Wednesday, January 17, 2018

When you are all about that mojo...

Growing up in New York, there are not many Viking fans. But my husband is one. Now as a family of 4, we all are. 

I am not an avid sports fan by any means. What I am a fan of, is an excuse to make delicious snacks all day, hang out with friends and family, and let's be honest for having a few beers on a Sunday :) 

Last Sunday, as the time ticked down on the clock...I could see it. As my husband sat in the corner of the room, crouched on top of the kid's toy chest. Cursing and mumbling to himself. Making offensive hand gestures to invisible people. I thought. This is it. Brace yourself for an ugly week ahead girlfriend!

Last play of the game. I held my breath. The ball sailed through the air. HE COULD GO ALL THE WAY! We are off to the championship!!!!!!

Time to go out and celebrate the big win! Just kidding we have kids so we'll be cooking, baking, and doing crafts. We will only eat purple and yellow foods!

We gotta keep the good mojo going all week to prepare for the big game. 

 Two of each not needed...wasn't sure if we were going to make double batch!

Rice Krispie Football Jerseys

4 tablespoons of butter
5 cups of marshmallows 
6 cups of rice krispies

Step 1: Melt the butter in a nonstick pot. (regular is fine but nonstick will make life so much easier!)
Step 2: Add the marshmallows and keep mixing until smooth.
Step 3: Add the food coloring. (I mixed the food coloring with a little water because I wanted to lighten up the color)
Step 4: Turn off the heat and mix in the rice krispies. 
Step 5: Pour onto a baking sheet and flatten as much as you can.

My daugher still wanted to "sprinkle" after we were finished. Also, the tray was too big oops.

After cooled...
I cheated and used a cookie cutter to make my football jerseys.

Then time to decorate.

The rice krispies make it a little harder to decorate because it is a rocky surface. But I still think they came out pretty good. 

We are ready for the 'ship boys!!! 

Monday, January 8, 2018

Mommy ramble of the day

Every morning I look in the mirror and I think to myself, "OMG these bags under my eyes. How much sleep do I need for them to go away?!"

Let's be honest when am I going to have time to go for a facial or spa day. Which I have never actually had a spa day in my entire life. A massage here or there but never the full experience. 

Yesterday, as I am making dinner, I start chopping cucumbers. I always see people putting cucumbers on their eyes when they do a face mask and such. So I put two on my eyes, sit back in a chair for a second and pray for a freaking miracle.

OMG it is so cold! I peel them off for a second to find my daughter with a beaming smile across her face.  She was so entertained by my "cucumber eyes." I put them back on and she laughs that infectious laugh of hers.

I ask her if she wants to try some on her eyes. At first she just waits and watches me intently. Next thing you know, shes climbs up right there next to me with cucumbers in tow. 

Small moments like this. This is what makes my day. This is what makes me love being a mother.
This is what makes me love those bags under my eyes. (OK well not love...not give a sh!t anymore)  

These moments are the memories I will remember forever. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

HELLO 2018

First day back to school.

Our new years resolution...BE ON TIME!

It is sooooooo cold. It is the first day back to our routine and all I can think about is going on vacation. To a tropical place.

Making Greek chicken bowls for dinner tonight. Really got me thinking. I like Greek food. It is not one of my specialties that I am particularly great at, but I do try.  So seriously, I really enjoy Greek food. Like someone should send me to Greece so I can learn the proper way to prepare their cuisine... ;)

Anyway, these are my thoughts today as I am freezing my ass off and dragging two kids into school in the bitter cold. One screaming his face off and the other holding on to me for dear life. My pants are down to my knees because the two kids attached to me are pulling them down. No time to go back now. Just thank the lord that my jacket covers my rear. We make our way across the front lot and into to school we go.

We did however have an awesome morning. My big boy always wakes up first. I let him come into bed with me and my daughter.

He took the opportunity to lay on her back and give her a full body hug. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen. He had the biggest smile on his face.

Then this happened. He gave her one more big hug. Happy as could be, sat up on her and started bouncing away.
Crazy bed heads :)

Surprisingly, she woke up amused. Like what the heck is he doing on me but this is funny. 

Well it worked. We all got out of bed. Breakfast, BUNDLED, and off to school on time. Jammed out to our favorite song. My daughter was dancing the whole way to school.

If I get nothing else accomplished today. We made it! 

I definitely have more resolutions to share... for now one at a day at a time...

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Hot Chocolate Bar

The only way to make using the slow cooker even more amazing than it already is...Dessert in the slow cooker.


Great for holiday parties. Start the hot chocolate in the morning and enjoy the sweet smell all day. One less thing to worry about when putting dessert out because it is all ready to go.

Perfect for a crowd. Fun for adults and kids. Everyone gets to add, garnish and top with whatever they want! We all had a great time decorating and designing our own cups!

The best part about this is that you can decide how big or small you want to go. I made a bunch of stuff to go with my bar but you can totally buy all the accessories and make life that much easier.

I made chocolate covered pretzels and Oreos. 

I molded chocolate gingerbread men and candy canes. (outside of the plate)
The middle has gingerbread flavored marshmallows.

Chocolate covered mini marshmallows on a stick!

Of course you can't forget to serve with extra marshmallows, candy canes and whipped cream :)

Hot chocolate bar was a great success! YUM!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Winter Weekend Fun Ideas

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

I am soooooooooo excited there is snow in the forecast for this weekend!

Here is a quick list of some of the plans we have for the weekend :) Weather permitting!

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season so far.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Education beyond books

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

I believe that education starts at home.

In a few short months, my daughter will be 3 years old and my son is 17 months old. So clearly, we aren't solving algebra equations together (not excited for that day) but we do our own type of homework. 

