Sep 022014
 

Crunchy Baked Onion Rings with Panko Crumbs

Have you ever been to a restaurant and thought to yourself “Why can’t I make it taste like this at home?”. There are just certain things that you have to go out to eat for and I was TIRED of spending money on onion rings. I’ve tried my hand at making them on several accounts and while they tasted okay, they didn’t have a bite to them and were kinda lifeless. So I decided to experiment in the kitchen one afternoon when I was having an onion ring craving and came up with this delicious Crunchy Baked Onion Rings recipe.

If you have ever had Red Robin onion rings you know they are EXPENSIVE to say the least. They are pretty damn good, but, I refuse to pay the price. So this recipe is a reflection of them. However, they are not a “copy cat”! Continue reading »

Sep 012014
 

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One of the biggest problems people struggle with when it comes to losing weight and eating healthy is portion control. We always wanna go back for that second plate and buffets are the worst thing that ever happened to us! LOL. If you pay attention and try your hardest you can really work on portion control and it will extremely effect your look and health!

1. Use smaller plates. If you use a smaller plate it will appear that you have more food on your plate and your mind will believe that after your one plate, you’re full. You won’t need to eat extra food or go back for seconds. It’s smart to use a salad or side dish plate for your main meal rather than a big huge plate, that is just more room for you to fill up your plate with unhealthy foods!

2. Portion out snacks ahead of time. When it comes to snacks such as chips, pretzels, or cheez its get small snack baggies and portion them ahead of time according the proper serving size on the nutrition facts rather than eating from the bag or box! This will save you so many calories and leave you feeling satisfied without breaking your diet! I’ve found doing this and writing the calories of that portion on the baggy really helps with not eating so many salty, unhealthy snacks! Continue reading »

Aug 312014
 

**As part of the WWE Ambassador Program, I received some really cool back to school items for my kids to welcome us into the program.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

be a star

The Creative Coalition and WWE, co-founders of the Be a STAR (Show Tolerance And Respect) anti-bullying initiative, today announced the launch of the S.T.A.R. Alliance, a group of actors, musicians, comedians, athletes, television personalities and members of The Creative Coalition, who have joined together to help put an end to bullying.  (See the full list of members here).

The WWE is working hard to break down prejudices and promote a culture of fairness and respect through programs and initiatives that educate, enrich, and empower people to create a positive social environment for all, regardless of age, race, religion, sexual orientation, or physical ability.

Be a STAR is an anti-bullying initiative co-founded in 2011 by The Creative Coalition and WWE. Its mission is to encourage young people to treat each other with tolerance and respect through education and grassroots initiatives. WWE and The Creative Coalition leverage the power of The Creative Coalition’s entertainment industry constituencies and WWE’s global brand and platforms to help combat the bullying epidemic plaguing today’s youth. Continue reading »

Aug 292014
 

10 Back to School Tips for Elementary Students

Want to prepare your elementary students for going back to school? Despite what you think, there are some major things you can do to prepare your kids. Ready, set, check out these 10 back to school tips for all of the elementary children in your family.

#1. Establish a routine

I can’t emphasize this one enough. Establishing a routine for the whole family is a way around this matter. Everyone has a bed time and an up time.

#2. Reading together

You can prepare your elementary student for back to school by spending thesummer reading. It’s never too late to start because the more you read the more your child can learn.

#3. Planning for back to school

Nothing helps your child more going back to school, than you helping them plan for it. Pick out clothes together, buy school supplies together, and discuss what next year will bring.

#4. Keep ‘em counting Continue reading »

Aug 282014
 

10 Drool Worthy S'Mores Recipes

Do you love s’mores as much as I do?  If so,  how about whipping up a couple of these simple s’mores recipes? If you’re having a summer cookout, these are all sure to wow your guests when it comes time for dessert!

S’more Bites Mini Cupcakes

S’mores Cookie Bars

Indoor Peanut Butter Cup S’mores

Patriotic Party S’mores

S’mores Pops

S’mores Frappuccino

Double Chocolate S’mores Bark

No Bake S’mores Icebox Cake

Banana S’mores

S’mores

 

Enjoy!

Aug 272014
 

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It is almost time to send kids back to school! That means there will be lots to do before that first bell rings. Saving money on school lunches is at the top of most parents’ lists for back-to-school and it isn’t that hard to do. You can save money with your kids’ lunches with these very simple steps and tips.

Buy the right equipment

If you want to send your kids to school with a homemade lunch, buy the right equipment to pack it all in. When you don’t have the right lunchbox, thermos, and other containers, you will end up wasting food because it will spoil before your child can actually eat it.

