Category Archives: Kids

Free Printable Teacher Thank You Card – Phew!

IMG_4599Did teacher appreciation week sneak up on anyone else like it did me?! If it did, rest easy, I have a free printable teacher thank you card for you! Our teachers do a wonderful service in teaching and guiding our children to be prepared for adulthood. And nothing is more valuable then a teacher who cares about and works hard for our children. So regardless of our hectic lives and stuff we have going on, I at least want to give them a card – after all, our kiddos spend more time with their teachers than they do their parents during the school year (sniff, sniff). Just click here and print on white card stock and you are good-to-go to say “thank you” to that special teacher in your children’s lives.

Also, check out the free recipe cards I posted last week. I had my girls tell me their favorite recipe and then I typed them on the cards, printed them and am pairing them with these mini measuring spoons for a simple, yet sweet personalized gift for their teachers.

Cocoa and Cookies Birthday Party

IMG_4075

I’m over the birthday party hump with both of my girl’s birthdays under wrapped – phew! My five year old was stuck on having hot cocoa, pajamas and a puppy movie for her birthday party so I tried to tie it together with a Cocoa and Cookies theme (…and where your PJ’s!). I kind of phoned this one home this year with everything we’ve had going on these last few months, but she seemed pleased with her party and the little touches I did do, I think turned out pretty cute. Here are a few pictures of her party.

I was indecisive about having a white border or not on the invitation (see above) and in the end I went with no border. I added a coral colored straw because I’m well aware that cocoa and cookies for a birthday theme in March is not exactly seasonal 😉 and in the end I went with no border.

IMG_4196

I designed little thank you tags for the homemade hot cocoa and cookies the kiddos took home. Simple and certainly inexpensive. Yahoo!

IMG_4117

This number 5 balloon was from her actual birthday the week before, but it survived a week and a half later…barely!

IMG_4236

My attempt at a icebox cookie cake. It didn’t turn out exactly like my #magnoliabakery inspiration cake, but it was a worthy effort 😉 Cake decorating is certainly not my forte!! But it was delicious!

IMG_4207

I’ve fallen in love with these adorable sparkler candles and it adds a fun surprise to the cake!

IMG_4243

Finally making use of our chalkboard wall we have! My husband does a great job at projecting the text from his mini projector and then tracing the text so it turns out level and in the font I want.

IMG_4209

The kids got to decorate their own mugs with a monogrammed letter and take them home with them along with their hot cocoa and cookies goodie bag.

IMG_4247

The two older girls hard at work on their mugs. I wish I got more pictures of the table before it got all messy, but the sun was shining in so brightly that it was hard to see beyond all of the shadows. Oh, and lastly, the kids dropped marshmallows from a chair in a mason jar. They all said how simple it would be, but it was harder than it looked and they all had to eat their words!

Strawberry Milk – Moms, You Can Say “Yes”!!

IMG_4060IMG_4060What kid doesn’t want strawberry or chocolate milk? And what Mom doesn’t dread saying “no” to yet another treat? I had a lightbulb go off recently and thought, why not just blend strawberries with milk to make actual, real, authentic strawberry milk?! Seems so obvious, but a foreign concept at the same time. So I got out my try trusty blender, added some strawberries aaaaaaand…sort of bland 🙁 But I’m not one to get discouraged and waste perfectly good strawberries so easily. I ran my thinking hamster around in my head and decided a dash of (real) maple syrup might do the trick, but also keep the healthy factor in tact. And wouldn’t ya know?! It’s delicious and my daughter loves it. Store any extra in the fridge for a few days and pull it out for an extra special treat you can feel good about.

No recipe is needed really. Just add a container of strawberries to about 16-24 ounces of milk with a tablespoon or two of syrup, blend, and you are good to go! Enjoy being a cool mom once again!

Valentine Class Bookmark Cards – Free Download!!!

IMG_4015With sick kids, half days and a multitude of other unplanned stuff in our schedule, it’s been taking me longer than I would have liked to get these valentine bookmarks finished and shared for a valentine freebie! But, alas, I finished {sigh}.

I really try to limit the trinket quota in our house, but it always seems to be a loosing battle. However, I trudge on and hope someday my house will be a trinket free zone (wishful thinking, right?). That said, for valentine’s day, it’s a mecca of trinkets and so in the past I’ve just done some simple valentine cards (see my Etsy Shop) with a lollipop taped to the back. For fear my kids will get bored with my noncreative valentine efforts (however, I thought their cards were pretty cute, but kids could care less about the design…it was for me 🙂 ), I decided to create some valentine bookmarks. Not as exciting as candy, but my mom conscience feels much better about it! So here you have it…they are a free download for the next week and then they will be available on my Etsy Shop for purchase after that.  Just print (on card stock), trim and write on the back and you are finished! Enjoy 🙂

Pajama and Pancake Birthday Party

IMG_3979It’s been a few weeks since my daughter had her birthday, but shortly after we dashed off to Hawaii (can’t complain!!!) and now we are back to the daily grind of life. I’ve been anxious to post about Vivienne’s birthday party. I thought it turned out so cute, but I must apologize for some of my pictures. I am by no means a professional photographer nor do we feel it necessary to hire one for a kids party. Every thing we do, we do it ourselves…except for the cake. I’ve learned my DIY limits and cake decorating is not my thing 😉

After a year long conversation of Viv telling me she wanted a pirate party, a few weeks before I needed to send out the invites, she threw me a curve ball and said she wanted a slumber party? “A wha, wha?!!” I said. Me not being ready to host a sleep over with a bunch of six and seven year olds, seeing disaster in the making, years off my life and no sleep, I gently suggested a pajama party instead with breakfast for dinner (who doesn’t love that?!). She was sold! Amen to that! So I had a few weeks to rethink party ideas and come up with a game plan and here you will see the results with corals, peaches and golds as the main theme.

