Bacon & Kids

Successfully Bring Home the Bacon and Raise Happy Kids!

Book Corner – Reading List Update 2013


December already! The year is almost over and I failed to update my reading list each month, until now…

This is what I have read for 2013 so far and as always this is in addition to my daily Bible reading, Bible study publications and the many, many books that are read to our sweet children 😀

bettys book corner bacon and kids hayden consulting

There are some really great books in this list!

Business & Marketing

Always Know What To Say – Easy Ways To Approach And Talk To AnyoneMurphy, Peter W.

 Smart Talk:Lisa B. Marshall

 Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization

~ Leonardo Inghilleri

Endless Referrals ~Burg, Bob

Be A People Person: Effective Leadership Through Effective Relationships

~John C. Maxwell

 Employee Engagement 2.0: How to Motivate Your Team for High Performance (A Real-World Guide for Busy Managers)

~Kevin Kruse

 Eat That Frog ~Brian Tracy

Raving Fans ~Ken Blanchard

 Building Better Relationships: Proven Strategies to Make the Most of Your Personal Connections (Collection) ~Richard Templar, Linda Elder, Richard Paul, Mark Woods, Trapper Woods, Merrick Rosenberg, Daniel Silvert

 Dental Marketing Fusion ~Mike Saunders MBA

 Word of Mouth: 2013 Marketing Calendar for Dental Practices ~Elizabeth Kraus

 How to Work for Yourself: 100 Ways to Make the Time, Energy and Priorities to Start a Business, Book or Blog ~Bryan Cohen

Say YES! to Change: 27 Secrets to Motivating Yourself and Your Team ~Lawrence Polsky

 Family & Self Improvement

 The Stress Free You: How to Live Stress Free and Feel Great Everyday, Starting Today  ~O’Brien, Elizabeth

 Declutter your life ~Ideas, Infinite

 Parenting With Love And Logic ~Foster Cline, Jim Fay

 Become the Confident Mom You’ve Always Wanted to Be ~Susan Heid

 Choose Yourself ~James Altucher

 Dad is Fat ~Jim Gaffigan

 How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk  ~Adele Faber

 The Complete Life’s Little Instruction Book ~H. Jackson Brown Jr.

 The Positive Thinking Secret ~Aaron Kennard

 Book Love: Help Your Child Grow from Reluctant to Enthusiastic Reader 1st Edition ~Melissa Taylor

 Fiction – Just for Fun

 Simply Amazing ~Shaw, Candace

 Waking Up Married ~Kelly, Mira Lyn

 The Mother Load ~Bates, Keeley

 What Alice Forgot ~Liane Moriarty

 In Need of Therapy ~Tracie Banister, Jeff Okerstrom

 Worth The Drive ~Mara Jacobs

 Worth The Fall ~Mara Jacobs

 Worth The Weight ~Mara Jacobs

 With a View ~Alanna Coca

 Next Year I’ll be Perfect ~Laura Kilmartin

 Waiting for You ~Abigail Strom

 Chocolate for Two ~Maria Murnane

 Cross My Heart ~Abigail Strom

 Tea For Two~ Diane Moody

 Into Your Arms ~Abigail Strom

 Double Dare ~Rhonda Nelson

 Honeymoon For One ~Chris Keniston

 Hand-Me-Down Love ~Jennifer Ransom

 Paper Roses ~Amanda Cabot

 Will you be adding any of these books to your 2014 reading list? Please feel free to share your book suggestions for my 2014 reading list. I love adding new books to my bookshelves!

 Happy Reading to you!


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I just can’t do it!

Have you ever felt like you just can’t do it? That is exactly how my daughter felt trying to hula hoop for the first time. This video has been played so many times over the last few years and I still laugh every time I watch it. Sure to put a smile on your face.
P.S. You can do it! Just keep trying 😉


12+ Back To School Tips and Organization Ideas

Back to School Tips & Organization Ideas

back to school to do list

 Only a few weeks left before our kids start back to school – Our summer days are flying by. And yet, there are still so many more fun summer activities we want to do! The weather in our neighborhood has felt more like fall than summer for weeks now!  😦

 Whether we want to think about it or not, it’s time to start working on our Back to School to do lists. Here are some of my back to school tips and organization ideas:

 Back-To-School Check-list –

Get your paper & pen out and write your back to school checklist, one that includes everything you need to do to be ready for the first day of school. Writing things down on paper helps to purge your brain of all the things you have to do and eliminates the worry that you’re going to forget something. Not only that, it brings me great joy to be able to cross things off of my list.

