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If you are like me and have little athletes in your house you will want to check out these great Summer camps at D-1. Click here to register.

 

 

 

 

 

PRO SOCCER PLAYER CONNER BEVANS SOCCER OFF-SEASON CAMP

Date: 6/5-8 & 6/12-15

Time: 3:30 – 4:30pm
Ages: 7 to 18
Price: $199
Build your functional movements and soccer skills in a camp led by Colorado Springs Switchbacks professional soccer player, Conner Bevans! There will be 8 sessions, all 1 hour long from June 5th to June 15th. The camp will be weekdays, Monday – Thursday. Ages 7 to 18 are welcome to register.

LINEBACKER CAMP (HIGH SCHOOL)

Date: 6/26 – 6/29
Time: 3:30 – 4:30pm
Ages: 14 – 18
Price: $99
This linebacker camp is specifically for high school students! Train with D1 Sports Training Head Coach and former DI linebacker, Taylor Rodriguez. The camp will be Monday – Thursday, June 26th – June 29th. Ages 14 – 18 are welcome to register.

LINEBACKER CAMP

Date: 6/19 – 6/22
Time: 3:30 – 4:30pm
Ages: 7 to 13
Price: $99
Former division 1 linebacker from the University of Northern Colorado and D1 Sports Training Head Strength Coach, Taylor Rodriguez, will be leading a camp specific to linebackers. Train with a DI athlete and develop your skills. The camp will be Monday – Thursday, June 19th – June 22nd. Ages 7 to 13 are welcome to register.

BASEBALL HITTING & BASERUNNING CAMP

Date: 6/19-6/22
Time: 12:30 – 1:30pm
Ages: 7 to 18
Price: $99
Join us for a hitting and base running camp led by Colorado Christian college baseball player, Ryan Clark! The camp will be Monday – Thursday, June 19th – June 22nd. Ages 7 to 18 are welcome to register.

BASEBALL INFIELD CAMP

Date: 6/19-6/22
Time: 1:30 – 2:30pm
Ages: 7 to 18
Price: $99
Following the hitting and base running, college baseball player Ryan Clark will be running an infield camp! Learn from a former collegiate shortstop the techniques and skills to be successful in an infield position. The camp will be Monday – Thursday, June 19th – June 22nd. Ages 7 to 18 are welcome to register.

VERTICAL JUMP COURSE

Date: 6/19 – 6/30
Time: 11:30am – 12:30am
Ages: 7 to 18
Price: $150
Learn from former college athlete Colton Harkins on how to improve and develop your vertical jump! The camp will be Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, June 19th – June 30th. Ages 7 to 18 are welcome to register.

QB CLINIC

Date: 6/24
Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm
Ages: 7 to 13
Price: $49
Join us for a quarterback clinic led by former college football player, Kyle Windebank! The camp will be on Saturday, June 24th from 10:00am – 12:00pm. Ages 7 to 13 are welcome to register.

WIDE RECEIVER CLINIC

Date: 6/24
Time: 12:30 – 1:30pm
Ages: 7 to 13
Price: $49
Train in our wide receiver specific camp led by D1 Coach and former college football player, Kyle Windebank! The camp will be on Saturday, from 12:30 – 1:30pm. Ages 7 to 13 are welcome to register.

PRO SOCCER PLAYER CONNER BEVANS SOCCER OFF-SEASON CAMP #2

Date: 7/17 – 7/27
Time: 3:30 – 4:30pm
Ages: 7 to 18
Price: $199
Build your functional movements and soccer skills in a camp led by Colorado Springs Switchbacks professional soccer player, Conner Bevans! There will be 8 sessions, all 1 hour long from July 17th to July 27th. The camp will be held Monday -Thursday. Ages 7 to 18 are welcome to register.

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I just wrapped up my 2nd week of boot camp at D1 Sports Training. Don’t let the sports training fool you, I am not there because I’m an athlete, I’m not ( see my previous post here for proof). I’m here because I need to get in shape ( again, refer to post 1 for proof).

Have you ever worked out so hard you were certain you had to have lost a few pounds in that single work out? I have had a few of those days lately where I rushed home and was certain that the crazy workout had shaved off at least 1 or 2. This is not the case, BUT not to fear. What I’m learning at D1 and with my clothing is that it isn’t about pounds. It’s about inches.

