Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What To Cook? Zaycon Fresh

Ok, so the newbies are enamoured with their new Instant Pots.  Now we need good food to cook in the IP. Do you purchase food in bulk? Do you just shop for that day's meals? Weekly shopper?

As luck would have it, I was just invited to be part of the Zaycon Fresh Premiere Influencer program. There is a potential to earn when referring new customers. Share the deals with friends, family and neighbors. A truck will deliver to your area.

The deals I am getting in my email are amazing. I have had the chicken breasts and bacon, a friend was a customer.  You can take advantage of all these deals too.

Shop Now at Zaycon Fresh


If you want to place an order:
https://www.zayconfresh.com/refer/cocoandtwins

If you want to join me as an Influencer:
https://www.zayconfresh.com/influencer/cocoandtwins

I am placing an order the next time they come up to Flagstaff. Until then I need to find more recipes. Follow my Pinterest board and send me some links. http://pin.it/_nseV58 It can never hurt to have lots of ideas when you are cooking for kids.


Monday, November 28, 2016

My Magic Pot of Yum!



So tonight I was just going to research some more ideas and recipes for my Magic Pot. Then a Snow Day was called for Tuesday.




















Since I don't have to get up early tomorrow, and I was hungry, and I was cold - I decided I needed some pasta.


However, I wanted to try out some Hard Boiled Eggs first - so I made 6 of those. They turned out so pretty. Even Sammy ate one!



Then I started the pasta. I put the IP on saute, added 2 lbs of ground beef and let it cook. I added a little bit of water so it didn't stick to the bottom of my pan. Then I added a box of bowtie pasta. I then broke up a little bit of spaghetti and tossed that in too. One jar of spaghetti sauce got dumped on top along with some spices. I added 2 jars of water as well. I set it to cook for 7 minutes.

On the first try, the pot didn't seal all the way. I realized that the sealing ring on the inside of the lid was still too warm. I rinsed it off and put the entire lid in the fridge for a few minutes. Then I started the pot back up. Set it for only 4 minutes this time. It just finished -

Note the paper bowl and plastic fork - I hate doing dishes. I used to hate cooking.
I can't wait until the boys are old enough to not break dishes while doing chores...

I hope no one gets tired of reading about my Instant Pot adventures because I am having a great time! I haven't smiled like this in a long time - especially from cooking. 






Cyber Monday Deals


My boys love their Kindle Fire tablets. They are a life saver for a busy mom. Even better is having a set of head phones so you don't have to listen to their games and shows.

    

For yourself, find a new book to read. Today has some of the lowest Kindle Daily Deals http://amzn.to/2gykdxn



My new Instant Pot is amazing. Last night I made meatloaf in 45 minutes. Both of the boys ate dinner! I need to order some of these accessories. The mitts will help a lot. My pot holders didn't do well with the steam. The glass lid when I want to slow cook. An extra ring to swap out when switching to the next food dish. A lid to cover the pot. The steamer basket to hold foods off the bottom or to stack items.

              

All links shared in this post and most links on the site are affiliate links. CoCo And Twins can earn a percentage of the sale when you shop using my links. This doesn't cost you anything and it is paid by Amazon.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Cookbooks for the Instant Pot


So for all of the new Instant Pot owners, we need to USE IT. I have been doing research online to get tips on how to start using this magic pot. What recipes are you hoping to try? I found a list of cook books I might buy. Click on this affiliate link for your choice of a new cook book. http://amzn.to/2g41N75



        



I ordered the LUX model late on Wednesday night, early Thanksgiving morning. It was delivered Friday afternoon. 36 hours for Amazon to process and ship over the holiday. I am quite impressed and excited to cook my first meal. I am planning to do a meatloaf. Follow my pinterest board to see everything I have found for my new Instant Pot. 

https://www.pinterest.com/cocoandtwins/instant-pot/

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Black Friday @ Amazon.com

Deals From Amazon -- I will post more as I find them! -- Happy Shopping!

*Affiliate Links* can earn me a small percentage when you make a purchase.






Shop Amazon Devices - Fire Kids Edition Tablet $25 Off


Black Friday @ Amazon.com

More Deals From Amazon
I will post more as I find them! Happy Shopping!

Shop Amazon Devices - Fire Kids Edition Tablet $25 Off


Deals Deals Deals with Norwex



Every purchase made helps out a small business owner - ME! So you can feel good that you are not only getting an amazing product, but helping a single mom raise her twin boys.






