Getting Ready For The Holiday Season With Momtrends

18 Nov

Last week I joined Momtrends for their annual Holiday event.  Every year Momtrends brings together bloggers and great brands to showcase Holiday fashion trends as well as entertaining and gift ideas for the Holiday season.  This years highlights included:

Image from Momtrends

Image from Momtrends

Holiday fashion styled by Lands End and Stella and Dot. I had the opportunity to model a Holiday outfit from Lands End with four other great bloggers. For my Holiday look (pictured below), I’m wearing the Sleeveless Ponté Sheath Dress with Pockets, Women’s 3/4-sleeve Classic Cashmere Dress Cardigan Sweater & Emory Low Heel Boots (so comfortable) from Lands End. My accessories included the Pegasus Necklace (an amazing piece that makes a statement) & Déjà Vu Double-Sided Studs by Stella and Dot.  I will definitely be wearing it to my Husbands holiday party and every other gathering this Holiday season. 

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In addition to having fabulous outfits, Lands End has wonderful gifts for the entire family from wool hats to Holiday pajamas.  Stella and Dot also has amazing gifts for mom, grandmother, and daughters (they have a girls collection).

Lands End Gift ideas

Lands End Gift ideas

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Stella & Dot

I’ve always loved Little Me.  I miss the days when my girls wore Little Me especially after seeing the Holiday collection at the event.     Their super cute clothes go up to size 4T.  Perfect if you are looking for a gift for a new baby this Holiday or if you need an outfit for your little one.   I love the Holiday pj’s, below.  Adorable!

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One of my favorite things to do, especially during the Winter Months is cuddle up on the couch and read books with my girls.  We are always looking for more books to add to our collection.  I See Me Personalized Books showcased their latest books for personalization.  I love that they have Holiday books.  A great gift for the Holiday season because what’s more exciting than a child having their name in the book.  My daughter received a fairy book for her birthday one year and absolutely loves it.

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Cookie Decorating with Walkers Shortbread.  Walkers has been around since 1898.  It’s hard not to love the delicious shortbread cookies.  They now have festive shapes which can make decorating cookies this Holiday season easier for you as well as for the kids, no baking needed.  All you need are icing writers and sprinkles.  The cookies are outlined so kids can fill in areas with different colors or draw the outlines of the shapes. Perfect for last-minute Holiday play dates or to bring to holiday parties. Note: the box states that it is not suitable for nut allergies.

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I know what our Holiday Fun Friday is going to be spent doing.  We’ll be making duct tape crafts.  The Duck Brand has so many wonderful craft ideas, not to mention amazing deigns, on their site. You can also find more on pinterest.  Look at these fun ideas for your Christmas lunch/ dinner featured at the event,pictured below:

place mat, name card, utensil holder & gift box

place mat, name card, utensil holder & gift box

My daughter suffers from peanut/ tree nut allergies.  I was excited to learn about Vermont Nut Free Chocolates.  Their Holiday boxes are perfect to have at your Holiday party or a host/hostess party.  They make a great gift for teachers, friends and loved ones. No need to worry about any nuts.  Dying for another bite of the caramel truffle. Delicious!

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Teleflora is one of my favorites for decorating any time of year.  Not only do they have beautiful arrangements that can transform a room, once the flowers are gone there are other uses for their containers whether you are storing your Holiday cookies or using a mug your arrangement for your morning coffee.  It’s the perfect gift for the Holiday season, not to mention they have collaborated with Cake Boss Buddy Valastro and arrangements come with delicious treats and recipes.

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The most important tip for the Holiday season came from Momtrends founder, Nicole Feliciano.  She reminded us that the Holidays are for the kids and though it can get a little crazy it’s important to set aside special times with your little ones for hot chocolate or even a weekly ice skating session.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a wonderful start to the Holiday season!

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post.  I received a gift bag for attending the event in addition to the outfit and accessories.  Thank you Lands End & Stella and Dot for my outfit for the Holiday season.  Thank you to all the sponsors and a big thanks to Momtrends for a wonderful event.