IMG_3817

IMG_3810To keep with the ombre theme of the invitation, I had our local store do an ombre cake which I thought they did a fantastic job and much better than I could have ever attempted. Then I topped it with some sticker flags and gold washi tape I whipped up along with a #7 sparkler candle.

IMG_3848

IMG_3781

IMG_3777To set the scene and create an intimate, cozy atmosphere, I used a low table covered with white kraft paper and gold sparkle stickers. The kids sat on pillows and ate pancakes, fruit and yogurt parfaits…talk about sugar overload!! On either sides of the table, I had a teepee with faux sheep skin (#ikea) rugs and pillows inside. I already had one teepee I had made years ago, but I wanted one more without the effort of cutting and sewing. So with a little Google help, I saw some no-sew ideas and came up with my own take. Talk about easy!! Just using some 6′ wood dowels, a painters drop cloth and a few pushpins and you are good to go!! I also topped the teepees with some tissue garland and what I call “fairy lights” I had picked up a while ago from the #target dollar bin. That place can be a gold mine if you check regularly. Finally, we have a glass panel wall that I used to hang some gold and peach pin wheels as a back drop. Super cute!! 
IMG_3819For activities we had a donut from a string eating contest (that was a big hit!!) and then the kiddos decorated their own pillow cases with fabric markers. It kept them busy for quite a while and it was fun to see what they came up with.

IMG_3784

IMG_3783

Finally, for the favors, I found these sparkly gold bags from (again) the Target dollar bin that I dolled up with some Thank You tags and filled them each with a peach colored bracelet, some donut shaped soap from Etsy, and these glass magnets I made that coordinated with the invitation. Over all I think all the kiddos had fun and who doesn’t like hanging out in your jammies?! To take one for the team, I even wore mine and I have to say, it’s the most comfortable I’ve ever been at a party 😉

*Most of the party supplies were from Shop Sweet Lulu and Target

**If you have any questions about how I created or styled some of the party items, I am happy to answer!

Protein Packed Sunflower Butter Muffins…Yum!

IMG_3737Well hello again! I disappeared there for a bit over the Christmas break. I posted a few inspirations on Instagram, but I was otherwise engaged with hanging with the family folk for the last few weeks. I have to say, it was nice to slow down, not rush out the door and just hang in our jammies if we so chose. Not to give an entirely wrong impression that we did nothing but hang out in our pjs slothing about. We did venture out of our hollow up to visit the snow, downtown to see the gingerbread houses and then a dismal attempt at driving around to find Christmas lights and ending up in a gas station bathroom (ewe!!).

Now that the merriment of the holidays are behind us, we’ve stretched our pants to capacity and dawned our nightwear sufficiently during the day hours, it’s time to get back on track. Exercise, stick to a schedule and eat healthy…but still eat yummy food of course!! The Christmas cookies are in the past and I am inspired to start thinking of some healthier options for my little peeps that they will actually eat. So I went to my “High Protein Vegetarian” cookbook and found these bad boys that I hadn’t tried before. Partly because my oldest daughter only likes almond butter and my youngest only likes peanut butter…hmph 🙁 But a lightbulb went off last night and I thought of the all forgotten sunflower butter that I think is oh-so-delicisious, but hardly used. So with a few minor substitutions, I whipped these up last night while the girls were in bed. And the best part? they tried them for breakfast and they liked them! Yay! And I have to say I do too. Super yum with all sorts of healthy goodness in there to make a mom’s conscience rest easy.

Here is the recipe that was adapted from Veggie and the Beast:

Sunflower Butter and Chocolate Chips Protein Muffins

 

YIELD: 10 – 12 muffins (I only got 10)

PREP TIME: 10 minutes

COOK TIME: 15 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup whole grain spelt flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
  • ½ cup quick oats
  • ¼ cup wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup natural unsweetened applesauce
  • ⅔ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the flour, oats, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, stir together the applesauce and peanut butter. Mix in the honey, sugar, egg, and vanilla, and then stir in the Greek yogurt.
  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Fold in the chocolates chips.
  4. Drop the batter into 12 lined and greased muffin tins.
  5. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick/knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Since this is an oil-free quick bread, the muffin flavor and texture will improve overnight.

Loaded Berry Smoothies

IMG_3337
Usually when the weekend comes, I am ready for a smoothie and this one is by far my favorite (after much trial and error), not only for the flavor, but also for the loads of good healthy stuff in there. And the best part? You can’t even tell all the good stuff is in there! Yahoo!

My kids know what goes in these since they are used to me piling in all sorts of healthy things in their foods, but if they can taste it, they won’t eat it. This power house is a sure way to get some healthy spinach (or kale), vitamin packed berries, ground flax, chia seeds, hemp seeds and protein packed greek yogurt in to their diet. Did I say flax, hemp, chia and spinach?! Oh yes. I. Did. Here is the secret to any smoothie tasting good (if you haven’t figured this one out already). Bananas. I’ve tried leaving them out, but they just don’t taste as good…a little bland. There is no science to the exact measurements so feel free to adjust to your taste buds 🙂

So here is the recipe…easy as…a smoothie…

2 cups frozen mixed berry blend (or any frozen berry you prefer)

2 very ripe bananas

2 cups fresh spinach or kale (not packed)

1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt

1-2 tbsp ground flax

1-2 tbsp chia seeds

1-2 tbsp hemp seeds

add water to desired consistency (start with one cup and add more if needed)

*If your berries are on the tart side, add a hint-o maple syrup or honey to doctor it up

 

Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth – voila!