Ladies, LISTEN! I’ve finished week 2 and I’m in the middle of week 3  and my clothes are fitting better! I’m firming up and I’m sore in places I didn’t even know existed. That has to be a good thing! The best part of this journey is I feel better. I feel strong and I’m proud that I’ve stepped outside of the box. In this case, I’ve jumped outside of the box. You will know what I mean when you try out D1.

What You Can Expect From a Class at D1

The biggest challenge of a D1 boot camp class is showing up for the first class. I was so scared and thought I would look like a fool. WRONG! There are people with various skill levels which includes mine ( wine drinking, cheese loving mom).

The class goes at a great pace. You do a fun warm up and then you are given a circuit of 5 or 6 exercises to do for 4 or 5 sets. It totally caters to my ADD because it’s always something different. See that picture? That’s me on the far right. I don’t look like I’m dying or anything! Yeah me. You will sweat, you will burn on average 450 calories per workout. That is awesome!! I wear a Fitbit and I burn between 410-457 per workout.

Once you start the boot camp, you will gain a little weight but lose inches.  YOU WANT THIS TO HAPPEN. This means you are converting fat to muscle. Muscle weighs more ladies. Once you have converted to muscle, WEIGHT LOSS! Don’t forget, THE MORE MUSCLE YOU HAVE, THE MORE CALORIES YOU BURN. I’m in the middle of week three, and it’s starting to happen!

I’m barreling through week 3 and I’m loving it. A side note, the trainers are easy on the eyes, incredibly helpful and I’ve made some new friends. I’ve also joined a professional soccer league, JUST KIDDING. I’m still in the wine drinking, cheese loving mom group thank you very much!

D1 is launching a MOM’S BOOTCAMP next week. It’s starting APRIL 3 at 9:30 am. This is a great opportunity to meet moms and be ready for tank tops and sundresses by Summer!

D1 is hooking MY719MOMS BIG TIME. If you follow the link below you can get the 4-week boot camp for FREE! Slots are filling up fast, though, so give it a try. I PROMISE you will love it! STAY TUNED FOR MY WEEK 3 REVIEW, I’M GOING TO TAKE THE PLUNGE AND POST PROGRESS PICTURES.

CLICK HERE FOR FREE BOOTCAMP!

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We recently polled moms to find out if they had talked with their kids about marijuana. While many said they had, a large number hadn’t or if they had, they felt it was a brief, ineffective conversation. Having the “sex” talk with tweens and teens can be hard, but having the “pot” talk can be just as challenging. Many of the moms we spoke with were sidelined by some of the questions and responses from their kids when they brought up marijuana. Below are three of the most common questions moms were asked by their kids and suggestions from Good To Know Colorado for how you can answer them.

1. Marijuana is all-natural so it’s ok, right?

Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s safe, especially for teens. Tobacco is “natural” but we all know it’s not safe. Did you know that marijuana smoke has many of the same chemicals as tobacco smoke? Smoking marijuana can make it harder to breathe and affect your coordination, lung capacity, and athletic performance. Using marijuana can hurt your brain development too. Studies have shown that teens who use marijuana regularly are more likely to have learning and memory issues. And, marijuana can be habit-forming. It’s harder to stop using marijuana if you start at a young age. So, natural doesn’t equal safe.

2. Which is worse, alcohol or marijuana?

It’s not really about which is worse. Both are illegal for anyone under the age of 21. Both can be harmful when abused, and both have negative health effects. There are consequences to using both as well. If you’re caught with recreational marijuana, you could get charged with a MIP (minor in possession) and face fines, public service hours,misdemeanor/felony charges and even possible loss of your driver’s license. You could also lose your job, get kicked off sports teams, be suspended from school and even lose financial aid for college. It’s not worth it.

3. Why is it okay for you to use marijuana?

I’m an adult. The law says that adults over the age of 21 can use recreational marijuana. The reason for this is that teen brains are not developed enough to handle marijuana. Your brain is still developing until you’re 25-years- old. Using marijuana when you’re a teen has negative health and legal consequences, which could stand in the way of you achieving your dreams.