 It doesn’t need to be perfect –

Remember, we still have a precious few weeks with our kids before school starts…don’t make yourself crazy by foolishly thinking everything in your home has to be perfectly organized. Spend time with your kids having fun – get the necessities ready now but know that there will be time once the kids are back in school to focus on the other things.

What will they wear? –

Before School Starts…

Clean out kids’ closets/drawers. Before you head out to the mall for the dreaded back to school clothes shopping, go through their closets and dresser drawers. Remember to check clothes and shoes for fit, cleanliness and/or any needed alterations or repairs. Donate the clothes/shoes that are too small. Add the items that you need to buy to your to do list.

During the School Year…

Simplify the morning routine by picking out their clothes the night before or I usually pick out their clothes for the week and label them Monday – Friday. This is a huge time saver! Remember to include hair accessories, socks, etc.

School Supplies 

Your child probably received a school supply shopping list at the end of the school year, if not, check the school website for a list of what your child will need. Check for supplies you may already have before you head to the store. Many stores are having Back To School sales so watch out for the deals. Now is a good time to buy extra supplies for later on in the school year.

Lunches/Snacks –

I’ve mentioned before that I hate making lunches every day. So I try to make the process a little easier (I know, I know, how hard is it to make lunch?) Anyway, this is what I do.

* Prepare some school lunch/snack bins for the refrigerator and cupboard.  

Easy lunches and snacks

* Make the lunches/snacks the night before .

* Lunch notes/jokes. Think about adding lunch notes/jokes to their lunch. My kids love reading the notes/jokes at school. You can print out a bunch in advance so you can quickly add a special note with their lunch.

Healthy snacks – Fresh fruit, vegetables and cheese are great choices. Nuts, whole grains and yogurt are also good snack choices.

Avoid fruit juices, energy drinks , sodas, sticky and chewy foods.

Instead of PB & J’s every single day (my sons favorite lunch) , get creative with a variety of lunches. For inspiration check out my Pinterest Board School Lunches & Snacks

 Start the School Year with a Healthy Smile –

The Surgeon General calls dental problems the “Silent Epidemic” that results in more than 51 million school hours missed each year! Schedule your child’s Back To School Check-up. 

 Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance! 

No one performs well in the morning if you’re stressed and rushed your kids will be too. Avoid chaotic mornings by doing as much as possible the night before to get ready for the next day! Pack lunches/snacks, get homework and backpacks ready, set the table for breakfast, have their clothes picked out (including hair accessories,shoes, etc.

Paper Clutter – 

It amazes me how many school papers come home every day! Plan now to control that paper clutter. To start, every day right after school I go through the kids’ backpacks and check for any papers that need to be returned, homework, upcoming events and so on. I immediately add any important dates (& the details of the school function/field trip to my Gmail calendar as well as any dates where permission slips/money is due and so on. In the kitchen I have folders for each child for the “now” school papers. And for the papers I want to save, at my desk in my filing cabinet I have 2 folders  w/labels for each child and the grade they are in. In my master filing cabinet I have folders labeled K thru grade 12 for each child so at the end of the school year I simply put the finished grade away and pull out the next grade.

Backpacks –

Have a designated home for backpacks –

My kids are to remove their water bottles and lunch boxes from their backpacks as soon as they get home from school.

I check backpacks for any school papers, homework, etc. Rather than have the kids remove these items I ensure that I don’t miss any notes and that their homework sheets are posted on the refrigerator.

Homework Station / Homework Totes –

I put together homework totes for each child that holds their scissors, glue, pens, pencils, crayons, sharpeners, etc. This has been a huge time saver and has lessened the homework headaches! 

