How to Bake the PERFECT Christmas Cookie

Christmas Cookies

I'm FINALLY in the Christmas spirit and in the mood to bake a few batches of our favorite cookies.  We don't bake much the rest of the year, but I always find time to bake cookies with the kids in December.  You probably won't stumble upon my recipes pinned on Pinterest or on the pages of a magazine, but I make the PERFECT Christmas Cookies!!  Do you want to know my secret? First, go to the baking aisle of your favorite store and pick up a few packs of morsels that look good to you.  I couldn't find our favorite mint chocolate chips from last year, but I did find some red & green morsels and a pack of toffee chips.  At least that will make up some good chocolate chip cookies, right!? Next, think really hard about what other key ingredients may be missing from your kitchen.  I know I needed eggs and I thought I was out of stick butter so I chunked those in our cart.  I can't possible think of anything else that I'm out of so we head to the checkout. After dinner is over and ... [ Read More ]

Zevia – A Better Soda? #momsmeet

Zevia Zero Calorie Soda

  Are you a soda drinker? Do you let your kids drink soda?  What I'm about to tell you may shock you, but I hope you'll still love me at the end of the day. I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meets blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinions on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product. I don't drink a ton of soda, but I do enjoy a nice bubbly glass (bottle, can) of soda about 1-2 times a week.  I usually reserve my soda intake for when we go out to eat.  We usually have a bottle of soda in the house for mixed drinks (Coke, rum, and a splash of lime....enough said).  We limit the soda intake in our kids but we don't restrict soda completely; again they don't get it at home and usually only ask for it when at a restaurant.  I applaud parents who can be strict about ... [ Read More ]

Nut-Free School Lunch Ideas – Fun With Lunch Series

Nut Free School Lunch Ideas

Have a little fun with your kids lunches this year.  You don’t have to spend hours creating beautiful Bento Boxes that look like Hello Kitty to make them fun.  Your kids will love the little touches and I promise, you can do this in less than 5 minutes! With an increased awareness of nut allergies, many classrooms and schools are going nut-free for everyone.  I know that my daughter's class is completely nut-free (a few children in her class have nut-allergies) and it can be challenging to find things they will eat that comply with the nut-free zone.  As a mom who loves peanut butter, it hurts to have to spend a little extra money on peanut-free butters - but the lives of the other children are worth more than those few dollars.  I'm thankful that I don't have to stress out about my child being exposed to nuts in the classroom because it only takes one small encounter for an allergic child to have a reaction that could be fatal. Note: Some of the products featured in this post ... [ Read More ]

Whole Foods Clearwater Opens September 24th

Whole Foods Clearwater Grand Opening

Set your alarms and get ready for the Grand Opening of the brand new Whole Foods Market in Clearwater this Wednesday (Sept 24th) morning at 9am.  They will be opening the store with a traditional bread breaking ceremony right at 9am.  Be one of the first 500 guests and you'll receive a free gift certificate ranging from $5 to $500.  I don't know about you, but I would LOVE to win a $500 gift certificate to Whole Foods!!! The social media and marketing team at Whole Foods invited a group of local bloggers for a tour and tasting event tonight.  Our bellies were filled with some really amazing foods that you just can't find at other local grocery stores.  For me, there aren't many different places to shop in North Pinellas besides the traditional grocery stores.  There are a few specialty stores (some of which I truly LOVE...Kym, you know I love you) but not many places I can complete my entire shopping trip without having to bounce from store to store.  If you're looking for a place ... [ Read More ]

Easy {Healthy} Pre-Packed Lunch & Snack Ideas – Fun With Lunch Series

Annies Snack Kits

Have a little fun with your kids lunches this year.  You don’t have to spend hours creating beautiful Bento Boxes that look like Hello Kitty to make them fun.  Your kids will love the little touches and I promise, you can do this in less than 5 minutes! In todays post I'm sharing some easy (and healthy) pre-packed lunch and snack ideas for busy moms. Note: Some of the products featured in this post have been sent to me free for review.  Others I have purchased myself. I’m sharing them with you because I reach for these first before anything else in my fridge or pantry. I'm going to let you in on a little secret, my kids have been eating school lunch all year! I have tried to get them some fun, healthy lunches like the ones you see above, but they insist on buying lunch.  For my daughter, it's a novelty for her to order lunch.  This is her first year in school and she really likes feeling like a big girl. With that secret out in the open, I still have to pack snacks for my ... [ Read More ]

