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CRAVE IT. COVET. LOVE IT. This Week: Crave White Peach and Cardamom Bellinis

7 Sep

This week I’m craving a white peach and cardamom bellini garnished with edible glitter like this “Society Sparkler” from Fashionably Bombed:

Find the recipe and more amazing images of this sure-to-be satisfying sip at Fashionably Bombed.  (How did I not find this blog earlier . . . as in my twenties, when I had time to drink and play dress up!  It’s fab – you must check it out).

Image via Fashionably Bombed.

{Review} Tovolo Rocket Pop Molds

6 Sep

We’re refusing to let summer go.  How can we when there’s still so much summer fun still to be had?

Auntie C (remember her awesome White Wine Summer Fruit Sangria?) and Uncle B brought us these great Tovolo Rocket Pop Molds for Jane’s Special Agent Oso birthday months ago: They claim to “Make a cool treat even cooler” . . . and they’re right!

  This treat is so simple and so fun.

First, fill the molds with any beverage.  

For variety, go beyond just juice and fill the molds with lemonade, iced tea or homemade smoothies.  A homemade concoction – instead of something store bought – will allow you to control the flavor, purity and amount of sugar in your pop.

Then, freeze.

Ready?  Blast off!

Buy them at Amazon (year round) or Pottery Barn Kids (seasonal product).

Stay tuned for more I Can’t Believe It’s The End of Summer Fun in our review of the awesome Play and Freeze no freeze ice cream maker!

{MINDFUL MONDAY} Mindful Moment #1: Labor Day Weekend in Pajaro Dunes

5 Sep

{The Friday Yum} The Outlaw Mom (TM)’s Easy Frozen Berry Summer Smoothie

2 Sep

It still feels like summer around here, so we’re still outside concocting refreshing ways to beat the heat.

Unlike the White Wine Summer Fruit Sangria, this cool down beverage is toddler-friendly.  Jane had fun mixing, stirring and pouring our drinks!

The best thing about this no-fail, never-forget recipe?  It’s as easy as one.  One cup of each ingredient.  One step.  One perfect Frozen Berry Summer Smoothie every time.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup nonfat French Vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 cup frozen berry medley (try Trader Joe’s Fancy Berry Medley)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks (try Trader Joe’s Pineapple Tidbits
  • apple juice to taste (optional –  use only if you need extra sweetness)

Step 1

Pour all the ingredients into your blender and crush, mix and stir until the smoothie reaches your desired level of smooth.  (I like mine chunky, so stop a little sooner than traditional smoothie texture).

That’s it.

Now, enjoy!

Jane’s First Day of School

1 Sep

Yesterday was Jane’s first day of school.

At 2 years, 7 months, my little baby went off to preschool.

I thought there would be tears on somebody’s part:  mine or hers.  Or possibly both.

But instead, it was one of the best days we’ve shared so far.

Jane was giddy with excitement and couldn’t wait to get dressed, put on her little backpack and bound down the front stairs to clamber into the car seat she usually refuses to even go near.  When we arrived at the school parking lot, she nearly pulled my arm out of the socket trying to get me to “Hurry up!

So many people have asked whether I am sad, but it’s quite the opposite.

I’m happy.  Happy that the day went off without a hitch.  Happy that my little Jane was so excited about her first day of school.  Happy that my plan of preparing her for this day by reading countless books about going to school and watching re-runs of “going to school”-type television episodes seems to have worked.  Happy that I chose to stay at home when I did.  Happy that the past two months after I quit have been purposefully spent creating an atmosphere of love and happiness and security in our little nest.  Happy that she’s ready to fly.

And off she goes . . .

{Toddler Thursday} Summer Spray Painting

1 Sep

It’s the first of September and summer is almost officially over, but there’s still time for outdoor fun and making summer memories even though it’s back to school!

Materials

  • spray bottle
  • paint
  • paper
  • water (optional)

Step 1

Fill your spray bottle with paint.  (We picked ours up for $1 at Target).  Dilute the paint with water if desired.

Step 2

Get ready to get messy and spray away!

For more fun, spray with different colors and watch the colors mix together.  Try to see how many color combinations you can make with three spray bottles filled with the primary colors.  You can also tape down images and shapes and lift the tape when you’re finished for a splatter paint effect.