Many of the moms we spoke with said they felt completely useless once they got into the conversation about marijuana. It’s amazing how teens and tweens can reduce us to mush during these conversations. That’s why Good To Know Colorado also has developed the following tips that can help make the conversation more effective:

Know the Facts: Get informed about the laws, health effects, and negative consequences for youth who use recreational marijuana so you can answer your kids’ questions. Good To Know has lots of information here:http://www.goodtoknowcolorado.com/talk

Choose the Right Time to Chat: I am the queen of starting the conversation at the wrong time. Watch and listen for cues. If you hear a commercial on TV about marijuana, that can serve as a good intro. If your child brings up the topic or if you encounter someone using in public, that can be a doorway as well. Make sure you have enough time to really talk and answer their questions.

Relate to What They Can Lose: If your tween or teen participates in extracurricular activities, they can lose this privilege if they’re caught with marijuana. If your child has a goal of college scholarships or military service, these can be lost as well. Tap into what is at risk and tangible to your child.

State Your Expectations: While you want to maintain an open door for conversation, as the parent you need to make your expectations clear. “I expect you to not use marijuana until you are of legal age,” is a very clear statement.You should also make the negative consequences clear and follow through on these consequences if your child is caught with marijuana.

Keep Talking: While you don’t want to beat a dead horse, you need to repeat this conversation. Experts recommend starting the conversation and continuing it until age 21.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Good To Know campaign is an excellent resource for parents, coaches and teachers to learn about how to talk with kids about not using recreational marijuana. There is so much great information for you to tap into at http://www.goodtoknowcolorado.com/talk. It’s also great for when you get stumped, and trust me you WILL get stumped by some of the questions and arguments you get.

Remember, DON’T STOP having the conversation!

 

Sponsored by: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Good To Know Colorado Campaign.

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This is me 4 years ago. I was a size four. I felt fantastic. I’m not exactly sure what happened but this is me now. I suppose if I had to guess as to how I got so big it would boil down to wine, food, age and a bit of laziness, okay, a lot of laziness. When I finally realized I was 20 pounds heavier I freaked. What do I do now? I tried all of the things I had done before to lose weight, but something about being over 40 changed the game.

 

For the past year, I have literally used my child as a human shield whenever someone wants to take my picture. Typically I won’t let anyone take my picture because I can’t stand to see how I look. That is pathetic. I avoid situations where I have to see someone that hasn’t seen me since I packed on the pounds. I tell myself this is to protect them from the utter shock of my reverse transformation. This is just a little snapshot of where I was a week ago.

Two weeks ago I was approached by D1 Sports Training to share with my readers their upcoming boot camp for women. As I spoke with them about their program I had a bright idea, which I blurted out. “Why don’t I try your boot camp so I can give them a full picture of what it’s like,” I said. It seemed like a great idea when I was sitting at my desk in black leggings and an oversized shirt. After the meeting, I realized what I had done. It would take a week for me to muster up the courage to show up.

WEEK 1: D-Day

I show up to D1 terrified. I’m certain the next hour will be the definition of humiliation. I walk in hoping to keep a low profile, but that was not to be. This is a good thing. I walk in and everyone in the class greets me. It’s almost like a team really. I was a bit intimidated because most everyone appeared to be in good shape, but that’s a good thing right? I mean it proves this stuff works. Over the course of the next hour I did exercises I hadn’t done in years and some I had never done. The hour flew by and I was constantly encouraged by the participants, not in a poor slob kind of way, but in a way like, we are glad you are here and kudos to you for giving it your all. I must admit the multiple fist bumps made me feel great.

I left that first class knowing I had an uphill battle, but that this might actually work. I have gone for a week now, thus the week one title, duh. As I write, I am sore in places I didn’t even know muscles existed. It makes me feel great. Yesterday was my best day yet. That was my 5th day. I ran, I jumped hurdles, I swung weights and came close to death, but guess what, I’m going back today.

What is D1?

D1 is circuit-based training That consists of a 1-hour workout that includes:

 Total Body Metabolic Training

 Cardio Training

 Strength and Resistance Exercises

 Core, Balance, Flexibility, and Injury Prevention

 Emphasis on muscle tone, strength development, and weight loss where desired.

