Saturday, October 8, 2016

How to Tailgate with a Toddler

Fall is here and so is football season.  And, just because we have kids now, does not mean we are going to miss out on attending football games and all the pregame festivities.  While our tailgate may look a little different than the pre-baby years, we have found a couple of ways to incorporate our football traditions into our growing family life.  Whether you tailgate under the Friday night lights, at a college or professional game here are some great ideas, tips and tricks to make your get-together fun for you and toddler friendly.
1.) Have activities for them to do during the tailgate.
        We took along a ring toss for them to play with, as well as a football to toss around.  You could also bring bean bag toss, ladder golf or even sidewalk chalk if you park on a hard surface.  l also had a "Cheer Gear" station with pom poms, foam fingers, hand clappers, stickers and tattoos.  Both kids and adults could play with the items, shake the poms and noise makers or even dance with them. (if there is music)  And heres the best part... all of these items I got for FREE.  Various businesses or organizations may have booths around the stadium and hand out these items in the teams colors.  You may be shaking a pom pom with an insurance company logo on the handle, or a foam finger that says Big Ten Network, but it doesn't cost anything, it's fun and gets everyone in a game time mood.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Fall Coffee Flavors at Gloria Jean's

We had a couple of days of cool weather.  (then it got warm again)  But in those few days I got into a fall like mood.  I decorated for Halloween, I picked up some pumpkins and I started drinking Gloria Jean's Fall Flavored Coffee.  Available now through November 6th at all locations, this assortment of fall flavors is sure to help you maximize your enjoyment of changing leaves, football and apples.
The first flavor I tried was their Caramel Apple Nut.  A rich aroma of candied apples and warm nuts and taste great with a plain creamer.  Next up I tried their Pumpkin Spice.  This was a full flavor drink.  And lastly I tried the Caramel Pecan Roll.  When you brew this coffee you will swear there are cinnamon rolls baking in your oven too, as it smells that good.

These 3 seasonal flavors can be purchased in store or online and easily made at home.  For more information and shop locations be sure to check out their website and facebook.

Please note Gloria Jeans did send me product samples for this blog post.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Perfect Mornings Mean Perfect Measures

Please note this is a sponsored post on behalf of the J.M. Smucker Company and their Folgers Perfect Measures product.

What does your perfect morning entail?  Sleeping in?  A hot breakfast?  Kids dressed and ready to start their day?  Morning News?  Hot Shower?  While your list of blissful morning details may be long.... I'm guessing cleaning up coffee grounds off your kitchen cabinet and drinking weak, watered down coffee are not on that list.  That's why Folgers has made Perfect Measures coffee tabs. Pre-measured and ready to go, simply count out your tabs and drop in your coffee maker.  No scoops, no guessing and no mess.
Here is a quick video I made showing how easy you can make your next perfect morning cup of coffee.  (And for fun I made a quick and easy fall season coffee creamer you can add to your drink. If you like Pumpkin Spice you will LOVE Chocolate Pumpkin!!!)
And now for that recipe.......

Monday, September 19, 2016

crock pot Quinoa Casserole

I have found a recipe for your football viewing pleasure this fall.  It is so good it can be used as a casserole, dip or inside a tortilla.  Serve along side some chips and salad and you have a great meal.  Serve with some chopped lettuce and more tomatoes and you'll have a burrito.  Or grab a bag of chips and dip and you have a delicious appetizer.  Any way you serve it, you're going to want seconds, so fire up the crock pot as this will feed a crowd.

And this recipe calls for Quinoa, (which Ott, E tells me is related to common lambs quarter a weed probably found in your garden) and is high in protein, fiber and Vitamin B.  It is also Gluten Free, and taste similar to rice when used in this dish.      

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hot Ruby Mixed Drinks

As summer ends and fall begins you sometimes want a warm drink and sometimes still need a cold one.  Well I have found a mix for you that perfect served warm or cold.  Hot Ruby is a cranberry cider you could simply heat up and drink, pour over ice and drink, or mix in with your favorite liquor for a nice cocktail.  