Fun Friday: Pajama Day & Cozying Up This Winter With Pajamagram

7 Nov

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Now that my girls are older, they always ask if they can wear my clothes and shoes when they get a little older. Or they ask if they can get it in their size. It’s cute. They love to match each other but when they can match mom too— it’s even more exciting.

Every holiday season, the girls pick out a new pair of seasonal Pajamas.  They are the pair they wear on Christmas Eve and open their gifts in on Christmas morning.  We also love our seasonal pajamas for cold and wet winter days, perfect for spending the day in your pajamas. 

This year the girls will be wearing PajamaGram.  And the bonus, I will get to match too. PajamaGram has sets for the entire family–even the pets. The PajamaGram Company is all about giving gifts that remind the ones you love to take a little time for themselves…to help them kick back, relax, and unwind.

Image from pajamagram

Image from pajamagram

Recently my girls and I received a set of  Pajamagram Pajama’s for the Holiday season.  It’s hard to decide which style to pick but my girls favorite was the Nordic style.  We each got our names personalized on the front. Each pair of pajamas came nicely packaged in a blue gift bag (ready to give as a gift).  

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Last weekend (and yesterday), the weather gave us a little taste of what’s in store for this winter.  It was wet, freezing, and the perfect day to stay home in pajamas.  So that’s exactly what we did.  The perfect pajama day was spent in our pajamagrams:

Eating Holiday themed pancakes.

Eating Holiday themed pancakes.

Playing our favorite games.  Our absolute favorite this season is Olaf's in Trouble

Playing our favorite games. Our absolute favorite this season is Olaf’s in Trouble

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Watching movies and eating popcorn

Baking cookies together (recipe here)

Baking cookies together (recipe here)

At the end of the day, I asked my girls what they thought of their new pajamas they said they were cozy, comfy, stretchy & soft.  I think they are cute & fun, especially for the Holidays.  They are a great gift for friends and family this season.  Our Elf usually brings a gift when she returns–this year she’ll be flying in with a pair of matching PJ’s for daddy (shhh….)

For more information or to order a gift for this Holiday season visit http://www.pajamagram.com/.

Have a happy Winter with lots of Pajama days :)

Disclaimer:  I received sets of pajamas for review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Information in italics came from pajamagram.  All images are my own unless otherwise noted.

Baking, Bonding and Getting Ready For The Holidays + GIVEAWAY

1 Nov

This is my favorite time of year.  With the Holidays quickly approaching and the weather getting colder, baking is one of our favorite after-school activities.  We bake for friends, family, parties, and Holiday gatherings.  I always include my girls in our baking activities because it’s a great way to bond, talk about the day, and it’s a wonderful learning experience.  They learn which ingredients go into mixtures.  My oldest is learning to read, so she works on reading the recipe and helps find ingredients while we are shopping. 20141101-084017-31217875.jpg 20141101-084020-31220728.jpg We recently spent a few afternoons making the most delicious Jam-Filled Sandwich Cookies from Dorie Greenspan’s new cookbook, Baking Chez Moi (recipe and giveaway at end of post). When baking with kids, it always takes a little longer (or double the estimated time).  To start our baking adventure, we were lucky to work Driscoll’s and made home-made Rasperry Jam which was absolutely delicious. We used Driscoll’s rasperries and this recipe.  It was such a fun activity, especially since it was a rainy day, and it makes enough to give as a gift or use for breakfast or lunch.  It takes a while so I recommend making it a day or two before you plan to make the cookies. Jam 20141101-084016-31216029.jpg Next, up was making the cookie dough.  Before you start keep in mind the dough needs to be refrigerated so if you don’t have enough time to do it all in one day, you can place it in an air tight container and finish the next day.  We ran into that problem but it worked.  We started putting all the ingredients together to make the dough.  My daughter couldn’t believe that we didn’t need eggs.  After the dough was ready, I had my girls pick a few cookie cutters. Dorie uses a 2-inch round cutter but since it was the Holidays my girls wanted to add a twist and make a few other types of cookies.  We tried to find cutters that would be easy to fill and pinch together to keep the jam from spilling out the sandwich. The dough can crack easily.  Use a little water and push it back together. After the cookies were finished, we added decorations (because my girls love to decorate after baking) and colored sugar sprinkles instead of regular sugar. DSC_0041 jamcookie Here’s what we made: DSC_0221 Halloween Ghosts & Pumpkins DSC_0233 20141101-084014-31214180.jpg DSC_0229 Hearts DSC_0235 DSC_0236 DSC_0239 Frozen Lovers or Winter Wonderland DSC_0252 We shared our cookies with friends and left some for dad when he came home.  Everyone thought the cookies were “amazingly delicious”.  We can’t wait to bring some to Thanksgiving.  We are also excited to bake more of Dorie’s desserts this Holiday season. GIVEAWAY:  One lucky reader will have the opportunity to win a copy of Dorie Greenspan’s new cookbook, Baking Chez Moi and $15 in Driscoll’s Coupons.  Enter HERE for your chance to win!  Good luck and happy baking!

