to your taste!)

1/2 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Boil green beans 6-7 minutes. Drain.
Add lemon juice, zest, and olive oil.
Sprinkle with kosher salt!

Hints: Take 10 minutes during naptime, or the night before, or during your Sunday veggie prep, or whenever you get 10 free minutes (between 2-4 in the morning? :P), and clean the green beans and put them in the fridge. I usually mix the lemon juice, olive oil, and lemon zest together ahead of time, too!

Then during supper prep you can just boil the water, toss the green beans in, drain them, and then mix in the lemon juice mixture! Easy and fast!

This is how yummy they are - when I was snapping the picture, The Preschooler grabbed a few more. :P

I'm a glass-half-full, eternal optimist kind of mom. I'm a laid-back, easy-going kinda mom - not a lot ruffles me. I try to CHERISH my time with my kids, because they grow oh so fast. I dumped a bag of rice out on the kitchen floor for Grant to play with his dumptrucks and bulldozers this morning...and I let Grace empty a container of wipes because she was having SO MUCH FUN doing it.

I let Grant play in the kitchen sink and get the counter a little wet. He can sometimes eat a popsicle before dinner. He's allowed to jump from the couch his beloved Pottery Barn chair and tumble over it laughing. He's only 3, and full of so much energy and enthusiasm...that all-too-soon will be grown and gone.

I stopped doing the dishes and held my tired baby girl this morning. I played peek-a-book with her and danced around the living room as she was full of giggles.

I am NOT a perfect mother...far from it. I just SO desire to be *intentional* with my kids...cherishing each moment, because my heart LOVES these days. I feel like in 30 years Matt and I will look back on these days and feel like they were some of the best days of our life.

I try to speak gently, love fully. I want JOY in this journey of raising little kids into adults that love God passionately - never do I want to wish away these little kid days. I love them. I love them so very much. Even when I'm tired, I want to make it a point to stop, pause, pray, and love on my wonderful kids...they're such treasures. Treasures!

Time Savor Tip!

Overall, I'd say my kids eat well.

Well, minus the random drive-through lanes where my son immediately starts asking for a hamburger with cheese when we're barely in the parking lot.

everything in moderation, right?

Anyway, I'd say that they really do eat well - the Boy is not {that} picky (for a 3 1/2 year old!), and the Baby Girl, well, she eats *everything* (except bananas and nuts, the first for taste and the second for allergies).

I love feeding them fresh fruits and veggies (don't all of us moms?), but sometimes the prep work is just too much in the middle of the day. Because, my kids get hungry right.this.instant. and don't want to wait the 2 minutes to wash and clean some strawberries.

So, on Sunday afternoons, I spend about an hour in the kitchen cleaning and cutting fresh fruits and veggies for the week. I put on some peppy music and just clean and cut and store! (My OCD organization freak gets a tad too excited at all of the matching tupperware containers in the fridge! :P)

That way, when they're hungry for lunch during the week, I can easily portion out "light saber sticks" (a.k.a. carrot sticks), strawberries, and grapes.

They eat SO much better when I do this, and it keeps our produce from going bad, too! Try it, and let me know if it helps you!

Crockpot Oatmeal

I am not a morning person. At all. Seriously, So, when I came across a recipe for crockpot oatmeal, I decided it was definitely for me.

So, at 10 o'clock on a Sunday night I haul out our crockpot, steel cut oats, water, an apple, and some half-and-half. SO EASY.

Results? It isfor sure going into our recipe rotation. and I am now on a mad hunt for more breakfast crockpot recipes! Our preschooler is starting, well, pre-school, in the fall for the first time and I so want to give him a nutritious, delicious breakfast (that he'll actually eat, ya know?)...he LOVED this oatmeal, and the Baby Girl ate her fair share, too.

Crockpot Oatmeal

3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 cup steel cut oats
1 diced apple

Mix everything together. Place in crockpot on WARM for 8-10 hours. Serves about 4.

Recipe hints: You can replace the half and half for non-fat milk for a lighter option. It serves about 4, depending - for our family my preschooler at a good-sized bowl, the Baby Girl had a bowl, and the husband had a generous portion...AND we still had what was left for the picture.

Definitely put it on WARM on the crockpot, or it would have started to stick. I did turn it to low for about an hour when I got up this morning to help it thicken - and, it was definitely thick! Depending on how you like your oatmeal, you can add more milk to your bowl and just stir it up to thin it a tad.