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Favorite Things: Dubble Trubble Organic Kids Detangling Spray

28 Feb

Dubble Trubble Cool Cucumber Detangling Kids Hair Product

Hair products for toddlers?  Yes, indeed.  When you have a curly girl like my little lady you need a little something to tame the mane.  Dubble Trubble’s organic kids product line, available exclusively at Target, makes a great detangling spray in an awesome cucumber scent that has become our favorite hair product.  The smell is light, it feels weightless yet prevents curls from frizzing.  We use it on both wet and dry hair.

Dubble Trubble’s Cool Cucumber Detangling Spray retails for $4.99 per bottle, and is on sale March 9-April 5, 2014 at Target (buy 2 get 1 free).

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Caprese Skewers {toddler snack}

27 Aug

toddler snacks - tomato and mozzarella salad on a stick

People love to eat things on a stick or skewer – kids included.  So when my sister-in-law served these charming caprese skewers as an appetizer for a summer party on the deck they were gobbled up in minutes by both kids and adults.  To be honest I have never thought to cut up string cheese sticks to use for an appetizer, but it’s a pretty genius idea when there are slim pickings in the fridge.  It’s also a nice way to serve a healthy vegetable to toddlers; combine tomatoes with their beloved string cheese sticks and get them to eat a tomato salad on a stick.  Serve them at any event with kids – a family BBQ, picnic or kids birthday party.  They would also make for a great snack for school (parents take turns bringing snacks for the class at my daughter’s pre-school), or a fun addition for a school lunch.  Just be sure not to refrigerate the tomatoes, which makes them lose their taste.

Individual Veggies & Dip {toddler snack}

8 Aug

veggie and dip cups - great toddler snack

Encourage little ones to eat their veggies with a fun presentation for a healthy snack.  Using plastic or lucite shot glasses, serve individual servings of veggies and dip.  To make these healthy and cute snacks:  Place a few tablespoons of your favorite creamy dip in the bottom of the cup (I like to make a simple yogurt dip using Greek yogurt, lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper); next add a few cut veggies, such as baby carrots, red pepper slices and blanched asparagus tips.  They can be made in minutes if you have the veggies already prepped in your fridge.  They are also a great appetizer for kids birthday parties and even family holidays.  Make a large batch for a party up to 4 hours in advance and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Bib Storage {organize}

11 Jul

kitchen organization kids stuff bibs

I’m not sure why it took me so long to think of this, but for over a year we were hanging bigs on cabinet knobs around the kitchen.  I reorganized the little miss’s kitchen cabinet (where I keep all of her plates, cups, disposable bibs, etc.) and realized I had some leftover command hooks from another project and used one on the inside of her cabinet for her bibs.  Wallah – a home for her bibs.

Watermelon Flowers

8 Jul

kid friendly summer healthy snacks

For the 4th of july, I made star shaped watermelon cut-outs.  After using the big cookie cutter to make the stars, I was left with a lot of usable pieces of juicy watermelon, so I took out a set of mini cookie cutters and made flower shaped pieces for a play date snack.  They were a big hit – perfect bite-size for the girls to snack on.  Use any cookie cutter shape that you have on hand.  Don’t throw out the leftover scraps – puree them in the blender to make watermelon juice (one of my summer favorites – drink on its own or add to smoothies for a sweet, refreshing drink).

4th of July Dessert: Red, White & Blue Berries {cooking with kids}

28 Jun

Cooking with kids fourth of july dessert

One of my very hip mommy friends, Vicki, is an art teacher and a very creative mom who comes up with fun holiday projects for her 3 kids.  Vicki made these patriotic red, white and blue chocolate-covered berries with her kiddies, and this simple recipe is a great way to get the little ones cooking.  Strawberries are easy for little hands to grasp and the lure of chocolate, even white chocolate, will likely be enough to peak their interest in the project.  Since the base of this treat is a berry, we can count them as a “healthy” treat, right?  Here is a how-to for making these red, white & blue berries for your 4th of July celebration, with or without your little one(s).