Wish List - Instant Pot


This is something that has been on my wish list for quite a while. I missed the last sale :( and I kept saying I would just buy it for Christmas. Even though I don't own one yet, I am part of an Instant Pot Facebook Group.

Use this affliate link or click on the graphic to order your own! http://amzn.to/2goJ8Ro


Are you part of Ebates? You can earn up to 10% at some retailers. Even thru Amazon. Use my link and we can both earn extra!  EBATES Referral Link Have fun shopping!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Traditions, Movies, Disney "Moana"

Going to the movies over the Thanksgiving break is a tradition for a lot of families. The boys and I are planning to see at least one if not two movies over the long weekend. What traditions does your family have for Thanksgiving? Do you go bowling? See a movie? Get up early for Black Friday shopping? Share in the comments.

For now, here is a coloring sheet for the kids to enjoy while they are out of school. 
(Open the image in a new window to print the full size image. Or go to this link to find more coloring pages.




Friday, November 18, 2016

Fun Fridays - Adobe Illustrator

You have no idea how much fun I am having this afternoon! The boys' school has a half day every Friday. That means we are home by 12:45 pm. Usually this is free time for them to watch tv, play video games, use their tablets, or play. Today this time is being used to fight over the remote control and whine. I also heard peanut butter cup wrappers in the kitchen. I think they are in my stash.

Anyway, I am trying to work on assignments. I am loving my classes this semester. I am learning how to better use Adobe Illustrator. This is the program I used to make my new logo. My current project is to make a poster. There was no specific theme for the assignment. So I decided to take the an idea I had for a future tattoo and play.


This is what I have so far. I am going for a child like appearance. That makes it easier for me since I don't have to make my lines perfect and precise. It isn't due until the end of the semester so I still have until December 9th to finish. For now, it is just something fun to work on. It helps lift my mood to use my creativity. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I Did Chores! Despite Depression

So you might not think it is exciting but for me, this a huge accomplishment. When depression takes over my To Do List gets buried under the abundance of emotions, over eating, sleeping, insomnia, and running thoughts that fill my day. I am lucky if I can get some suitable clothing on, get out the door, and drive the boys to school. 

I thought I had pulled out of it as we approached Halloween. I forced myself to go have fun with the boys. It lasted for almost a week. The Presidential election just confused me and it sent my head spinning. I still can't make heads or tails of anything and that doesn't bode well for sleep.

The boys were gone for the 4 day weekend we had for Veteran's Day. That gave me 3 nights to myself. I had a Ladies Night that was a fundraiser for the very program that helped us start over in Flagstaff. I always feel that attending is required to give back to those that helped me. Saturday, I sold Norwex and some crafts I had made at a Xmas Bazaar. It was a good day. I earned enough money that I was able to buy some Christmas presents for the boys.

Sam & Jay spent the weekend with their grandparents. They were able to visit "Out of Africa" as a belated gift from their father. (He died the same week as the twins birthday.) Sadly, Sam had a 24 hour bug that started on Sunday. Jay had it Monday. I thought today was my turn but no, I have to go one step further and get the damn flu. I just want to sleep. I am freezing and want ALL THE BLANKETS.


Oddly enough I did two loads of laundry, took out the trash and washed all the dishes. I am not sure where that came from - but it was quite the accomplishment. 

The boys went to bed early. I planned to go to bed early but I got some homework done for one of my classes. At least it will be lights out before 12 midnight.







I wish I had been able to keep up with #NaBloPoMo like I promised. Depression tends to kick me in the ass when I think I have it beat.

Hopefully I can bring myself out of this before we start the rush of holidays and birthdays.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Day After

This morning I woke up with dread in my heart. I was scared to pick up my phone and see today's headlines on the Google app. As I scrolled through the news and looked at Facebook, I felt such anxiety wash over me. I am nervous about the future of this country. I am nervous about the future of my family. 

The only thing that made me feel better this morning was prayer. I prayed as I pulled myself out of bed. I prayed in the shower. I prayed as I got dressed. I needed to find a way to talk to the boys before I dropped them off at school. As we pulled out of the driveway, I still didn't know what I was going to say to them. 

I started by telling them that the news said Trump had won the election. "Really?" is all they could say.  I told my boys that even though I wasn't happy with the results, there was not anything I could do today to change the election. I explained that I hoped I was wrong. That moms are always right (they agreed) but I wanted to be wrong. That we needed a president that would be good for our country.  One of the boys (nameless to protect himself) said someone should just beat up the president. I told them that it wasn't right to be a bully. That we need to be the better person and not act in that way.