I recently tried Hot Ruby in a mixed drink and loved the versatility of the cranberries and cinnamon.  The aroma is very comforting and the taste is lively. Whether your are lounging by the pool or getting cozy by the fire you are certain to find a way to enjoy this mixture.  
I made a summer ruby mixed drink with a recipe I adapted on their website.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Cow Cheesecake Bars

A perfect dessert when you need a chocolate fix.  Or a cheesecake fix.  Or for a farm themed party or maybe a going to a festival that celebrates cow... poop.... (Yeah, thats a real thing... don't believer me google it.)  But whatever the occasion these chocolate brownies with cheesecake and more brownie are a delicious treat.  

Thursday, September 1, 2016

New Exhibits for Fall at the Children's Museum

 Wow!  I have got the inside scoop of the 2 new exhibits at the Indianapolis Children's Museum, that you have got to check out.  Any day this fall would be a perfect day to stop in and see what all the museum has to offer.  Whether you have a newborn, toddler or teenager the museum offers something to learn, play or stimulate the imagination at every age.    

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Peach Pie Jam

I love the taste of fresh peach pie in the summer time.  The sweetness of the peaches along with some cinnamon on a flaky crust is absolutely divine.  Alas, every good pie gets eaten up, and peach season only lasts so long.  With this recipe for Peach Pie Jam, I can open a jar and spread some on my breakfast bagel or after dinner ice cream and enjoy those flavors in a peach pie all year long.  

My good friends at sent me a box of beautiful Washington State Peaches and this is the recipe I came up with.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tom's of Maine Toothpaste & Meijer giveaway

Today I am blogging on behalf of Meijer and Tom's of Maine Toothpaste.
I am a creature of habit.  I like my routine, my schedule, my calendar.  And like most of us, everyday in my routine there is a designated time and place to brush my teeth.  Here recently I tried Tom's of Maine all natural, fluoride-free toothpaste.  Tom's of Maine uses naturally sourced ingredients and natural flavoring in their line of toothpaste products.  Whether you want relief for sensitive teeth or whitening action, Tom's has a product to meet your needs.

This summer, Meijer is partnering with Tom’s of Maine to make incorporating natural products into your everyday routine that much easier. Enjoy that iced coffee without fear of darkening teeth and bite into that cold popsicles now that you've found a toothpaste to accommodate your lifestyle.

Right now through August 1st you can use a mPerks coupon to get $1 off a Tom's of Maine Toothpaste.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Balsamic Blueberry Marinade

My kids eat so many blueberries it's a wonder they don't turn blue.  So, I thought it would be fun to cook with some and make up a marinade for our leg of lamb steaks.  This Balsamic Blueberry Marinade could easily be used on chicken, beef or pork as well, but you know how much I enjoy cooking with lamb and we loved the flavors this added to our steaks.  While you could easily grill with this recipe I decided it was too hot to stand out in the heat over an open fire, so I threw it all in the crock pot and allowed it to cook on low for 8 hours.  No sweat and no mess with this easy recipe.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Sweet Cherry Butter

I love a good fruit butter on my breakfast bagel.  So when the Washington State Fruit Commission sent me a box of Rainier Cherries, I knew I had to preserve these in a way to enjoy the taste of sweet cherries throughout the rest of the year.  I know you've all heard of apple butter so here is my take on Sweet Cherry Butter.  I couple hours today canning this delicious spread, will allow me to enjoy the sweet taste of summer all year long!!!  

Monday, May 9, 2016

unFOURgettable Pinknic

It's hard to believer Miss MacchiOTTo turned 4 years old this past weekend.  To celebrate we held her party at The Urban Chalkboard in Carmel, Indiana.  After working with the staff to plan the party and host the party I have to say it was the perfect spot for our guest list which ranged from kids 1 year old to 5 years old and adults.   The Urban Chalkboard is ideal for kids in this age range with creative age appropriate toys, classes, treats and more.  Their staff was easy and fun to work with and you can tell they really love working with kids so I not only want to share with you all our party details but also information on how you can host your own party at "The UC".
This years party theme for MacchiOTTo since she turned 4 was an "UnFOURgettable Pinknic".  (A Pink Picnic.... get it.)  For party invites I got out some of my old scrapbook supplies and made these basket cards.  The weave of the basket made a pocket so when you pulled up on the lid of the basket you pulled out the printed invite with all the party details.