Meal plan

It’s a well-known fact that meal planning can help you lose weight, but did you know that it can also save you money? If you plan out your meals, including snacks and drinks, you can cut your grocery bill by as much as 20 percent in one month, and that includes your kids’ lunches. Plan it all out before grocery shopping. This will also save you time on making lunches in the morning. Continue reading »

Aug 262014
 

If you are new to Disney World, you may not have heard of Dole Whips before. Or maybe you have heard of a Dole Whip, but you’re not quite sure what one is and you’re wondering what all the buzz is about.

Well, let me clear this cult dessert up for you.

What is a Dole Whip at Disney World

What is a Dole Whip?

A Dole Whip is a non-dairy (lactose free) soft serve frozen dessert.  It is made from puree, which is then reconstituted with tap water and frozen before serving. The infamous frozen treat is available in three flavors: pineapple, orange and vanilla – and yes you can get orange or pineapple swirled with vanilla.  Pineapple is original flavor and definitley my personal favorite! A Dole Whip can also be combined with pineapple juice to create a float and word on the street is that they are awesome, but I have never personally tried one.

Where you can find a Dole Whip at Walt Disney World: Continue reading »

Aug 252014
 

10 Things I Wish I'd Known About Raising All Boys

Raising boys isn’t for the faint of heart and I can tell you this from firsthand experience. There are some things I wish I’d known about raising all boys before I began this journey. Here are ten things I wish I knew:

#1. Boys are so Sweet

You always hear all of the negative things about raising boys, but you hardly ever hear the positive. I wish I knew how sweet boys are because I would have had ten more (just kidding).

#2. Boys Love Dirt

I don’t know how many times I have to tell my sons to stop digging in the dirt. You let them outside for two minutes and they’re covered in dirt. No one told me how dirty boys get.

#3. Boys Make Great Brothers

I can’t imagine not having both of my boys because they make such great brothers. I honestly never knew how awesome having multiple boys could really be and the best part is that they impact my life on a daily basis. Continue reading »

Aug 242014
 

Upcycled Altoid Tin First Aid kit

With two active little boys in my house, there are bound to be some bumps and bruises along the way.  Ok, they happen pretty much every single day and when they happen, I like to be prepared.  I always have Neosporin and Band-Aid’s on me, so I figured why not put all my first aid supplies in a cute little container to carry with me in my purse.

It’s so cute that I bet you want to make one now, too, right?  It’s super easy to make and here’s what You’ll Need:

  • Green Duck Tape
  • Pink Duck Tape
  • Altoid Sized Tin
  • Scissors
  • First Aid supplies

FirstAid-1
Continue reading »

Aug 222014
 

10 Ways to Save Money During Your Next Trip to the Amusement Park

Family trips to the local (or not so local) amusement park are so much fun, and a great way to make memories that will last for years to come. These days, however, this fun can come at a hefty price. The cost of amusement park tickets alone has increased tremendously, and the additional costs involved, such as food, parking and accommodations if you are traveling can make the whole trip cost way more than you planned.

  1. The key here is planning. Think ahead to get the best prices on your admission. Ticket prices can vary depending on the season, and there are often great deals if you look for them.
  2. Try going online to see if there are any ticket discounts, and also keep your eyes out at grocery stores and restaurants, there are often “2 for 1” deals as well. If nothing else, purchase your ticket online, not at the gate, you will most likely spend less money.
  3.  Be sure to go during the park’s “off season.” It will be cheaper and less crowded. Continue reading »
Aug 212014
 

Delicious Watermelon Martini Recipe

I just love summer don’t you? It is all about having fun, sitting outside and relaxing. Oh and enjoying a cool mixed drink or two. If you are looking for a new flavor drink to try this summer, I have one for you. I have come up with a delicious mixed drink recipe for a Watermelon Martini that I think you will LOVE! It is not only good with the taste of summer, it is super easy to make! Continue reading »

Aug 202014
 

10 Back to School Tips For Parents

Parents, are you tired of all of these “back to school” tips for kids— what about the PARENTS? The parents need back to school tips too! Well, here are 10 tips to help you stay on track with your kid this summer. (Warning, some of these may be a bit sarcastic).

#1. Stop staying up so late

As you are reading this, it’s probably already past your bedtime. Waking up earlier than usual is going to be harder than you thought, so get to bed when you can.

#2. Take your vitamins

This is no joke. If you want to have energy to help your kids get up for school, then you will need to make sure you’re taking care of yourself.

#3. Keep a full gas tank

You don’t want to make anyone late in the morning. When your gas tank is empty, fill it up. Don’t procrastinate on this, you’ll regret it later.

#4. Pack lunches the night before Continue reading »

Aug 172014
 

5 Apps That You Need If You're Traveling

Going on vacation or travelling for business can be very exciting, but it can be a stressful experience, too. Thankfully, apps exist for just about everything and that includes making traveling easier for you. These free mobile apps are ones that just about any tourist needs to make sure their trip is the best it can be.

