Stonyfield Southwestern Taco Dip featuring Late July Tortilla Chips

Southwestern Taco Dip

Post sponsored by Stonyfield Yogurt as a part of their Stonyfield YoGetters Blogger Program. We usually have a house full of friends for the 4th of July holiday, but this year is going to be very quiet.  The hubs is working this year over the 4th and my daughter decided to go spend the weekend with my parents. That leaves my son and I to find our own excitement.  I have absolutely no idea what we're going to do yet.  We may invite a few friends over for an impromptu pool party before we head out to watch fireworks.  There are so many fabulous places to watch the fireworks in Pinellas County, but we may stay close to home and head up to Tarpon Springs and watch the fireworks at Sunset Beach. You can find a list of all the local fireworks by county or city at Bay News 9, Fourth of July Fireworks schedule. Before our friends stop by, I made up a tasty treat to kick off the celebrations. I'm a sucker for a good taco dip and there are a million different ways to make it.  I often ... [ Read More ]

Floridians add what to their coffee??

Seattles Best Orange Coffee

It doesn't matter how hot it gets in Florida, it's never too hot for coffee.  I didn't start drinking coffee until after my second child was born and now I don't usually miss a day.  There is something about the smell of that pot of coffee brewing in the morning to really kickstart my morning.  A few months ago I finally ditched my K-cups and fell in love with my french press.  If you aren't using a french press yet, you may enjoy this quick tutorial on how to get started (French Press 101).  All it takes is some boiling water and coffee.  Here in Florida though, we add a little bit of orange zest in the springtime to add a little sunshine to your coffee. Seattle's Best Orange Coffee Recipe 2 TBS Breakfast Blend Seattle's Best coffee 1/2 TBS Orange Zest 12oz filtered water Milk or half&half to taste Sugar or sweetener to taste If you're using a french press, add coffee grounds and orange zest directly to your press.  Add boiling water, cover, and sit for 4 ... [ Read More ]

Remember When…

YoBaby Prize Pack

This post is sponsored by Stonyfield Yogurt. Keep reading to enter to win a YoBaby prize pack.  When did my kids grow up? I'm a mom of an almost 12 year old and a 6 year old.  They are hardly babies any longer; even if they do still like to cuddle with mommy. I decided to pull out the baby book from my youngest's first year and reminisce over all the "firsts." You know, the first time they roll over, the first time they crawl, the first time the stand up and of course the first time they walk.  I remember the days when they would try any food (or toys, noses, and anything that would fit in their mouth) you put in front of them. Both of my kids were fond of yogurt as babies and I love that my kids have been able to grow up as YoBabies, YoKids and now big kids who enjoy their yogurt.  YoBaby contains organic whole milk, real fruit and nothing artificial.  It was a great first food by itself or mixed with other ingredients.  I love mixing a little fresh banana and avocado ... [ Read More ]

French Press 101 – How to brew a perfect cup of coffee at home!

French Press 101 TheEcoChic

How do you like your coffee? Hot! Intravenously? A few weeks ago a friend introduced me to her French Press.  I've heard of them before but never researched them or really paid much attention to them.  I've been either a) Going to Starbucks every morning, or b) refilling my K-Cup and making a cup.  As much as I love my Starbucks, I don't always like making that daily trip to the store and spending the extra money.  I don't really enjoy my refillable K-Cup because the thing ALWAYS leaks.  I almost bought a traditional coffee pot but since I usually only drink one cup of coffee a day, it really doesn't make much since.  They also take up valuable space on the counter (which we don't have much to spare).  The French Press has solved all of those "problems" and has actually resulted in a tastier cup of coffee. The French Press has probably been around for ages, but was first patented by a Milanese designer (Attilo Calimani) back in 1929. The features are pretty basic and include a glass ... [ Read More ]

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 ]