Thank you to everyone for following and entering, I hope you have a happy Holiday season!

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Dorrie Greenspan’s Jam-Filled Sandwhiches (Makes about 12 sandwich cookies. Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup (60 grams) Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons; 4 oz; 113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup (136 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (43 grams) cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • About 3/4 cup (240 grams) jam, for filling
  • Sugar, for sprinkling
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)

Directions: Position a large strainer over the bowl of your stand mixer, or over a large bowl if you are going to use a hand mixer, and shake the confectioners’ sugar through it.  Drop the pieces of butter into the bowl, add the sugar and beat at low speed with the paddle attachment or hand mixer, until smooth. Put the strainer over the bowl again, add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt, stir them around to combine and shake them onto the butter mixture.  Pulse the mixer a few times, so you don’t have flying flour, then beat on low speed until the dough comes together.  You’ll hit a stage where the dough is crumbly, mix on.  In another minute or so, the dough will come together and just about clean the sides of the bowl, your signal to stop mixing. Turn the dough onto the counter and divide it in half.  Shape each half into a disk, kneading the dough gently if necessary to pull it together and shape it. Put one piece of dough between two sheets of parchment or wax paper and roll it to a thickness of about an 1/8 inch.  Don’t worry about the shape of the dough. Slide the papaer-sandwiched dough onto a cutting board or baking sheet.  Repeat with the second piece of dough (you can stack the pieces).  Refigerate the dough for at lease two hours.  (Wrapped well, the dough can be refrigerated for up to two days or frozen for up to two months.  Defrost frozen dough for 5-10 minutes before cutting.) WHEN YOU’RE READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two baking sheers with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Pull one piece of dough from the refrigerator and cut out the cookies.  (Leave the bottom piece of paper in place so that if the dough gets soft and needs a quick chill, you can easily trasport it.) Use a 2-inch round cutter, but you can cut these a little larger, if you’d like (of course the yield will be less).  Dorrie doesn’t advise using smaller than 2-inches because they’ll be too difficult to fill.  Place the cookies on the baking sheet, an inch or so apart, and refrigerate while you cut the second piece of dough (reserve scraps).  Put the second set of cookies on the other baking sheet; refrigerate. Gather the scraps from both pieces of doug, press them together and roll the dough until it’s an 1/8 inch thick, then chill until firm enough to cut and make more cookies. Spoon a little jam onto the center half of the chilled rounds- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon is sufficient for a 2-inch cookie.  Dip your finger into a bowl of water and, one at a time, lightly moisten the edges of each round, top with an uncovered round and press gently to seal.  Sprinkle tops with sugar. Bake for 15-17 minutes, rotating the pan at the midway point, or until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom and colored only around the edges.  The tops may crack, and thats fine.  Carefully transfer them to a cooling rack and let them cool to room temperature. Bake the second sheet of cookies, then cut and bake the remaining dough, making sure the baking sheet is cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if you’d like, right before serving. Disclaimer: I received a copy of Baking Chez Moi and coupons and a gift card to Whole Foods for ingredients.  All opinions expressed are my own.  The recipe is from Dorie Greenspan’s book Baking Chez Moi.  Thank you to Driscoll’s Berries for introducing us to this amazing recipe.  We can’t wait to try more!