 

What that means is you aren’t just doing one thing, which is great for my ADD. The class follows this format:

12-15 minutes of dynamic warm-up

Rest Break

12-15 minutes of a performance circuit

Rest Break

12-15 minutes of a strength circuit

 Rest Break

 Remaining time is core and cool down

The best part: You burn at minimum 480 calories per class. 480 CALORIES!!!!!!

 

I will be documenting my journey, but if you want to learn more about their upcoming boot camp and try them out for free

                                                

Click Here.

 

 

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I’m a self confessed stuffing snob.  I love it so much, and look forward to it so much when Thanksgiving rolls around that I take it super seriously.  It has to have the right blend of texture, ingredients and spices, and when they all come together it’s magical!  This is by far my very favorite stuffing recipe.  You can eat it alone for your Thanksgiving meal.  It’s THAT good.  Enjoy!!

 

 

 

 

 

CRANBERRY-CORNBREAD STUFFING

 

4 cups cranberries

1 cup water

1-1/2 cups sugar

1 pound sausage meat, cooked and crumbled, with drippings

9 cups baked, crumbled cornbread (3 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix, baked)

1 cup diced celery

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 cup diced green pepper

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon marjoram

1/2 teaspoon sage

1 small unpeeled red apple, cored and chopped

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 cup applesauce

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the cranberries, water and sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer ten minutes, or until berries are tender.  Drain off juice.
  3. Combine drained berries with the remaining ingredients. Turn into a greased casserole and bake one hour.

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It’s inexpensive, it smells good, and there are a lot more uses for Kool-Aid than just drinking it! Check out out all these awesome ways to use it, from activities for keeping kids busy to household chores, Kool-Aid can (almost) do it all!

 

 

 

Scrub away toilet bowl stains

Pour one packet of lemon or orange flavored Kool-Aid into your toilet bowl and let it sit for a few minutes. Scrub the bowl with a toilet brush. The citric acid and abrasive texture of Kool-Aid helps to break down and dissolve stains while smelling awesome! Much better than harsh chemicals!

 

Remove rust stains from concrete

Most of us can relate to these kinds of stains on our patio, garage floor or driveaway. Mix a few drops of water with a packet of lemon flavored Kool-Aid to make a paste. Rub it on to the stained area with an abrasive brush and watch it work wonders!

 

Color eggs

Never buy an Easter Egg coloring kit again! Kool-Aid comes in a ton of different colors now, and the packets are inexpensive! Mix one packet of your desired color with 2/3 cup of water and gently lower a hard boiled egg into the cup. Let it sit until desired shade of color is reached. We do this every year, and I promise they tuned out beautiful!

 

Make window clings with Kool-Aid and white glue

Pour Kool-Aid into a bottle of white school glue and mix thoroughly using a thin, long utensil like a chopstick or kebab stick. You can use the new colored glue to create art on canvas or paper, or make designs on stretched plastic wrap (tape down the sides to remove the creases) that can be dried and used as window clings! It smells good too!

 

Make scented playdough

Mix the following ingredients in a medium pot to make Kool-Aid playdough:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 Kool-Aid packets (same color)
  • 3/4 cup water

Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring until the dough clumps together and reaches play dough consistency. Repeat the process for each color. Let cool and store in plastic baggies.

 

Make scented/flavored lip gloss

Heat up one cup of Vaseline in a small microwavable bowl and microwave for about 30 seconds (don’t let the Vaseline turn into liquid). Stir in a small amount Kool-Aid mix and stir well. Experiment with how much Kool-Aid to add. Transfer lip gloss to a small, portable container and enjoy!

 

Kool-Aid colored pasta

Make pasta extra fun, colorful and smelling great! Just add pasta, water and kool-aid in a baggie, let sit until desired color is reached, rinse, and you’ve got colored pasta!  You can cook as usual and eat it or use for fun art projects!

 

Make scented bath paints

Get a muffin tin and fill each hole with shaving cream (you can get it for $1 at the dollar store), then mix in different flavors of Kool-Aid into each hole and mix it up. Kids can dip in paint brushes and then paint on the bathtub and tiles while they’re taking a bath!

 

 

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Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and although most of us look forward to a big Thanksgiving feast with family, the prep work and festivities can feel overwhelming at times!  It takes a lot of planning and patience to have a stress-free holiday.  Here are some tips to make it a truly enjoyable season for everyone involved!

