Finding happiness in chocolate!

I wanted to follow up with my readers from yesterday’s blog post! I had so many of my followers reach out to me and ask about Sophia’s experience with food dye. I am not a scientist or a doctor… just a mom who found something that works for my daughter! 🙂 Sophia has been missing her favorite coated chocolate candy for a while now, but knew that it makes her not feel good when she eats it. Last night after dinner she told my husband and I about her school day. This is typical for our family. Every night we reflect as a family about our day. Sophia told us that during math at school she was offered M&M candy as a reward for her math skills. At four years old she knew to turn down her favorite candy. She told her teacher that this candy makes her angry and she can’t have it. This was all self promoted by Sophia. The teacher understood and gave Sophia a different reward for her math. I was so proud of Sophia I was brought to tears. I was on a mission to find Sophia an alternative to her favorite candy that she can not only have at home but bring to school too. Nana looked everywhere this morning and came to our house with three bags of Unreal candy! Sophia was so excited and absolutely loved them!!!! I think you can tell by the photo above how excited she was to have these chocolate candies!

Removing Color to Add Happiness!

I started out my journey of motherhood like most first time moms. I only ate the healthiest of things while pregnant to ensure my baby would be as healthy as she could be. This thought continued through breast feeding too. I would take into consideration everything I would put into my mouth and think about what it might do to my milk and my child. As my daughter grew up and started to eat table food, I wanted only the best for her. I made sure these products were organic and minimally processed. I would take the time to make her baby food from scratch. 

Fast forward a few years and two children, I lost sense of who this first-time mommy was. I still make the best decisions for my family when grocery shopping and our home contains the healthiest food possible, but I have at times fallen victim to buying things I know I shouldn’t. My daughter began school and started to notice things her friends would be eating. She would ask me to please let her bring the snacks her friend had to school. I of course wanted to make her happy, so I bought it. There have also been times when tv commercials have played a huge role in our purchases. These commercials really make children wish for something like a yummy cereal with marshmallows or a special cookie for the holidays. In moderation these things are fine, and for most children completely acceptable, but for my daughter this was not the case….

To finish reading my article continue to :

https://www.momsbeyond.com/magazine/removing-color-to-add-happiness

Contributor 🙌🏻

Moms Stuffed Clams

My Italian Mama makes the best stuffed clams I have ever had! I just feel like everyone should try these just once!!!! She finally made them at my house and taught me the recipe! I don’t think I will ever make them just like her… but I’m going to try! Here is the recipe below!!!!! Hope you enjoy them as much as we do! ❤️

Moms Stuffed Clams

Dozen cherry stone clams

1 loaf American bread

3 cloves crushed garlic

Salt & pepper to taste

Crushed red pepper 1 1/2 teaspoon

Oregano 1/2 teaspoon

Olive oil 2 tablespoons in mixture ( a little to coat inside of shells ) *

Steam clams until open in water. Take out of water let Cool. Save water. Clean clams. Using food processor or chopper add garlic, clams and blend. Remove and add to bowl. Next blend bread with spices and oil. Add this mixture to the clam and a garlic. If mixture seems dry add broth from clams. You want a wet consistency. Wash clam shells and dry with paper towel. Oil the inside of shells. Stuff shells with mixture. Bake at 375 for 30 -45 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Enjoy with a side salad!!!!! I love these with cocktail sauce!!!!!

Homemade Onion Soup

When Nana comes to stay we always try to make really delicious dinners. Tonight we decided on chef salad and onion soup. All day I kept thinking I really need to find time to look up an onion soup recipe, but as the hours past and the errands piled up that never happened. I ran to the grocery store and purchased the ingredients I thought would be perfect in my soup and hoped for the best. I was amazed at how wonderful this soup came out! I could not wait to photograph it and share it on my blog! It was ready and on the table in less than thirty minutes and went perfectly with our dinner salads! I hope you try this onion soup recipe in your home!

Onion Soup

2 large yellow onions

1 stick butter

1 table spoon flour

1 cup white cooking wine

1 32 ounce beef stock or broth

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Bay leaf ( remove before serving )

Swiss Cheese (I used 4 slices for 2 soups)

French bread ( I sliced it for a thin slice in each soup)

Slice onions and place in soup pot with 1 stick of butter. Let onions sweat down slowly in butter do not cook to fast or let get too brown. I cooked these for about 10 minutes slowly on medium / high heat. Once the onions look transparent add flour and stir for about 1 minute then add wine. Cook on high for 2-3 minutes. Salt and Pepper to taste. Add beef stock and bay leaf and boil for 15-20 minutes with lid on. Remove bay leaf. Add soup to oven safe bowls, add one slice of bread in each bowl, and cover with cheese. I used two slices of Swiss per bowl. Place in oven under broil for about 5 minutes until golden and bubbly!

Makes 4 servings *

Soup pairs awesome with a nice dinner salad… like this yummy chef salad!

