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 ]

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 ]

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 ]

Avocado, Lime, Banana, Coconut Yogurt Push Pops

Avocado Lime Banana Push Pops

Last week while shopping we found these adorable push pop molds and for $1.99 I couldn't resist.  They sat hidden below the sink for a week until I decided what to put in them.  As I mentioned in my Avocado, Lime, Banana Smoothie recipe, I have a love affair with all things avocado! We decided to spike the recipe we used yesterday with some shredded coconut for a little texture.  While I bought a bag of shredded coconut for this recipe; my daughter actually convinced me to buy a real coconut for her.  Have you ever tried to crack a coconut?  It's not as easy as it looks but thanks to a video I found on YouTube I learned a trick.  After I attempted and only got a drop or two of coconut milk, my husband proceeded to crack it open using a hammer just like in the video.  (How to crack open a coconut video)  We had fun showing her what was inside, sipping the milk, and munching on the meat.  Well worth the $2.00 I spent to show her where stuff comes from. Back to the push pops! ... [ Read More ]

Peeps Bunny Trail Mix

Peeps Bunny Trail Mix #peepsonality

What do you do with a big box of Peeps (thank you Peeps and Co) if you don't want your kids to eat them all in one day?  Cook and make snacks of course!  I'm always looking for fun ways to include some sweet treats for the kids without going overboard on the sugar.  With Easter just around the corner, I know we'll all be trying to ration the sugar to the little ones. This recipe could be modified any way you like.  We used some of the cereals that we had in the pantry already and added a few snacks and sweets to make it fun and colorful. What you'll need: Your favorite Peeps 1 cup of 2-3 different types of small snack-able cereals.  We used Cheerio's and Corn Chex. 1 cup of Annie's Bunny Grahams 1 cup of mini-chocolate morsels, raisins, or other small sweet snack 1 cup of jelly beans or malted milk balls leftover from the Easter basket There really isn't much to do to prepare this snack.  Gently mix all the ingredients in a bowl and you're ready to nibble away on ... [ Read More ]