 

 

1. Get organized. As Meghan Trainor says, “All the right junk in all the right places”.  A stress free Thanksgiving starts with a clean and organized home.  If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, hire someone a week before to come in and least do the deep cleaning for you, or ask a friend to come in and help.  Clean and organize your fridge, as well as your oven and kitchen areas.  Put stray papers and knick knacks away so all of your prep surfaces are free from clutter.  Wash linens for guests, and make sure necessities like toilet paper, paper towels, and toiletries are well stocked. You don’t want to have to make last minute trips to the store for your guests.

2. Plan your meals.  We put a lot of emphasis on Thanksgiving dinner, but make sure your other meals are planned out for the week as well, especially if guests are coming into town.  Make casseroles, or meals you can prepare easily.  Don’t break your back slaving over fancy meals for your guests, because you’ll be on your feet enough on Thanksgiving day!  Write down a menu and ingredient list for the week, and stick to it!

3. Don’t wait until the last minute.  Start preparing now. Buy your turkey and all the trimmings ahead of time.  You’ll be glad you did when the grocery store lines are a mile long next week!

4. Delegate responsibilities.  Typically family and friends are happy to help. If you have a large guest list, ask Aunt Norma to bring the green bean casserole, and cousin Sally to bring games to keep the kids entertained. Ask each family/guest to contribute in some way and everyone will feel needed and appreciated, and you’ll feel less stressed.  It’s a win-win situation.

5. Plan your menu.  Pin down your guest list first.  It’s key to know how many people you are cooking for. Figure out how you’re going to cook your turkey, how long it will take, as well as all the side dishes you want well in advance. Pinterest is a great tool for finding new recipes, but so is asking friends for their tried and true Thanksgiving side dishes!  Consider having a Thanksgiving recipe swap party to share and try your favorite Fall recipes!

6. Budget wisely.  Hosting Thanksgiving can easily become expensive. Asking everyone to bring something helps with this, but also make sure you have enough silverware, dishes, chairs, etc. to accommodate everyone.  If you don’t, consider borrowing these items to limit your cost. Simplicity is key.  Remember that your guests are there to spend time with you.  We want our home to be welcoming, but that doesn’t mean it has to look like a Pinterest board or break our budget.

7. Make a plan for the kids.  Adults are happy to just to sit and chat, but kids may need a little more direction with how to spend their time on Thanksgiving Day. You’ll be busy cooking, so make sure to designate another adult or older cousin/friend as caregiver/wrangler. Make sure the kids have activities, games and/or crafts to do to keep them busy while you’re busy.

8. Don’t forget the leftovers.  Make sure you have plenty of storage baggies and take home containers on hand for leftovers.  Sending your guests home with some leftovers frees up space in your fridge and ensures you’re not eating turkey until Christmas.  It will also make clean up a breeze!

What are some Thanksgiving tips you would recommend? We’d love to hear from you! 

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I’ve asked lots of mom friends what their absolute-must-have Thanksgiving side dish is, and there were quite a few votes for Green Bean Casserole!

I love it too, but it has to be creamy and flavorful! One of my favorite recipes is this one from Handletheheat.com – it’s amazing, because it also happens to also call for bacon and cheese. Umm, and you just can’t go wrong with that THAT…. so enjoy!!

 

 

Ingredients:

4 strips bacon, diced
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons sour cream
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 (16 ounce) packages frozen cut green beans, thawed
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup French’s French Fried onions

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a medium skillet set over medium heat, add the bacon. Cook, stirring often, until most of the fat has rendered and the bacon is beginning to crisp. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Remove the mixture to a paper towel-lined plate.

Sprinkle the flour over the bacon drippings and whisk to combine. Cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in the milk then add the sour cream and bacon mixture. Stir until the mixture has thickened to gravy consistency. Remove from heat and season with black pepper to taste.