1. TripIt  (Available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows)

If you like to be organized, this is the app for you! This one app keeps all of you confirmation emails at your fingertips, and it creates an itinerary for you based on information you enter into it. You can even use the app to book reservations or reserve tickets for events.

2.  ImedJet (Available for iPhone and Android)

There are many times you may find yourself without Internet reception and you are in need of using an app. ImedJet allows you access without a connection and gives you info to help you stay safe and healthy as you travel with a medical guide, first-aid information, and the ability to store your personal medical information (such as emergency contacts, allergies, medications, and more). Continue reading »

Aug 152014
 

Mint Minecraft Rice Krispie Treats

Are your kids as obsessed with Minecraft as my two are?  If that’s the case, they may get a kick out of these Minecraft Creeper Rice Krispie Treats. They are easy to make and they are a big with those little Minecraft fans!

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp butter

10 oz Bag Marshmallows

½ tsp peppermint extract

Green food coloring

5 cups crispy rice cereal

What you will need: Continue reading »

Aug 142014
 

How to Teach Your Child About Oral Care

Teaching a child about oral care can be like pulling teeth. They would rather go play with their friends, not brush their teeth. Considering your child will need those pearly whites for many years to come, it’s important that you help them take care of them now.

#1. Monkey See Monkey Do

This is so true in the oral care world. Your kids need to see you brushing your teeth before they’ll consider brushing theirs. Mom and dad, they need to see you get excited about brushing your teeth. Trust me, just like any other area in life, you are their role model. Try to stay positive about anything that revolves around oral care.

#2. Cause and Effect

I believe that brushing one’s teeth is a great way to teach about cause and effect. If a child doesn’t learn to brush their teeth now, they’ll have a lot of issues later. Luckily, kids’ teeth are a little resilient when they are kids, but it’s so important to make this a routine. Plus, if you teach them how to care for their teeth now, you will save a lot of money later. Continue reading »

Aug 132014
 

Dining at Disney World - Fun Without Characters

Disney World is a magnificent place to visit with your family. There are many things for the entire family to enjoy, including exhilarating rides and delicious dining. Many visitors choose to make Disney a family tradition year after year (like my family does), and even then, it can be hard to explore all of the wonderful options Disney has to offer. If you’re going to visit Disney this year, you should take some time to appreciate many of the unique experiences offered, especially when it comes to dining options. For a unique experience, try dining at these fun Disney restaurants that don’t include the traditional Disney characters.

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant

Looking for an interesting and unique dining experience? You’ll need to head to the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant if you’re spending some time over at Hollywood Studios. This fun restaurant has memorable booths shaped like classic ‘50s cars. This décor gives you the feeling that you’re actually experiencing a drive-in theater. The dining experience is made complete with tasty food and fun movie clips. If you have boys, they are going to love this part of Disney, I promise! Continue reading »

Aug 122014
 

Disney World Character Meals

At Disney World one of the most coveted things to do is to eat with the characters.  My family travels to Disney World every year and we have dined at most of these restaurants – some more than once!   If you want to eat amongst the characters, fear not,  they happen all over the Disney Kingdom! Advanced reservations are highly recommended and can be made at some restaurants up to 180 days in advance. The meals are either served buffet-style, family-style, or plated. Just sit back, relax and enjoy your meal as the characters will make their way around to each table. If you chase them, they might run away! Enjoy a variety of meal options and have fun checking out Disney World’s Character Meals.

Epcot:

The Garden Grill

If you love Chip and Dale’s, you have to come to the Chip and Dale’s Harvest Feast. It is located in the Land Pavilion of Future World. This restaurant features dinner with Mickey’s gang including Chip and Dale, and of course, Pluto. They are all dressed in their farmer’s best too. The kid’s menu has chicken tenders and mac and cheese on it. Reservations are recommended here.

Princess StoryBook Dining Continue reading »

Aug 112014
 

10 Easy Ways to Get Your Boys to Clean Their Rooms

If you’ve ever stepped on a Lego, then you are probably eager to read this blog post. Getting our boys to clean their rooms can be like pulling teeth. Check out these ten ways to get your boys to clean their rooms.

#1. Rewards

We all know that you can get your boys to do anything as long as you reward them. Let them have anything they want as long as they get those dirty socks and Lego’s off the floor. You’ll be one happy mama when you can see the bottom of their floor.

#2. Bright Colors

You can get your boys motivated to clean their rooms by using bright colors. What I mean by this is using bright bins to help get them a little excited about cleaning. Of course, you get to let them choose which colors they prefer.

#3. Divide and Conquer

Honestly, they may not get anywhere without your help. You may have to jump in there and help them divide and conquer. As long as you make it out alive that’s all that matters. Just keep in mind though, if your child is old enough to do it on their own, let them! Continue reading »