Back to School they go…


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Earlier this month the babies, yes, both babies headed off to preschool. It feels odd that both are away from me three times a week, for three hours per day. I miss my little sidekicks but it is amazing to have three hours to myself. It’s insane how fast those three hours fly by! I barely drive to the gym, workout and then I feel like I am racing to pick them up again. The kids are loving their teachers. Brayden is in Payton’s classroom from last year and Payton is right next door to him. Every teacher Payton passes says hi to her and I have to say that she loves that. She is already basing her outfits on how many compliments she will receive, too! You don’t have to tell me how much trouble we are in for, it’s clear as day!! This first month has been a huge transition for us late sleepers. We’re setting alarms to wake-up to get them to school on-time. So far, I have been doing pretty well, especially on Monday’s when I work the night before. We’re keeping Tuesdays and Thursdays apart of the routine by getting to the gym at the same time we’re usually heading off to school. Making sure they have breakfast before school is an issue because they just aren’t hungry. Do you have this problem? I feel guilty sending them off to school with a minimal amount of food in their bellies. Thank goodness for snack at school otherwise I would really feel like a bad mom. Here’s to a fun year ahead of three and four-year-old preschool!

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phone dump {summer}

 

Holy Hell it’s hot out. I am thanking God everyday for our a/c and cursing at the electric company for our regulated thermostat that we thought was a good idea to install. I need to take a note to remember that they need to give me my old thermostat back that enables cold air to flow freely through my house when it’s 100º+. I really sound like I am pre-menopausal…hmm…

We have a little more than a month left until both kids venture off to preschool. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!!! school God’s because these bickering kids might be what’s causing my hot flashes, both mentally and physically. While we have not taken a vacay we’ve kept ourselves busy with our Summer playgroup, impromptu beach trips, endless hours bronzing in our pool (it’s no joke, if y’all saw Payton’s white fanny you’d call the sunscreen CPS). Before I go another year without updating on our life I thought I should virtualize our Summer thus far. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably already seen 101% of these so you can now move on to the next blog for your reading and viewing pleasure…

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I celebrated another glorious birthday at the end of June. With another year checked off into my thirties I was graced with new glasses to help my old eyes see better.  My very special day was uneventful (just the way I like it!): worked out, breakfast, family time, presents (yay to a new macbook pro and some fun camera gadgets), lunch, I baked myself the most horrendous cake ever which luckily tasted amazing otherwise I might have to close up the baking shop.

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Payton went to horse camp for an entire week. It was an entire week of spending time in the car with my main little man driving back-and-forth but she loved it. I also attempted my first juice cleanse which I failed miserably at by day two. The kids are ready to venture out on their own to get jobs across the street at Schack Farms aka the aunt & uncles who are adding animals by the hour.

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We celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary by taking a last minute trip to Las Vegas since the in-laws came into town. We basked in the very cool Vegas sun, saw Zarkana (which I highly recommend), we rode The Linq, attempted drinking and relaxed.

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Birthday weekend wouldn’t be my birthday weekend if we didn’t go to the fair. I would like to report that we consumed so much fried food that I had open heart surgery but it was a mild year, sorry fried butter and krispy kreme burger, you’ll have to wait until next Summer. Payton had a yummy secret Starbucks drink, a cotton candy frap. Yum!

collage5I have gone to Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley so far. Earning my wannabe hick status one concert at a time! Brayden went to the ER yet again, I swear, boys should be born with a lifetime pass of spending countless hours and co-pays in the ER. Or, mother’s should be given a complimentary case of wine per month. I’d take either. Payton continues to be fab by baking in her NYE gown.

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Payton began ballet/tap classes and loves it which is great because last Summer she wasn’t the biggest fan. Brayden’s nursery is transitioning to a big boy room. It’s very exciting and sad at the same time but I love this space. Payton still wants to be a nurse or doctor. Rita’s has exploded all over California, so our once New Jersey treat with the grandparents can now happen whenever we want!

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Dierks was this past weekend, as well as my nieces dance recitals and Payton had her first girls trip at grandma’s house for four days. Phew! and we still have over a month to go.

 

 

 

Lemon Snapple Iced Tea #BrewOverIce

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and it’s advertiser #BrewItUp #CollectiveBias. All opinions are my own.

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If there’s one thing I get excited about each morning it’s my Keurig. There’s just something about popping a K-Cup into the machine listening to it brew a fresh cup of coffee. It’s amazing to have that cup and to get on with my day, but I always want to use my Keurig anytime and not just for a cup of joe. When I go shopping I always peruse the K-Cup aisle to see what new flavors there are. This past week I was so excited to see the variety of Brew Over Ice K-Cups. I couldn’t say no to just one variety because let’s face it, we have company coming in and out of this house and we can always use alternative fresh beverage options. I couldn’t wait to try Snapple’s Lemon Iced Tea, Lemonade and Strawberry Pomegranate low-calorie drinks.

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Brew your favorite and newfound Brew Over Ice flavors on the 6oz (small) or the 8oz (medium) setting for the best brewed taste. Make sure to brew into a BPA free plastic glass. Since I was throwing a swim playdate I brewed a few pods into a carafe and then had these available for guests to pour into plastic wine glasses.

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I created a Brew Over Ice beverage station next to my Keurig that included all three Brew Over Ice varieties that I had purchased along with a simple platter of beverage garnishes. My platter included: fresh strawberries, orange and lemon wheels. I also found a spherical ice cube mold and froze fresh raspberries inside as an alternative for plain ice cubes to kick it up a notch.