When I was pregnant, I heard about the "Mozart Effect." This is a theory that having your baby in your belly listen to classical music will in fact make them smarter. I never did this. However, once my daughter was born, we spent every single morning listening to all different types of music together. I would sit on the couch just holding her, looking at her and we would listen for as long as we wanted. To this day it is obvious she has a real connection with music. 

At home, my kids and I practice our colors together. We do and make activities to practice our matching. We do puzzles together. We are working on our letters and numbers. We do a lottttt of arts and crafts :) This is the easiest way to interest both of my kids at the same time.

P.S - There are shapes and colors inside of the egg carton that my son is so focused on. Great homemade craft for matching!
I try to read to my kids as often as possible. Busy days turn into busy nights and we don't always get to read as much as we should. We even started a challenge. We keep a log of what books we have read, and of course we have some favorites. But our goal is to reach 1,000 books for each kid before they start kindergarten. I heard of a local library doing this. My library doesn't offer this program, so we decided to do it on our own.

As much as I encourage reading, education is beyond books. Education lies in the experiences we have and the places we go. Some things just can't be learned or found in books. 

My kids are very young. So our field trips consist mainly of farms, zoos and aquariums.

Recently, we visited The Children's Museum of Manhattan. We even went for free...thanks to our local library!
                                                         Read about our trip here.

My greatest goal for the future in helping to educate my children is to travel. I wish to take them to as many different states, countries and continents as I can. Growing up, I was fortunate to take many trips. We weren't rich but travelling ALWAYS took precedent over material things in our household. By the time I had finished college, my list of foreign countries included Japan (3 times), Italy (2 times), Greece, Ireland, England, France, Turks and Caicos, Bermuda, Bahamas, Hawaii, Canada and almost every state on the East Coast of the United States.  The best way to learn about the world is through the eyes of other cultures. Experience it first hand. 

Being a tourist is beautiful too. I will never forget the way I felt when I first walked into the Sistine Chapel. How amazed and overwhelmed I was.

But if you are lucky enough to have family or friends, you can live like a local. You can see a totally new perspective this way. It is more than just being a tourist. On the same trip to Italy, we visited my grandfather's cousin and his family. They owned and lived on an olive farm. Staying at their house, going to their favorite places, having a homemade dinner without being able to speak the other's language but fully enjoying each other's company anyway. There is just nothing like it. 

I hope I am able to give my children these trips. These are the experiences that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. There is nothing like learning in the moment and some places you will never forget no matter how many years go by. 

This post was inspired by Groza Learning Center.
Find out more about by clicking on Groza Learning Center.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Tips to make baking with kids EASY! (mini tart recipe)

The holidays are coming :)

In our house, baking and decorating is a really fun activity that we can all get together and enjoy. Of course everyone likes the taste testing but it is really nice working together as a team!

Don't get me wrong. Baking with the kids can be challenging. It can be hard to keep them engaged long enough to get the actual baking done. Unless you are willing to sacrifice your kitchen being completely coated in flour which works great and has definitely happened in our house. Let's be honest, it seemed like a good idea at the was not!

So here is a special recipe my daughter and I made together. Mini blackberry cream and chocolate tarts with homemade crust.

And of course a list of my tips and tricks of how we got it done.

I know, I know I said the whole flour explosion thing. But if you don't let them get hands on and feel included in what you are doing, they will lose all interest. Everyone knows it's no fun to just watch.

I measured a portion of the flour and put it into a small cup. I gave my daughter a spoon and had her spoon by spoon add the flour into the mixer. This kept her occupied long enough for me to prepare the blackberry cream filling and the chocolate pudding while she was happily doing her job.

I used instant chocolate pudding and the blackberry cream filling is only a few ingredients. Very easy and fast to make. Again, my little ones are only going to remain engaged for a short period of time so make sure to pick something that is relatively fast and not too involved. If you have older kids you can definitely go for something more elaborate.

My daughter really loves baking. She gets very serious and concentrates so hard on what she is doing. If you know your kids realllllly aren't interested at all...don't torture them. Throw on a movie, give them a snack, and enjoy the peaceful alone time.

Homemade Crust - makes about 24 mini pies

2 1/2 cup of flour
1 1/4 tsp of salt
1 cup of butter
6 to 8 tablespoons of cold water

1. Mix the flour and the salt.
2. Chop the butter into small pieces. Add gradually to mixer.
(You will have to scrap the sides of the bowl from time to time. Mixture should appear crumbly.)
3. Slowly, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time. (When dough just about comes together, it is ready.)
4. Grease muffin tin. Using fingers, mold the dough inside each muffin tin to make mini tarts. Poke with fork to avoid air pockets.

5. Bake tarts for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
(Halfway through use a fork to push and mold and pop air bubbles.)

After tarts have cooled for a few minutes use a very thin utensil and carefully pop them out of the tins.

I put them in cups after they baked just to keep them a little nicer. 

*Let cool completely before trying to fill them*

Blackberry cream filling - Just combine all ingredients.

4 ounces of cream cheese
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tsp of lemon juice
5 blackberries

Chocolate instant pudding filling - Just make according to directions. (Usually just adding 2 cups of milk)

Another "kid" tip. I couldn't find any of my baking tools to make the filling look prettier. I actually used the medicine syringe that comes with infants Tylenol. No seriously, it worked great.

Some tarts are all chocolate pudding filling. The ones with the pink swirl are all chocolate filling with just a swirl of the blackberry cream on top. The pink flowers on top are mostly blackberry cream but have a small layer of chocolate underneath as well.

I love making the mini and personal size desserts for the holidays. Serving is so much easier. If the guests are already stuffed from all the other eating and drinking, the whole pie doesn't have to go to waste.

I always need my professional taste tester to make sure the dessert is delicious enough to serve.

Enjoy! We sure did!