Homework totes school supplies

 School Money Jar –

I keep a jar in the kitchen that holds money for school lunches, donations, popcorn sales, etc.

 Recyclables –

If your school collects Box Tops, Labels for Education, Coke Points, etc.

Keep these things organized to avoid clutter. I have little hanging buckets labeled Box Tops, Labels for Education, Old Batteries, Can Tabs & Coke Points

organizing box tops and recyclables

For your Sanity

Wake up 20 minutes before it’s time to wake up the kids . Use this time to read, take your shower & get dressed or enjoy a cup of coffee/tea in peace & quiet.. Avoid checking your social media pages and emails – time will slip away and before you know it you’re running behind in the morning, or you read a negative email or post that put you in a bad mood, save that for after you drop the kids off to school.  

What are you doing to prepare for the school year or if school already started in your neck of the woods, please comment to share what is working for you.  

 I wish you all a very Happy, Healthy & Stress-Free School Year!




Good Morning Sunshine Breakfast Casserole

Good Morning Sunshine!

breakfast recipe casserole

The recipe I’m sharing is for a delicious and very easy to make breakfast casserole. This can be prepared the night before and cooked in the morning. You can easily freeze smaller portions to reheat at a later date.

breakfast recipes


8 Eggs

8oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese

16oz Cottage Cheese

Bag of Hash Browns

½ stick of Butter

½ cup Fresh Chopped Spinach

Roll of Sausage (you can use spicy if you prefer)

¼ chopped green or red pepper

Small onion chopped

Brown the Sausage

Add the onion & pepper and cook for a minute or so.

Mix the Eggs & Cheeses together, then add the sausage/pepper mixture to bowl.

Layer the baking dish (up the sides too) with the hash browns & melted butter.

Pour the egg mixture on top of the potatoes.

Put in the oven on 350 uncovered for 1 hour.

Or if you’re preparing it the night before, cover and put in the refrigerator and cook in the morning.

Breakfast casserole

Hot out of the Oven. Mmmm!


Happy Breakfast to you!!





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Easy Italian Chicken Dish


Delicious Italian Chicken

I had a recipe for Italian Chicken pinned on Pinterest for quite some time that I wanted to try. I finally made it for dinner the other night. Although, in true Betty fashion I did not follow the recipe exactly as directed. I embellished it just a bit if you will.

I’ve had several requests for the recipe, you can visit the post with the original recipe but this is what I did:

Roma Tomatoes ( 5 – seeded & chopped )

Onion (small white onion chopped)

Spinach (about 1 cup fresh chopped or sliced)

 Artichoke Hearts ( 1 can)

 Garlic ( a lot!)

 Chicken ( 2 boneless breast, I cut into about 6 pieces & seasoned. You can add more chicken if you want to)

 Seasoning (Italian Seasoning and salt & pepper)

Put all the vegetables in a bowl, sprinkle some olive oil and about 1 tablespoon of flour – mix together.

Add vegetables and chicken to 9×13 dish.

Cook uncovered in the oven on 350 for about 30 minutes. I can’t remember exactly how long it was in there but you want to pull the chicken out just before it is done and add lots of mozzarella on top. Put back in the oven, I turned to broil for just a couple of minutes. Take out of oven and add fresh basil to the top.

The chicken was juicy & delicious!! It was very easy & quick to make!!

I think it would taste even better with mushrooms added to the dish but my hubs would not go for it. Maybe I’ll do half with mushrooms next time 😉

Some garlic bread would have been a nice addition to the meal but we are trying to stay away from breads/carbs. This dish would also be great over some pasta or with parmesan/herb mashed potatoes if your heart(tummy) so desires.

Happy Italian Chicken Baking to you!!


P.S. Please stop by and say hello on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and feel free to subscribe to my blog! ~Thank you so much!!


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Keep Your Children Reading During Summer!

Summer vacation is just a few days away! Just because the school year is ending, that doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. You can help prevent summer learning loss (“summer slide”) by encouraging your kids to keep reading during the summer months.

Children who read during the summer break from school gain important skills. Studies have shown that children who read more become better readers and reading can become a more enjoyable experience.