Red, White & Blue Berries

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz white chocolate
  • blue sugar crystals (can be found in cake decorating aisle)
  • 1 lb strawberries with stems attached

Instructions:

  1. Wash strawberries carefully to keep stems intact. Dry them completely – you don’t want any water left on the berries. Line a sheet pan with parchment or waxed paper and set aside.  Place about 1 oz. of sugar crystals in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Chop white chocolate with a serrated knife and place in a microwave-safe bowl.  Heat in the microwave at 30 second intervals until half of the chocolate is melted, stirring each time you take it out. Once half is melted, stir until the chocolate is smooth and shiny (the heat from the melted chocolate will melt the remaining chocolate and this method ensures that the chocolate won’t seize or burn).  Continue to heat at 15 second intervals if the chocolate is not completely melted after stirring.
  3. Hold the stems of the strawberries away from the berry and dip the berries into the melted chocolate.  Twist the berries as you lift them out of the chocolate to let the extra chocolate drip back into the bowl. Dip the bottom third of the chocolate-covered berry in the sugar crystals, then place dipped strawberry on prepared parchment lined pan. Repeat with remaining strawberries. Allow the chocolate to harden at room temperature (about 30 minutes) or in the refrigerator (about 10 minutes).

 Makes about 12 strawberries

 

Family Picnic Tips {summer fun}

27 Jun

While I used to think of picnics as romantic endeavors involving little more than wine and cheese, family picnics have become a new favorite.  Parents can enjoy some relaxing time on a blanket while the kids crawl, run and play in an open grassy space.  It’s a nice way to enjoy an informal family meal together, and can even be an adventure depending on the spot you choose and how you choose to get there.  Here are some hip tips for getting your family picnic started:

Location, Location, Location

A picnic is all about the setting, so start your picnic planning by picking a great location.  Picnic venue options include a local park, rooftop, backyard, beach, meadow, garden, hillside or pond.  Choose a private spot for an intimate family picnic or a more open area for larger groups so you have room for frolicking or tossing a Frisbee around.

Gearing Up

Planning a good picnic involves packing the proper gear for the occasion. Some basics to include are: blankets (one with a pastic backing is ideal) , cups and/or sippy cups, utensils, a sharp knife (for adult use), a beer/wine bottle opener if you will be serving drinks, sturdy disposable or melamine plates, a cutting board, napkins, ice, a cooler or insulated bag, hand wipes, garbage bags, disposable bibs, sunblock, sun hats and bug spray.  Be sure to bring along some outdoor toys for the kids.  Bubbles, soccer balls, foldable doll strollers, toy trucks and a kite are a few options to keep kids entertained.

Picnic “Table”

Use a flat-topped cooler as a “table” for your food by draping a casual tablecloth or blanket over the top of the cooler.  By placing food on top of the cooler, you’ll free up space on your blanket.

Stay Hydrated

Be sure to pack plenty of water, which you can jazz up with slices of lemon or lime.  Sparkling water, iced tea (especially flavored), lemonade, wine and light beer are great beverage options for a picnic.  Be sure to transfer alcoholic beverages into plastic cups if you’re picnicking in a public area—getting a ticket for an open container is no fun.

Additional Hip Tips:

  • Pack your picnic goods in a backpack or canvas tote bag instead of a cumbersome picnic basket (though I do love my picnic basket!).
  • Prewrap utensils in napkins and secure with a rubber band or ribbon to make passing out sets a snap.
  • Bring fabric napkins for an eco-friendly alternative.  Dish towls are a nice option and very absorbent for spills. 
  • Use disposable bamboo plates, which are sturdier than traditional paper or plastic disposables.
  • Freeze plastic (BPA-free) bottles of water to use as ice packs for any items that need to stay cold, then drink the bottles of water after they thaw.
  • Pack cookies, brownies or another dessert in a plastic container and separate layers with pieces of parchment paper for a fresh-from-the-bakery look.