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The kids were fans that they could finally have a beverage from the Keurig that wasn’t hot chocolate. My daughter especially enjoyed the lemonade with fresh lemons and the raspberry ice cubes.

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I can definitely say that my friends were surprised to see that Keurig offers Brew Over Ice options. They were the perfect addition to our lunchtime swim date as we watched our kids splash in the pool.

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To find the Brew Over Ice products check the K-Cup aisle or K-Cup end cap. My Walmart store has the K-Cup center aisle display in addition to the regular aisle. They always have the best K-Cup flavors at Walmart vs. other stores and the prices are comparable if not even better. Have you tried any of the Brew Over Ice products yet?

I would love to hear how you #BrewItUp with your Keurig!

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Backyard Movie Night #goodnightsnack #cbias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

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If there’s something I look forward to every Summer it’s having all of our family visit. My nieces and nephew live forty-five minutes North of us, and with their busy schedules we rarely see them during the school year. It’s nice during the Summer months to have them down overnight to go swimming all day, which for them literally means all.day.long! Meal time usually translates into snacking all day, an early dinner (if they eat) and then all the kids are asking me what there is to snack on before bed. I know it’s silly, but I want my nieces, nephew and even my own kids to look back on these memories with their forever friends and remember how special these warm Summer nights mean. During this overnighter I wanted to throw the kids an outdoor movie night with plenty of fun good night snacks. I found inspiration during my last shopping trip to Walmart when I noticed night time themed boxes of Kellogg’s cereal. If there’s one thing my kids will eat it’s cereal, so why not take the cereal out of the bowl and create some fun snacks for our first outdoor movie.

As I perused the aisles I quickly determined that I could make an ultimate ice cream bar, fresh Krave popcorn, cereal sugar cookies and Froot Loop cupcakes.

{If you’re looking for the night time themed boxes, you can find them on an end cap or on the regular cereal aisle}

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If you want to throw an out-of-the-box outdoor movie night this Summer here’s what you’ll need:

cereal sugar cookies Cereal Sugar Cookies:

1 bag of sugar cookie mix prepared like directions state. Add in two cups of cereal. I used Froot Loops & Corn Flakes. You could easily use Corn Pops, Apple Jacks or a combination of all. Bake for 15 minutes.

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fruit loop cupcakesFroot Loop Cupcakes:

Mini vanilla store-bought cupcakes. Dip frosting into a bowl that is filled with Froot Loops. These were my favorite in terms of colorful, kid-like fun. Plus, they were really tasty!

krave popcornKrave Popcorn:

Cook 1 cup of corn kernels like the directions state on the package. Once the popcorn has popped sprinkle with salt and add melted butter. Add in 3 cups of Krave cereal, and jumbo m&m’s. Mix & enjoy!

I recommend using paper products to serve the food in outdoors. You don’t need to serve in boring white or clear. Make sure to check out the party section at Walmart. I found this 5-pack of blue bowls for .99¢

 

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Ultimate Cereal Sundae

Ultimate Cereal Sundaes:

Vanilla Ice Cream or Yogurt, Hot Fudge, Peanut Butter Chips, Froot Loops, Special K Fruit & Yogurt, Licorice, jumbo M&M’s and Whipped Cream. The options are endless, this is just what I used based on the kids’ preferences.

I wanted the kids to be able to build their own sundaes. I had my sister scoop the ice cream into the paper bowlsand they added their toppings. I found the red & white stripe bowls at Home Goods.

{Check-out my video on Instagram to see how I put mine together!}

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DSC_0323It was really fun taking the movie outside. It got the kids in their pajamas earlier than later, they got to calm down as the sun went down and then we had fun snacking on all our good night snacks I had prepared. It’s also nice watching the movie outside because if one or two kids (mainly my two-year-old) can’t sit still to watch an entire movie they can run around. Bringing along flashlights for the kids also made for some additional fun. The kids loved watching the sun sink down, creating a cotton candy colored sky. The pink and blue swirled sky was dotted with bats flying around and the joyful conversations around the outdoor living room made for one memorable Summer night. I hope you’ll take your next family night outside and enjoy some of the tasty good night treats I created with Kellogg’s.

 

Mexican Street Fair Corn Salad {Elotes}

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One of our favorite things to get at the San Diego Fair is the roasted corn. It’s so simple, the kids love it and apparently it’s a fair standard, you can tell just by the line alone! This year I noticed that they added, Elotes, a Mexican corn salad. The corn salad is served with mayo which I happily declined but has buttery corn, plenty of cotija cheese, cilantro and lime. To the side of the stand you can add as much chili and tapatio as you wish. After The Fourth of July we had several ears of corn leftover so I decided to recreate this new fair fav!

Mexican Street Fair Corn Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 ears of roasted corn, cut off the cob (here’s a great tutorial)
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 cup cotija cheese
  • 2 TB cilantro, chopped
  • tapatio, to taste
  • fresh lime

Directions:

  1. In a skillet melt the butter. Once melted, add the corn and heat through until warm. Toss the corn with the chili powder, use more or less depending on your taste. Season with salt.
  2. Toss the warm corn with desired amount of cheese. I added additional on top, because let’s face it, everything is better with more cheese! Add a few dashes of tapatio and garnish with cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
  3. Enjoy! Now you can enjoy the flavors of the fair all Summer long.

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