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Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

We're off to our first ever family Thanksgiving cruise! They'll be nothing quite like sharing small quarters with a family of five, eating buffet style, and lounging poolside for the next few days. Here's to making new traditions, spending quality time with family, and remembering all that we are thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving and Bon Voyage!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

6 steps to getting dinner on the table: Blue Apron Review {plus free meal code}

Thanks to our friends at Blue Apron, the first 50 I Guess Im Due readers will receive TWO FREE meals! Click HERE to be one of the lucky ones to enjoy some stress free dinners!

To get more information on Blue Apron and how to schedule your meal time delivery visit their website at

Friday, November 21, 2014

Productivity Redefined

I like to consider myself a productive person.  I have gone in and out of times in my life in which TV would reel me in (when I discovered "Lost" my life was consumed!).  However, most of the time I can accomplish a long list of to-do's when time allows.  My wife and I were fortunate enough to be able to purchase a home a couple years ago.  Going from an apartment to a home is a HUGE difference! --> mow the lawn, weed, mulch the garden beds, clean the extra space, fix the leaks (AKA call the plumber), shovel the driveway, and much more!!

Through the years it has been so easy to measure the amount of productivity one has accomplished.  Think about it: in school you would recieve a grade and turn in completed assignments; with work and at home you have a "to-do" list you can easily cross off; working out you can measure by weight, time, and muscle tone.  However, our little Abram came along and there were no lists to check off (well, there were, but they weren't getting checked off!) or assignments to turn in.  It was simply adapting to the needs and wants of a growing, living little human being.  We thrive on accomplishments and goals met, but we have to adjust now as new parents to seeing smiles, healthy sleeping, healthy babies, and strong family dynamic as true signs of productivity.  The house may be messy, the clothes may be dirty, the lawn may not be cut, but if the family is healthy, happy, and comfortable someone is being productive!

I write this as not only encouragement to my wife and to myself when I forget, but to the countless other mothers and fathers out there who struggle with this new productive lifestyle.  Remind yourself that the end goal is to have a happy healthy young baby and a happy and healthy family
.  If these couple items are crossed off each day, you can rest easy...that day was productive!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Best Caramel Apple Play Dough- Ever!

I've made several homemade play doughs with my kids and hands down, this recipe is the best. It was easy to make and the consistency came out perfect! It's actually hard to believe, but I managed to make this with out any I Guess Im Due moments! This is for the books...

Caramel Apple Pie Play Dough
(courtesy of

1 cup of ‘just apples’ apple sauce (I used natural applesauce)
1/2 cup of water
2 tablespoons of coconut oil {or other favorite oil}- I used canola
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla
1/2 packet of Duncan Hines apple pie Frosting Creations (I couldn't find this so I replaced it with 1 Tbs of Apple Pie Seasoning)
1/2 packet of Duncan Hines caramel Frosting Creations
red gel food coloring (skipped this- I liked the natural caramel color it created)
2 cups of plain flour
1/2 cup of salt
2 tablespoons of cream of tartar

Add first set of ingredients to a large pot and heat on the stove {stirring regularly} until just bubbling. Remove from heat and add in dry ingredients. Stir until combined and dump mixture out on the counter. Allow to cool for 5 or 10 minutes. Knead dough until soft and fully cooled (it may feel sticky in the beginning, but resist the urge to add flour – that stickiness vanished completely for us once the dough was no longer warm). Store in an airtight bag or container when not in use.

We used fun tools like: pie tins, cookie cutters, baking sheets, rolling pins, bowls, and pizza cutters. The options are endless!

The kids LOVED this activity. I think they've asked to make their apple pies just about everyday. And since the house smells like sweet fall every time we take out the play dough, I don't mind picking up the mess after they're done!

Friday, November 14, 2014

four eyes

Well, leave it to a five year old to remind you that your face is breaking out like a teenager! Looks like we'll have to start reading books in the dark now..

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My Wild (library) Card Adventures

A good friend once told me, “The third child is a wild card.” Ain’t that the truth! Raina, our “wild card” always seems to be the one stirring up some sort of trouble.
Just the other day I decided to take the kids on field trip to the library. In theory, it sounded like a great idea. Who doesn’t love a quiet afternoon reading books and playing educational games on the computers, right?! We walked in and Raina made a bee line for the computer station. As soon as she sat down that's when the I Guess Im Due moments broke loose. Raina instantly began banging on the keyboard repeatedly. I quickly moved it away. Then the crying started as Raina demanded the keyboard back. I removed her away from the computer station, kicking and screaming, as other library goers tried not to stare. To my unfortunate luck, this all happened two more times. Finally, after what seemed like the longest ten minutes of my life, I was able to take control of the situation and distract Raina with some trusty lift the flap books. 
After we checked out our books and made our way to the exit, one of the Librarian’s stopped me. Great, she's going to ask us to never return! “I noticed your little one reading some of the board books. We have a surplus inventory of children’s books right now. Could I send some home with you to keep?” either this lady feels really bad for me, or she’s trying to overload us with books so we don’t return for a very long time. Either way, I smiled and said, “Wow, that’s really nice of you. We’d love that, thank you!” 