Fabulous Styles From RUUM American Kid’s Wear and Clarks On The Runway at petitePARADE NYC 2014 #RUUMrunway

29 Oct

RUUM American Kid’s Wear recently opened a store in TriBeCa.  When my youngest took notice to the outfits in the store window as we passed by, she immediately had to go in.  She picked out nearly the entire store, because she LOVED all the gorgeous styles that were displayed.  We walked out with her favorite dress, which she wants to wear almost every day. When I was asked to attend petitePARADE’s 7th (bi-annual) fashion show, featuring RUUM American Kid’s Wear, I asked my girls if they wanted to go.   Their eyes lit up and they started picking out their outfits (even though it was a week away).  My youngest picked her favorite RUUM dress and my oldest picked a dress by Isobella & Chloe. 20141028-234903-85743827.jpg On October 19, the girls put on their outfits they and we headed to Bath House Studios on the Lower East Side. They took their seats, waited for the lights to dim and the show to start.  Out first was RUUM American Kid’s Wear, showcasing their Holiday looks for the upcoming season.  There were so many gorgeous styles for girls. Faux fur, dresses for a princess, stylish knit sweaters, and just enough sparkle and shimmer my little girls loved.  Below are some of our favorite looks from RUUM on the runway:

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We love the gold and the shimmer. Perfect for sisters who love to dress alike (like my girls). Love the subtle differences.

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Beautiful! And love the two styles together for sisters. Perfect for Holiday gatherings or for New Years Eve.

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Love this look for everyday wear. It has all the sparkle my girls love yetlooks comfy and cozy for chilly winter days ahead.

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Tristan and Tyler walk the runway in these trendy looks for boys this winter.

Tristan and Tyler walk the runway in these trendy looks for boys this winter.

Up next was Clarks shoes, previewing their kids line for Spring 2015.  The mini-models hit the runway with tons of energy, showcasing all you can do in comfortable Clarks shoes.  The stylish tots to tweens danced,  took the dog for a walk, and did back walk overs down the runway. Here are some looks you will see from Clarks this Spring: petitePARADE / Kids Fashion Week, NYC October 2014 - Day 2 petitePARADE / Kids Fashion Week, NYC October 2014 - Day 2 petitePARADE / Kids Fashion Week, NYC October 2014 - Day 2 petitePARADE / Kids Fashion Week, NYC October 2014 - Day 2 petitePARADE / Kids Fashion Week, NYC October 2014 - Day 2 petitePARADE / Kids Fashion Week, NYC October 2014 - Day 2 My girls had an amazing time watching the kids walk the runway.  They are ready to skip a play date with friends to have a play date with mom to shop for new shoes and  their Holiday outfits.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. I received a gift bag for attending the event.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Thank you to The Bromley Group for sharing your images.  I attended the event on behalf of my friend, Brianne from Stroller in the City.

Sunday Funday: Crafting with Green Kid Crafts & GIVEAWAY To Get A Start on Holiday Gifts

26 Oct

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My oldest daughter could sit and do crafts for hours. She was so excited when she received a Green Kid Crafts Discovery Box in the mail.  Green Kid Crafts is a green company that provides creative and educational activities to do with kids through an eco-friendly Subscription Service, Craft Boxes, Birthday Activities, STEM Science Kits, Creativity Kits. Each box has a few activities enclosed with instructions and the materials you need to put together the activity.

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Developed by teachers, crafty moms and STEM experts (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) to support key developmental skills for kids ages 3-10, each Discovery Box celebrates creativity with craft projects and activates thinking, questioning, inquiring, and original creation as we guide children through fun science experiments. The recent Discovery Box we received was Weather Science. The Weather Science Box includes materials to create a Weather Station, a Cloud Finder, and a Wind Sock.

Image from Green Kid Crafts

Image from Green Kid Crafts

Weather Station:  A fun activity that gets a lot of use.  Since making it, my daughter checks the weather and sets her weather station to show the weather of the day.  We talk about what clothes we can wear for the weather

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Wind Sock: Living in an apartment makes using the wind sock challenging but we were able to hang it on our roof terrace to watch it in action and see which direction the wind is blowing.