LEARN!  Colors, fine motor skills, planning, creativity

CRAVE IT. COVET. LOVE IT. This Week: Covet The Original Orbit Personalized Labels

31 Aug

This {back-to-school} week I’m coveting personalized labels, like these colorful custom Orbit labels:

What better way to label bottles, cups and sippy cups, than with these non-adhesive, reusable, FDA compliant non-toxic, dishwasher- and microwave-safe custom labels?  You can even use these to label your own toiletry products, drink containers and insulated coffee mugs!

Design your own, including a tagline or personalized icon, at Inchbug.  Or shop for pre-printed labels if you or your child has a popular or traditional name.

Image via Inchbug.

Jane’s New Pet

30 Aug

We’ve had several fish over the past year:  goldfish, neon tetras, feeders. Somehow none of them have ever lasted more than a few days.

Now whenever Jane sees a fish, she says, “Mommy, is that fish going to die?“*

Lately, I’ve found myself promising to get her a rabbit, since I figure it’s easier to take care of than a cat or dog and cuter than a gerbil or hamster.

But in the meantime, Jane trapped a spider!

Charlotte has been with us for several days now and is still going strong.

Can’t say the same for her babies.

*Yes, we’re a family that has introduced the concept of death to our children since the get go.  And we don’t gloss over it.  As in, “Lie down while you’re eating and choke and die,” or “The car will hit you and you will die,” and on many unfortunate occasions, “The fish is dead.”

{The Friday Yum} Chocolate Drizzled Rice Krispies Circles

26 Aug

There are so many ways to do Rice Krispie Treats (like these Shamrock Rice Krispies Treats we made for St. Patrick’s Day).

As a last minute birthday offering for two of my favorite twins, I made these easy Chocolate Drizzled Rice Krispies Circles:

Here’s how you can jazz up the super simple childhood favorite:

Ingredients:

  • Rice Krispies Treats
  • circle (or other shape) cookie cutter
  • baking pan
  • semi-sweet chocolate chips (or try white chocolate or peanut butter chips)
  • candy melts (optional)

Step 1 (optional)

Follow the Original Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats recipe.  As the final step before pressing the Treats into your baking pan, add any color food coloring of your choosing to the Rice Krispies Treats (like we did for the Shamrock Rice Krispies Treats).  Tip:  Use Wilton’s gel food coloring in Aster Mauve from the Garden Tone set for a pinkish tint like the one you see here.

Step 2

Instead of making the traditionally thick squares called for by the Kellogg’s recipe, press your Rice Krispies Treats into a baking pan to form a thin sheet.

Step 3

After the Rice Krispies Treats have cooled and set, use your cookie cutter to cut out circles (or whatever other shape you desire).  Tip:  Twist the cutter ever-so-slightly back and forth to pull the shapes out in one piece without tearing or distorting them.

Step 4

Melt your chocolate chips in the microwave or a double boiler and drizzle lightly over the Rice Krispies Treats.  You can also coat the entire bottoms of the circles with the melted chocolate.  For variety – and because I had them on hand – I coated some of the circle bottoms with candy melts.

Happy Baking!

{Toddler Thursday} Bubble Wrap Fun

25 Aug

As Jane and Sam found out after Hubby brought home a custom handmade double guitar stand swaddled in miles of protective plastic, it’s fun to snap bubble wrap!

I know plastic is bad.  It kills our planet and can kill our babies.  But this swath of giant bubble wrap was headed straight for the recycling bin after only a few hours of protecting the guitar stand we had made as a wedding gift for our dear friends M and E, so we had to rescue it and get some enjoyment out of it!

And enjoy it we did.  Snap!  Pop!  Crack!

We snapped it between our fingers.

Popped it under our palms.

Stomped on it underfoot.

Then, we rolled it out as a runway and ran up and down our bubble carpet creating enough explosive noise to put the Fourth of July fireworks to shame.

We also tried rolling down the bubble runway and crawled down it on all fours.  Finally, we taped it to the wall and body slammed into it.

This was a great material manipulation activity and the perfect pre-bedtime activity:  both kids were fast asleep within five seconds after their little heads hit their pillows.

Need another great bubble wrap idea?  Try bubble wrap painting as beautifully done over at Red Ted Art’s Blog!

LEARN!  Fine motor skills, gross motor skills, cause and effect, sensory exploration

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