Help your child to love to read

So how can you keep your child reading this summer?

Make book available all around your home.

Make good use of travel time – Keep a basket or tote full of books in your vehicle so your child can entertain themselves in the car instead of asking “are we there yet? every 2 minutes.

For longer car trips, instead of watching a movie or everyone listening to their own music, listen to an audio book.

Read out loud to your children – Start reading to your child at infancy and continue even after they are able to read on their own.

“Reading aloud with children is known to be the single most important activity for building the knowledge and skills they will eventually require for learning to read.”

Marilyn Jager Adams

Read Outdoors – Spend some time reading outside in the backyard, at the park or beach and on your front porch swing.

reading with your kids

So precious! I love this picture of my daughter “reading” the Bible.

Lead by Example – Your children should see you reading. Talk to your children about the things you are reading and how the information is benefiting you.

Turn Off The TV –

TV. If kids are entertained by two letters, imagine the fun they’ll have with twenty-six. Open your child’s imagination. Open a book. ~Author Unknown

Family reading time especially before bedtime will help relax your children for a peaceful nights sleep.

Take your Child to the Library Regularly!

Visit Local New & Used Book Stores.

Host a Book Club with your child’s friends.

Crafting Time – Make some fun bookmarks together.

Reading Logs – Print up a reading log where your child can document the books and minutes read.

Reading Rewards! How about a trip to 7-11 for a Slurpee or a visit to one of Wyandotte’s wonderful ice cream shops for a sweet treat to celebrate each weeks reading success.

Summer Reading Programs – Take part in summer reading programs. Check your local library and book stores for summer reading programs.

Local Friends:

Bacon Memorial District Library

Summer Reading runs from June-August. The program kick off is Saturday, June 15 from 10am – 12pm. Kids read throughout the Summer and are rewarded with small prizes and a ticket to their Annual Summer Reading Carnival!

Reading at Bacon Memorial Library



 Ukazoo Books -Southgate

The Ukazoo Summer Reading Program has started! Kids 13 and under can come in and grab a reading journal . Fill out your reading journal and bring it back to receive one free used kids book! The school who has the most students return forms will win 50 free books. Come on down to the ‘zoo and make your school proud!”

Last year our children took part in both programs and LOVED it!

 “The Benefits of Reading are many! Success in school, in work, in human relations, in understanding the world we live in, and in forging closer bonds of love between parent and child are just some of them, not to mention the sheer satisfaction that reading and study bring.”

Remember Summer Reading Should Be a FUN Experience for the Whole Family.

Check out my Pinterest Board “Books Worth Reading” there you will find ideas for what to read, bookmarks, cute reading nooks, reading log printables, book caddy’s and more!

Happy Summer Reading to you and your family!


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Summer is here!

Summer is here!

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Teacher Appreciation Week -Day 3 Chocolate Covered Pretzels and Day 4 BBQ Theme Lunch

Teacher Appreciation Week Days 3 and 4

I’m combining Days 3 & 4 of Teacher Appreciation Week. To see what we did for the first 2 days click here for Day 1 and here for Day 2.

Day 3: Chocolate Covered Pretzels.

My sister made these yummy chocolate covered pretzels dipped in different delicious toppings, and I added these cute little tags that I found at Michaels.

chocolate covered pretzels

put them on a tray in the teachers lunch room. 

chocolate covered pretzels

For Day #4, which was a Friday we did a BBQ Themed Lunch for all the teachers. For the lunch we set everything up in the school’s library so we would have more room.

lunch for teachers

I wrapped all the plasticware with these cute BBQ theme napkins:

bacon and kids

We covered the tables in the school library:

bacon and kids teacher appreciation lunch


Smoked Pulled Pork:

teacher appreciation bbq lunch

Three Different Homemade Sauces:

BBQ sauces

Mac N Cheese – One of the mothers made two crock pots full of Mac N Cheese and it was Delicious!