Waste-Free Lunch Containers – Fun With Lunch Series

Eco-Friendly Lunch Boxes @TheEcoChic

Have a little fun with your kids lunches this year.  You don't have to spend hours creating beautiful Bento Boxes that look like Hello Kitty to make them fun.  Your kids will love the little touches and I promise, you can do this in less than 5 minutes! In the first part of this series I'm sharing some of my favorite waste-free lunch containers. Note: Some of the products featured in this post have been sent to me free for review.  Others I have purchased myself. I'm sharing them with you because I reach for these first before anything else in my collection. Waste-Free Lunch Containers: Let's talk about the containers for a minute because the container alone can make for a fun lunch.  Laptop Lunches (affiliate link) are a complete Bento Box system with one large box with the 5 smaller boxes inside.  I love that they have both closed containers and containers that are open. They even have a tiny container that is perfect for sauces or dressings. Another great container ... [ Read More ]

What Makes a Lennar Home “Mommy Certified?” #MommyCertified

Spacious Rooms #MommyCertified

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lennar Tampa. The opinions shared are my own. For the past few months I've been working on the Mommy Certified campaign with Lennar Homes of Tampa.  Before I started working on this campaign I wondered, "what exactly is a Mommy Certified home?" Think about all of the things on your dream home "wish list" and this is probably what a Mommy Certified home includes.  Take a few minutes and watch this short video about what I think a Mommy Certified home is. To view on YouTube: http://youtu.be/04mU9eEPReM To summarize the video's main highlights: 1. A Mommy Certified home should be in your perfect community.  What do you look for in a new home community? Conservation lots, community pools, play grounds, or centrally located to a popular city.  Lennar Homes communities are located nearby all the major parts of Tampa and surrounding areas. 2. Spacious Floor Plans.  We all need a little more space in a home don't we?  Even in the smaller ... [ Read More ]

Simple Fruit Leather Recipe

Homemade Fruit Leather @TheEcochic

What happens when you put GoGo Squeez applesauce in a food dehydrator?  You get a super easy and incredibly tasty fruit leather recipe! My husband just bought a food dehydrator and I've been having some fun playing with different fruits and veggies for the past 2 days.  Today I decided to have a little fun with fruit leather (aka: fruit roll ups).  When I searched online for different recipes, most of them used pureed fruit or applesauce.  That's when I heard "ding, ding, ding" in my head and this brilliant idea was formed.  Instead of making fresh applesauce (because really, who has time for that) or running to the store for a jar of applesauce, I pulled out 3 pouches of GoGo Squeez. Our dehydrator came with the handy plastic trays specifically for fruit leather.  All I did was pour out 3 pouches of GoGo Squeez applesauce (you can pick any flavor - or mix it up and have a LOT of fun) on the tray and spread evenly.  I could have easily added 2-3 more pouches if I wanted a thicker ... [ Read More ]

Angelic DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent

DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe

I've always wanted to try to make my own laundry detergent but I really wanted something simple.  I had read that you can use the Earth Mama Angel Baby Shampoo & Body Wash by itself as a laundry detergent, but I really wanted something with a little more....ooomph! After reading several different versions of recipes consisting of castille soap, I decided to try my hand cooking up a batch myself.  It was really simple and only took me about 15-20 minutes from start to finish. Supplies needed:  1 cup HOT water, 1/2 cup Borax, 1/2 cup Washing Soda, and 1 cup Angel Baby Shampoo & Body Wash (Castille Soap) Directions: Boil 2 cups of water (or bring it to almost boiling, you want it to be really hot). In a bowl or jar, dissolve Borax and Washing Soda in 1 cup of really hot water.  You don't want any powder left in your mixture.  Allow to cool. Once cool, slowly add 1 cup of Angel Baby Shampoo & Body Wash. Gently stir the mixture but do not shake or you'll ... [ Read More ]

Dinosaur Rawr Baby Shower Food Ideas

Baby Shower Food Ideas

A good party is never complete without a few yummy treats!  For my dinosaur themed baby shower, I kept snacks simple and (mostly) healthy. Dino-Treats For the herbivore, serve up some raw fruits and vegetables and dip.  Raw carrots and broccoli make a fun display; pair with a simple ranch dressing for your guests to nibble on.  Blueberries and grapes can act as "dino eggs" and are a no-mess treat for all ages.  For something a little sweeter, different candy may also look like "dino eggs;" such as lemonheads or jellybeans. I used a giant clothespin from Michael's to hold the "Dino-Treats" sign.  You can download and print these dinosaur eggs (PDF format). I kept things really simple for this shower but here are some other ideas I found while searching through blogs and on Pinterest. From the Cloth Diaper Geek - Cloth Diaper Crescent Rolls I've created a Dinosaur Rawr Pinterest Board that includes some more fun food ideas.  Click over to Pinterest for more fun ... [ Read More ]