All of sudden I came up with something profound. (Well at a 6 year old level.)

I asked the boys, "Who do we really need to listen to every day?"
Sam said "I don't know."
Jayson was quiet for a few seconds and then he shouted out "God!"

I was glad he said it without prompting. I told him that we need to look to God to lead our family. That we should listen to God on how to live each day.  That God wants us to love each other, be kind to each other, and to help one another. That when we are nervous or scared, we should pray to God. 

As we got closer to school I prayed for us. I thanked God for all the things we have, our home, our car, food, clothes, toys, and school. I prayed for him to calm our hearts and watch over us. To help us to have a good day. 

That is all I can do today. I can't change the election results. Letting my anxiety take over would not be helpful to my mental well-being. I have to take care of my boys and myself. Prayer has always helped to calm my fears. There will just be a few more prayers going forward.



Monday, November 7, 2016

Motivational Monday

I wish I could write an amazing post 
that would motivate and inspire...

but I all I have is this...


What are you currently watching?
Do you subscribe to Netflix, Hulu or 
use a streaming app like SlingTv?

My guilty pleasure lately has been "Vampire Diaries" and the spin-off "The Originals"

Comment below with your current favorite.



Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sleepy Start to Sunday

I got extra sleep on Saturday which means that I was up more than half the night. Sam climbed into bed with me at 7 am so I forced myself to stay awake. We ran to the store for a donut and chocolate milk. I came back home to watch Netflix and ended up taking a nap. I was afraid it would be another unproductive day. However, by 4 pm I was up doing laundry, making pizza, and cleaning the kitchen. It isn't finished but it was a start. It has been a few really hard weeks so even that little bit of productivity has helped my mood. 



Tomorrow starts a short week and will end in a kid free weekend. The boys will be going to visit their grandparents for the 3 day weekend. Which means I get 3 nights to myself.  

Thursday night I am attending a Ladies Night fundraiser for Sharon Manor at the HomCo store. This is the transitional housing program that helped us for two years when we started over in Flagstaff. 

Friday will be a day to get work done around the house. The 3rd bedroom has become a disaster area. I need to clear out a lot of stuff and set up an area to blog and take photos.

Saturday I am setting up a table at an Xmas Bazaar to share Norwex. If you haven't heard about this company, you really need to take a look. I was skeptical but now I use them in every room of the house plus the car.  https://courtneyludwig.norwex.biz/  If you are interested in following my FB page, you can find specials, sales and links to facebook parties. https://www.facebook.com/NorwexCourtneyLudwig/

Well, it is past the boys' bedtime and they are not asleep. I need to go tuck them in again. 

I hope you have a good week. 


Saturday, November 5, 2016

Treatment Plans

So I have decided that the Cubs winning the World Series will now be part of my treatment for depression. Prescription is one video three times daily.






Friday, November 4, 2016

How To Guide to Being Friends with a Single Mom

Tonight I made a new friend. 

We sat and talked for about an hour while our kids played. We let them eat bagged chips and watch Netflix. The only negative is that we didn't open a bottle of wine. As I left her house, I realized something important that needs to be shared:


Single Moms need certain qualities in a friend. 

Maybe I shouldn't speak in the collective 'WE' until this is confirmed by a group of my peers...

We I need to be able to share the honest reality of our my day. What life is like raising children alone; the struggles we I deal with each week; figuring out how to date after divorce or death. The day when the school calls and you have to stop everything to pick up a sick kid. 

People ask, "How do you do it?"

I HAVE TO. There is no one else that is going to make dinner, calm a crying child, or wipe up vomit at three in the morning.

So, here are a few tips on 
How To Be a Friend with a Single Mom.

1. LISTEN - this is true for any friendship but a single mom really NEEDS you to listen, to hear her.

2. SYMPATHIZE - a single mom doesn't want pity, she knows you can't fully understand, but validate her.

3. HELP - she might not admit it, but she needs help. 


There have been many times when I just wanted someone to see things from my point of view. My day might share a lot of similarities with other moms, but at the end of the day; I don't have anyone to talk to. It is so nice to just talk with a friend.