Broccoli Salad:

broccoli salad bacon and kids

BLT Potato Salad:

BLT Potato Salad

Corn and Black Bean Salad:

corn and black bean salad

Greek Pasta Salad:

teacher appreciation lunch


betty hayden

Lemonades & Iced Teas – Simply Lemonade has a new flavor: Blueberry Lemonade…simply yummy!

teacher appreciation lunch

And Jenna, one of the mothers that worked with me on Teacher Appreciation Week made these lovely

Sunflower Cupcakes!!

sunflower cupcake single

teacher appreciation week

I used them as centerpieces on the tables because they were just so darn cute!

Jenna also made the incredible Smoked Pulled Pork and the homemade sauces. Talk about YUM!

We gave every teacher a cute little care package that included a toothbrush (donated by a local dentist), lip balm, hand sanitizer from Bath & Body Works, Tissues and some gum.

teacher appreciation week

teacher appreciation week gifts


teacher appreciation Care packages

teacher appreciation week sayingsIt was a good week that ended with a delicious BBQ lunch.

All of the teachers were so grateful for everything we did for them. For us moms, we are so very grateful for our hard working teachers!! It was a pleasure to make Teacher Appreciation Week a Special One for them!!

Happy Teacher Appreciation to you!



Free Playgroups for Families in Downriver Michigan!

Beautiful Weather is Finally Here!

It’s so much fun spending time outdoors. My children are having a blast playing outside after school.

Have you thought about how you will keep your little ones busy this summer?

Well, Ashley Doute with the Downriver Guidance Center emailed me some great news for parents and their young children.  FREE Playgroups!!

This is what she said:

I offer FREE playgroups to any family regardless of income or where you live, and they are offered weekly (mon-fri)  These are adult-child interaction group which means someone 18 or older must be present with the child.  This doesn’t necessarily mean mom or dad.  Grandma could bring them, aunt or uncle, neighbor, friend, babysitter, etc. and the groups last 1 1/2 hrs long. These groups are offered to you through The Guidance Center, a non-profit organization in Downriver Michigan.  

In my playgroups parents can come and have a cup of coffee and exchange parenting tips and engage in learning with their children.  For the children, we do Arts and Crafts, singing and songs, dancing with music and instruments–sometimes we’ll bring out a parachute, beach balls, streamers, or bubbles!  I set out activities to improve their cognitive abilities and improve their fine and gross motor skills.  We play games such as bingo and musical chairs.  We always do a story time and snack at the end.  A lot of people don’t know about these free groups or resources we have to offer here.  It’s an excellent way to increase socialization and cognitive skills.  These groups also help provide structure in a child’s life which becomes beneficial when they enter preschool or kindergarten.   

Additionally, my room is a lending library and children (with the adult) can rent out books, movies, literacy bags (story and activity), and borrow toys as well.  A lot of my parents now love to borrow the literacy bags 🙂  I also have resources and access to free diapers and formula if the parents need it.  It is for emergencies only and I prefer that they be attending playgroup as I have to go get the diapers and formula and bring them to my site.

My group times and days are listed below.  Starting the first week in June, our summer playgroups will also be beginning.  Siblings are more than welcome to tag along.”

Playgroup Schedule:

Monday-11:30-1 PM
Tuesdays & Wednesdays- 9:30-11:00 AM
Thursday-11:30-1 PM
Friday 10:00-11:30 AM

My contact number is 734-785-7705 x7420

Pretty cool, eh? Sounds like she works hard to ensure a great time for your children and some much needed adult interaction too.


Happy Playgroup Fun to you!!




Teacher Appreciation Week – Day 2 Snack and Gift Certificate

Teacher Appreciation Week

Day 2 – Snacks and Gift Certificates 

For day 2, I put together a basket full of wrapped snacks.

Granola Bars, Peanuts, Cereal Bars, Fruit Ropes, Crackers, etc.

teacher appreciation week ideas

We bought a Gift Certificate for each teacher from a local Teacher’s Supply Store.

teacher appreciation gifts

Simple and Easy but very well received.

For Day 3, my sister is making chocolate dipped pretzels.

Happy Teacher Appreciation to you!


If you missed Day 1, we did a Tropical Luau Breakfast. Fun!