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Cloud Finder:  Take the cloud finder with you on a walk through the park and see what types of clouds you can find.  A fun learning experience to do together as a family.

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Why We Love Green Kid Crafts:

  • It’s always fun for the kids to receive a surprise package especially when it’s addressed to them.
  • It’s a hands-on learning experience.
  • My oldest was able to complete most of the activities on her how but we had fun working together on the wind sock.
  • So many great learning boxes and activities to choose from. Check out my other post about the Around The World II Discovery Box.
  • It’s the perfect gift for the Holidays and Birthdays or just to surprise your little one.
  • Keeps kids busy on a rainy day or a day that you are hanging at home.
  • Don’t throw away the box when you are finished, we love reusing them for another craft.  My oldest daughter made a “Haunted” display for Halloween!

20141026-205447-75287825.jpg The Holidays will be here before you know it.  Check out the Green Kid Crafts Stocking Stuffers and Holiday boxes. GIVEAWAY: Get a head start on your Holiday gifts and ENTER to win a Green Kid Craft Discovery Box of Your Choice for your little one.  Click the ENTER link for all entry options. Giveaway ends 12:00 am on November 17, 2014!  Good luck and thank you for entering! Disclaimer: I received a Discovery Box for review and a Discovery Box to giveaway to a reader.  All opinions and photos are my own unless otherwise noted.  Information in italics are from Green Kid Crafts.

Spooky Snacks & Crafts For Halloween

21 Oct

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My girls couldn’t be more excited for Halloween.  This year we were unable to get our decorations from where we store them so we have been busy making our own to decorate the house.  While we decorate it’s always fun to have Halloween Themed snacks (these could also be a fun afternoon craft activity with food).  Below are some of the activities we have done together and snacks you can make for your halloween play dates, parties or bake sales:

Spider Hands with Web: A simple activity you can do with almost anything you have in your house.  Have your child trace both hands on black construction paper or use computer paper and have them color in their hands after traced.  Cut out hands and glue together.  Have your child make the eyes or you can use google eyes if you have any available.  On a piece of white paper, draw a web and then cut it out. Hang somewhere around the house.

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Creatology Foam Pumpkin Kit:  This kit is available at Michaels.  It’s perfect for making signs and Halloween pictures to hang around the house.  It comes with foam stickers for eyes, ears, nose, black cats, and spiders as well as google eyes to glue on.   We also made a Halloween mobile out of them by punching holes in the stems and hanging them from a hanger.  (use can also punch holes in the hand spiders mentioned above and hang them as well on the mobile).

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The Sparkly Pumpkin:  The easiest craft to keep busy.  All you need is miniture pumpkins and crayola glitter glue. To give it a little spooky touch, add rubber rats or spiders.  A great decoration for around the house.

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GoGoSqueez-enstein: I made these for a snack when my girls came home from school one day.  I made one on the computer and the other I made with construction paper, glitter glue and a black marker.  My oldest thought they were so cute, she went and made a bunch to bring to her friends Halloween party.

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There Was A Little Girl Who Swallowed A Spider:  My girls love the series There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed….A Fly, A Bat and so on.  The other day I made these snacks for a Halloween craft play date.  We started joking around about The Little Girls Who Swallowed a Spider.  These snacks are simple to make.  All you need are brownie bites from Whole Foods (note that they are made in a facility that also processes peanuts and tree nuts).  UTZ Halloween Pretzels, edible Eyes, and Wilton Gel Writers.  Break the wings off the pretzel bats and push them into the Brownie to make the legs,

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The Haunted House : We made this house last year and will continue making haunted houses with some of our favorite halloween candy.  See my previous post to see how you can make them.

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Happy Decorating and Crafting this Halloween!