In a large bowl combine the bacon mixture with the green beans, tossing to coat. Spread evenly among a greased 9 by 13-inch baking pan. At this point you can cover and refrigerate the unbaked, untopped casserole for up to 2 days. Top with shredded cheese and fried onions. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

 

 

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Colorado Springs is full of lots of treats this Halloween, with no tricks required! Families and their little monsters can enjoy tons of spookalicious deals today throughout Colorado Springs at participating restaurants. Please note there are some age limitations and some locations require costumes to participate. If you’re unsure, just call the location ahead of time before popping in! Keep your eyes out today for lots of great deals, as many locally owned stores have deals too! Happy Halloween!!

 

 

  1. Starbucks – If you made a coffee stop this morning, just bring your morning receipt back after 2 p.m. and get one of their bakery treats for $1! 
  2. SONIC Drive-In – Get crazy with some Sonic corn dogs today for only 50-cents each, all day!
  3. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro – Feeling like some Chinese take out to celebrate? Save 20% on an online take-out order with promo code 20%TREAT.
  4. Papa Murphy’s – Enjoy a Jack-O-Lantern shaped pizza for only $8 — or upgrade to Family Size for $2 more!
  5. Noodles & Company – Kids eat FREE with purchase of an adult entrée — coupon required.
  6. Mimi’s Café – Children (12 & under) get a FREE scoop of ice cream with sprinkles with purchase of kid’s entrée.
  7. McAlister’s Deli– Kids (12 & under) eat FREE with the purchase of an adult entrée. Costume required.
  8. IHOP – Kids (12 & under) can enjoy a FREE Scary Face Pancake from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m on October 31st!
  9. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit – Kids eat FREE with the purchase of an adult meal of $7.50 or more. Please note: Costume required.
  10. Cici’s – Children (10 & under) enjoy a FREE kids’ buffet with the purchase of an adult buffet and regular drink. Costume required.
  11. Chipotle Mexican Grill – Enjoy a burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos for only $3 from 3 p.m. to closing! Costume required.
  12. Boston Market – Save yourself $4 on a Family Meal today!coupon required.
  13. Baskin-Robbins – Get a single scoop of ice cream for $1.31

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Most of us look forward to the holidays, because who doesn’t love family, food, and fun?! But if you’re in charge of Thanksgiving dinner, you know how things can get a little chaotic and dare I say stressful… because let’s face it, it’s not easy getting a huge meal prepared on time for a whole bunch of family and friends! Here are some practical and easy Thanksgiving hacks to make your day go a little more smoothly!

 

 

1. Put newspaper under your tablecloth

If you’re using your best table for your Thanksgiving feast, you can protect it from heat stains, spills, and cutlery dings by laying down a layer of newspaper before putting down your tablecloth. You’re welcome!

2. Use a cheese grater to grate cold butter for pies

Homemade pie is the best!! But the very best pie crust calls for super cold butter, which is hard to cut! Grating it with a cheese grater gives you the perfect size pieces to form your dough with.

3. Use paper plates as splash guards

Gravy and whipped cream (and other recipes) that may call for a handheld mixer can also be messy! Lessen the splatter by poking a hole in a paper plate, fitting it on your mixer and over the top of the mixing bowl. Voila! Your very own cheap and easy splash guard!

4. Keep food warm in a slow cooker

Make mashed potatoes ahead of time and keep them warm in a slow cooker until it’s time to serve them. You can also keep your turkey warm and moist this way!

5. Keep gravy warm in a Thermos

Keep your gravy warm the entire meal by storing it in a Thermos! Less stress and more room on the stove!

6. Invest in a Turkey Lifter

Sometimes the trickiest part of Thanksgiving dinner is lifting the cooked turkey out of the pan! Instead of fumbling with forks and utensils, you can buy a turkey lifter which cooks with the bird, easily lifts it up and can be thrown into the dishwasher.

7. Have the kids make place cards

Keep the kids busy by having them make place cards for the guests! Give them some crayons, stickers and other craft items that they can decorate the cards with. They’ll have fun, and the adults will be able to chat and enjoy visiting.

8. Make a “Gratitude” door

Another fun activity for everyone! Cover one of your doors on the main floor with butcher paper and leave a bucket of crayons close by. Every guest can write all the the things they are grateful for on the paper. It makes for a great visual.

9. Drape dish towel over your KitchenAid mixer

Things can get a little messy when you’re using your mixer. Simply drape a dish towel over your KitchenAid when using it to avoid unnecessary splatter!