As we walked out to our car with our hands literally over flowing with books, Jakson says to me, “Whew! Mommy, we won’t be taking Raina back to the library for a long time, will we?!” Yes son, you’re right, the library probably won’t be graced with Raina’s wild presence for awhile!

And the crazy thing is, I know this is only the beginning of what's to come with little Raina's wild card personality...
P.S.- my sincere apologies to any patron’s that may have witnessed my daughter’s meltdown’s that day at the Venice Library.

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Thanksgiving Activity: The Thankful Tree

I am constantly trying to instill thankfulness in my children on a daily basis (who isnt?!). But even with all my preaching, we still have I Guess Im Due moments in this area. I always seem to have at least one that needs some extra practice with gratitude.

So this month, being that we are celebrating Thanksgiving, I decided to start a new family tradition. Meet our Thankful Tree.
The purpose of our tree is to remember and reflect on what we are thankful for and how God has truly blessed each and every one of us. 

Before I started this activity, I read the book "Biscuit is Thankful" to help remind the kids what being thankful means. Afterwards, we had a great conversation about things we were each thankful for just like Biscuit. We took our conversation outside and began hunting for the perfect branches to create our Thankful Tree. After we collected our branches we took a large vase and placed the branches so they fit just the way we wanted. Now, that our tree is assembled our goal is to sit down everyday for a few minutes and think of something specific we are each thankful for. Then, we each write down our response on a fancy piece of paper and cut it out into our very own leaf. After attaching a ribbon to it, the kids find the perfect spot to hang it up. 

It's been so much fun to hear what the kids are each thankful for. Things like, "the trees," "the fire that keeps us warm" and "going to the library." The tree has been such a great daily, visual reminder to all of us to be thankful for what we have. Instead of complaining about the things we don't have, the leaves are proof that God provides more than what we need. By the end of this month, it will be amazing to see how these branches will be weighed down with people, places, things, and feelings for which we are all thankful for. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Holiday Recipe: Sweet & Savory Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

Meet Leslie, writer, blogger, and food connoisseur! Although she may not have any I Guess Im Due moments (yet), this chick is a genius when it comes to the kitchen. Her blog, Dash of Les is the winner of 2012's Creative Loafing Best of the Bay Best Food Blogger and her guacamole recipe won 1st place in 2014's All American Recipe Contest And this month, I Guess Im Due was lucky enough to have Leslie create a one of a kind recipe for our readers just in time for the holidays!

This yummy side dish is a great twist on a classic, that's both savory and sweet. This casserole is a fun compromise for people who like sweet potatoes and people who prefer traditional mashed potatoes. So grab the kids and roll up your sleeves because there's mashing, grating, mixing, and crumbling to be done. Enjoy this original recipe from Dash of Les, it's sure to be a new family favorite!
. . .

Sweet & Savory Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole 
(courtesy of
2 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes
2 pounds sweet potatoes
1/2 cup light sour cream or 2% plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
1/2 cup shredded Gouda cheese (feel free to substitute with cheddar or jack cheese)
1/4 cup milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 teaspoon pepper
non-stick cooking spray

For the topping:
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (not the can stuff)
1/4 cup chives, chopped
6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled


1) Peel all potatoes and cut in quarters. Place the chopped sweet potatoes in one saucepan and the Yukon golds in another. Fill both saucepans with water, just until the potatoes are covered. Place on burners over medium-high heat and boil for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Drain potatoes separately and return to pots.

2) To the sweet potatoes, add 1/4 cup olive oil, grated nutmeg, 2 tablespoons butter, and 1 teaspoon salt. Mash with potato masher or use a hand-held mixer. Mash until smooth.

3) Place the Yukon golds back on a burner, on low heat. Add the sour cream (or yogurt), 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 milk, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Use potato masher and mash until completely smooth. Use a hand-held mixer if you have one. Once smooth, remove from heat and stir in the shredded Gouda cheese.

4) Spray a 13x9-inch casserole dish with non-stick spray. Then, spoon the sweet potatoes on one side of the dish (lengthwise) and the Yukon golds on the other side. Now, partially mix the two potatoes. Create a pattern using a zig-zag or swirl motion with a fork or a knife. Don't combine the two completely. If you're not baking the mashed potatoes until later, now is the time to top with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.

5) When you're ready to bake the mashed potatoes, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes if the casserole has been refrigerated and 20 minutes if it's still warm.
*If you'd like the cheese to get a nice golden crust, place small bits of butter all over the top and broil for 5 minutes. Be sure to keep a watchful eye so it doesn't burn.

6) Remove from oven and top with bacon and chives
. Serve and enjoy!

. . . 
For more amazing recipes created by Leslie, visit her website at and don't forget to show her some love on facebook!