 

 

 

Sending Love & Cheer This Holiday Season With Minted (GIVEAWAY)

11 Oct

I love receiving Holiday cards from friends and family.  At the end of the season we create a Holiday book with all the beautiful cards we receive.  I also love sending cards but every year I wait until the last-minute to do my Holiday cards.  This year I got a head start, thanks to a photo session with Big Apple Portraits (review coming soon). Now that I have photos, choosing my favorite picture and then finding the right card is my biggest challenge (see below for Minted Giveaway)

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Minted.com is one of my favorite sites for cards, invitations and even art. I love the variety and the gorgeous designs to choose from, especially for the Holidays. This  year I have teamed up with Minted for a $50 giveaway to use towards your Holiday cards (or anything outside of art work).  All you need to do is help me choose the design for my Holiday card this year. I have chosen some of my favorite designs below:

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Bright Snowflake Spirits

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Winter Brush Foil-pressed Card

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Merry Typography Foil-pressed Card

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Snow Flurry

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Snowy Love and Joy

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Just Dotty

You will need to leave a comment with your favorite picture and card design.  Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway
to be eligible to win and for more entry possibilities.  A random winner will be selected.  Good Luck, can’t wait to see your favorite!

About Minted: Minted crowd-sources design and art from a global community of independent designers, then sells their best designs as fine products such as stationery, wall art, and décor for the home, holidays, and occasions.  For more information visit http://www.minted.com.

Disclaimer: I will receive a credit to minted.com for this post.  All opinions expressed.  A big thank you to Big Apple Portraits for the beautiful photos of my girls and thank you to Minted for your support.  Images of all the card designs and information in italics came from Minted.com

How I Got My Daughter To Try Zucchini and Zucchini Noodle Dishes I Love

8 Oct

 

I never thought I would be able to get my girls to eat zucchini.  Not long ago my mom gave me a Veggetti™ Spiral Vegetable Cutter. It’s been the best gift.  It turns Veggies into thick or thin “spaghetti” noodles.  I use it almost every day for lunch and dinner, mostly with Zucchini. One day my youngest, who won’t touch zucchini when its cut into chips or sticks, saw me eating the Zucchini Noodles. She loved zucchini noodles. She prefers the simple version with olive oil, garlic, salt and a little parmesan cheese or in vodka sauce.

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Below are some of my favorite creations that I put together using simple ingredients:

Simple; with olive oil, salt, garlic.  Topped with parmesan cheese.

Simple; with olive oil, salt, garlic. Topped with parmesan cheese.

 

Sautee noodles with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, red onion, adding tomatoes at the end.  Top with feta cheese.

Sautee noodles with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, red onion, adding tomatoes at the end. Top with feta cheese.

Sautee with chile olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, red pepper, adding heirloom tomatoes a few minutes later.  Top with goat cheese.

Sautee with chile olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, red pepper, and carrots. Add heirloom tomatoes a few minutes later. Top with goat cheese.

Zucchini Noodles topped with Whole Foods pre-made Eggplant Balls that were simmered in Cucina Antica Vodka sauce.  One of my favorites.

Zucchini Noodles topped with Whole Foods pre-made Eggplant Balls that were simmered in Cucina Antica Vodka sauce. One of my favorites.

Sautee Zucchini Noodles with salt, pepper, olive oil, crushed red pepper.  Heat two Whole Foods ready-made Turkey Balls and mix in.  Top with parmesan cheese.

Sautee Zucchini Noodles with salt, pepper, olive oil, crushed red pepper. Heat two Whole Foods ready-made Turkey Balls and mix in. Top with parmesan cheese.

 

Cook Pancetta and roast butternut squash first.  Cook Zucchini Noodles.  Add pancetta and butternut squash, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and garlic. Top with goat cheese.

Cook Pancetta and roast butternut squash first. Cook Zucchini Noodles. Add pancetta and butternut squash, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and garlic. Top with goat cheese.

 

 Veggetti™ is available at Bed, Bath, & Beyond for $14.99.  It is top rack, dishwasher safe

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  I am not a professional chef by any means but I love mixing simple ingredients together to come up with something delicious.  I also love to share products that help my girls eat more vegetables.  I’m still working getting my oldest to try them because I know she will like them if she does.