It is even better when that friend tries to understand her day. I don't need you to nod your head and murmur in agreement. I need you to try to imagine life in my shoes. Sometimes, I don't want to hear your version of the same situation, I just need to know that you heard ME. (Hopefully this is true of other single moms and not just because I am a bitch.)

A single mom can always use some help. There were many years that I wouldn't ask for the help I really needed. Sometimes I wouldn't ask for any help at all. A good friend can sense what you need and do it before you even consider forming the request. 

BONUS TIP: Do not compare your husband being out of town to being a single parent. Just don't. 

I appreciate all the friends I have. However, tonight I think I made a new BEST FRIEND. Why? Because she is also a single mom. 

This is going to be a new feature at CoCo And Twins. Friendship Fridays. If you are a single mom, send me an email with a list of the qualities you look for in a friend. If you are friends with a single mom, let me know what ways you think your friendship has helped her. Maybe I can expand this list.





Thursday, November 3, 2016

3

Today's blog post is brought to you by the number 3

3 kids
3rd of February
3 bedrooms
3 classes
3 tvs
3 games in a row
3 hours

...and this is all I could come up with


Seriously. I have read through the writing prompts. I thought about using a class assignment. I have been trying to write even one paragraph - all day - without luck. 

My brain can do nothing else but think about the Cubbies and their World Series Win. I have watched countless videos online with interviews, plays, and celebrations of this 7 game series. I think I may need to be turned off and turned back on again.

That doesn't sound right. It's not what I meant. I said what I meant, but it doesn't sound like what you think. 

OK, I am broken.

Good Night.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Chicago Girl at Heart

We haven't had cable television services for almost a year. Usually we watch tv shows online with Netflix and Hulu. I hate watching the news so I catch the headlines on my phone. I love baseball but I am too cheap to pay for any Sports packages. However, in the last couple weeks I knew I had to get access to LIVE TV. 

OMG!! THE CUBS HAVE WON THE WORLD SERIES!!


For $25 a month, I signed up for SlingTV and I have access to 40+ channels. I can watch from my Android smart phone, Kindle tablet, or my laptop. (I am not being compensated for this post, I just really love the service. You should check it out.)


Tonight I am watching Game 7 of the World Series. I am rooting for my Cubbies! This is baseball history in the making, and I am loving these games. Are you watching the game? 



#GoCubsGo #FlyTheW #WorldSeries2016







Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A New Beginning

Autumn is my favorite part of the year. The leaves falling from the trees, the changing colors, the hint of colder weather. I usually love this time of year, until DEPRESSION takes over. Sadly, October has historically been my hardest month. I tend to fall into a deep hole and it controls my moods and emotions. I become withdrawn, isolated, and irritated as the month drags on day after day. 


That is why I am so happy that it is a new month. The last couple days have been a struggle but I am crawling out of the darkness. I am taking back control of my mental health. I refuse to let depression rule my days. I started telling myself that

It Was Going To Stop!

At this moment, I am putting together a HOW TO of the tips and tricks I use to take care of myself. I plan to write everything up and publish it as an e-book. It will also include a memoir of sorts that will share a glimpse into my #crazy and how it affects my family. I am looking through old journals and trying to find those moments of despair that I have overcome.



To start my healing, I forced myself to get out of the house over the weekend. I took my kids on The Pumpkin Train that The Grand Canyon Railway offers during October. It was their first real train ride. We had a lot of fun. They even had a Haunted Train Car which is where I met this nice zombie conductor.

To continue my healing, I am taking part in NaBloPoMo for the month of November. If you are not part of the blogging world, you have no idea what that means. 


NaBloPoMo stands for "National Blog Posting Month." The goal of NaBloPoMo is for participants to write a post a day for an entire month. Although November is the biggest month for NaBloPoMo (with prizes and everything!) people are invited to take up the challenge of writing a post a day during any month.

Every day during November, prompts are given to help you write a blog post. You don't have to use the prompts but it can help you when you run out of ideas or do not have a scheduled post. These prompts can even help offline writers. Those that keep a journal can use these as well. 


If you are participating in #NaBloPoMo please leave a comment below with your blog so I can follow. Plus add your blog to the BLOG ROLL by November 5th to be entered to win prizes. They are giving away conference passes to #BlogHer17 which is being held in Orlando,FL in June. I have made this a goal for myself for the new year. I am hoping to pair it with a vacation at Walt Disney World for my boys and I.


OK, after not being able to write for almost a month, I need to wrap up this post and get on with my day. I have the hint of a smile on my face and I am headed to class.