 

 

 

 

Fun (FOOD) Friday: Under the Sea

3 Oct

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I should be talking about Halloween and pumpkins but my girls can’t stop reminiscing about their summer trip to  Magic Kingdom.  The highlights of course, meeting the princesses.  A new attraction from our last visit a few years ago was Ariel’s Grotto.  It was simply amazing for them to go “Under the Sea” and meet their favorite Mermaid.  For dinner the next night, I decided to do something a little fun with their food.  I made a mermaid (or Ariel) themed dinner, not as beautiful as the “real” Ariel but it was fun and exciting for the girls.

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It was simple to make.  For the…

Head: I got ready made Turkey meatballs from whole foods and heated them up. I then cut eyes and a mouth

Hair: I made spaghetti with Vodka sauce.  I placed the spaghetti around the head so that it looked like hair.

Shells: I used two Driscoll’s Strawberries.

Tail: I sliced up kiwi and placed it on the plate to look like a tail.

Arms: I used two carrots.

Fish: I had S’More Goldfish and took the chocolate fish out and placed them on the plate for an “Under the Sea” look.

The next time I make our Mermaid meal, I will use cooked spinach for seaweed or broccoli for “under water” plant life.

 

Does your child love mermaids as much as my girls do?  Here a few activities you can do to continue your “Under the Sea” themed evening:

 

Happy Friday!

Disclaimer: All images, ideas and opinions expressedare my own.   I was not compensated for this post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips For Making It To School On Time And Having A Smoother Day

29 Sep

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My oldest started first grade this year and my youngest Pre-K. One of the biggest challenges to every school year, is making it out of the apartment on time, without tears. But we also have a busier schedule with a late evening soccer practice, a late religion class, an afternoon of dance class, and homework. Even though we are a month into school, returning from long weekends become challenging too.  We’ve recently implemented these strategies at home to help the day go smoothly:

  • Create a check list/ schedule for the day.  I created a morning checklist and an afternoon checklist.  Included is the schedule for the day so they know what is coming next.  If they complete everything on their checklist, they get to watch a tv show or have a treat before they head to bed.
  • Plan ahead.  What days will you have play dates?  Set a specified time for homework.  We have 15 minutes of reading that we do every night.  Lay out Clothes for the night before.  Talk about what they would like for lunch the next day so you are prepped and ready to go in the morning.  All of these activities and responsibilities can be included on the check list.  Having them there has helped so my daughter doesn’t have to ask what to do next.
  • Limit TV, Computer/IPad time, especially in the mornings.  It’s always more stressful in the AM to get out in time when the girls have a TV show on.  They never want to leave.  After we get shoes on, I have my girls look at a book or work on words/ letter sounds we created on the back of our door while they wait.  We use the Leap Frog Magnetic Fridge Phonics Set and Sylvan Spelling Flash Cards.  You can also make your own cards adding the words of the week for Friday Spelling Quizzes.

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  • The Bored Jar Trying to coordinate play dates is challenging with all the after-school commitments.  Often, my girls come home and entertain each other.  I’ve received lots of tugs on my arm followed with the famous words “I’m Bored”.   To create a The Bored Jar, use any jar, bowl, or vase.  Fill it with strips that contain various activities or chores.  I used the wonderful printable suggestions from imom. Activities include do a chore for mom  ( I created a separate list of chores for them to choose from), play a board game with someone, help make dinner, call a grandparent, and more.  We modified and added a few of our own: build a tent, dress-up and act out a scene, ask mom to set up uKloo, make a book, do a chore for Dad and try on clothes for the upcoming season to see what still fits and what needs to get donated.  The Bored Jar is a fun way to keep kids busy and not constantly asking what’s next, especially when the weather gets colder and you are stuck inside.
Printouts from imom.

Printout from imom.com

  • Stick To Your Bed Time.  I have a hard time with this because of the evening activities. We started eating dinner before her activities so when she comes home we can have a snack, take a bath and hit the bed.  When my girls are tired in the morning, it’s never easy to get out the door.

 

 

What do you find helpful to get your children out the door on time?

 

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own unless stated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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