Online grocery shopping… makes me feel like Super Mom

I’ve talked about my love for online grocery shopping in the past. The convenience of shopping from the privacy and comfort of your home is priceless. I usually enjoy a warm cup of tea or for those crazy days a glass of wine while I shop. I order my groceries and pick them up the following day! It’s that simple. With the New Year starting I wanted to be prepared. I set goals for myself and my family that I truly want to stick to. For myself I want to be healthier and for my family I want to cook healthy family meals. I promised myself that I would take the time to plan my weekly meals and know exactly what I need to buy for my grocery order each week. As a family we want to eat out less and save money. Being able to order my groceries with my menu and list in front of me makes planning and meal prep so much easier. I felt like a super hero mom this morning. I woke up and got my girls ready for the day. Sophia was at school and I was able to pick up my groceries, get the house clean, and make homemade chicken salad for lunch all before noon. I was in such a good mood and saved so much money this week I even sprung for some flowers for myself that were on special this week at the grocery store! I can say my 2019 is off to one heck of a great start! As I sit here tonight writing today’s blog post I feel proud of today and all that I accomplished. In between a crazy jam packed day with errands, school, and even Taekwondo I still managed to get a home cooked family dinner on the table. I really love online grocery shopping and if you have a local ShopRite I highly recommended using ShopRite from Home! The shoppers are incredible and really care about the selections they are making for you. Excited to see what the rest of my week and meal planning has in store for my family of four!

New Year Family Style

New Years Eve used to be about where we would be to watch the ball drop, or what outfit I needed to buy! My entire life changed the moment I became a mom. These people in this photo are my world. Instead of worrying about a fancy party and extravagant lifestyle we decided to stay in our comfy clothes and bring in 2019 family style. We went to the grocery store as a family and picked out some delicious snacks! My husband and I picked out our favorite items for our meat and cheese plate! We decided that making edible cookie dough would be the perfect dessert! Together we made dessert and ate it while we played candy land! We are not the most fancy family you will find but this is our normal. After the kids went to sleep my husband and I stayed up to watch the ball drop. We wrote down our goals for 2019 and talked about our year to come! We are super excited to see what the future holds for our family and can’t wait to share it with you!

Airscense

I have to say I will never purchase another brand of air freshener again. Air scenes is the greatest brand on the market. I am not being paid to say this in fact as I write this no one even knows I am commenting on their brand. I am truly just so in love with the product that I need to tell the world. I decided to give these air fresheners a try this holiday season because they are completely safe for my family. They are made from essential oils and smell amazing. There are so many reasons why I choose this product the list goes on and on. I had family stay with us over Christmas and they raved over these air fresheners! They kept my home smelling great and everyone feeling comfortable! I seriously will always keep this product stocked at our house.

Baking with your kids

In the midst of a busy day I found time to bake homemade cookies for my mommy cookie swap tonight. I love a good shortbread cookie recipe. It’s the greatest cookie to make when you are short on time and ingredients. This recipe also comes in handy when you have a little helper that really wants to cook with you! There are only 3 ingredients, well 4 if you count the extracts. The best part about this cookie batter is it doesn’t contain eggs. This makes for a safe and fun cooking experience for children of all ages. I whipped up this fun shortbread recipe with Sophia this afternoon and was really for my cookie swap! I plan to use this same recipe for her pajama party at school this week too!

Shortbread Cookies

2 sticks butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Or

1/2 vanilla extract 1/2 almond extract

Whip softened butter and sugar till combined and fluffy and add extract. Slowly add flour till all combined.

Flour surface and roll out dough. Cut into any shape you like. We chose a star. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes for tiny shapes 10 minutes for larger. You want the edges to be slightly golden brown.

Enjoy!!!

Baking in a princess costume… optional! 🙂

Christmas cozy fashion

I love to be cozy comfy when I am home with my girls! I am a stay at home Mama that runs on a few key things… coffee, dry shampoo, and Target runs! I picked up this adorable pj ensemble at Target while doing a little Christmas shopping. These socks are super cozy and on such a deal at Old Navy!!!! Shhhhh don’t tell my family but they will make for some amazing stocking stuffers this year ! Sophia and I stocked up for ourselves too! Shop my look on my links below! I’m a mommy who loves to shop a good deal! 😊

https://www.target.com/p/grayson-threads-women-s-holiday-resting-grinch-face-super-soft-pajama-set-gray-s/-/A-53739241?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&fndsrc=tgtao&CPNG=PLA_Women%2BShopping_Brand&adgroup=SC_Women&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=m&location=9003362&gclsrc=aw.ds&ds_rl=1241788&ds_rl=1246978&ds_rl=1246978&ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&CPNG=PLA_Women+Shopping_Brand&adgroup=SC_Women&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=m&location=9003362&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIw8jF-oeY3wIVEDFpCh0RnQXxEAQYAiABEgKTj_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

https://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=342529062&CAWELAID=120299900001928765&CAGPSPN=pla&CAAGID=59094347509&CATCI=pla-529314929933&tid=onpl000000&kwid=1&ap=7&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIiq6TmoiY3wIVhR9pCh05sQcREAQYASABEgJ9gvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Traveling to Disney with toddlers!

Traveling to Disney World with toddlers is fun but at times hard. I would say just packing alone can be a major task. I spent a week packing our family of four. I wanted to be sure we had everything we needed for our trip. Before we left for our vacation I rented a double stroller with BabyQuip! Have you heard of this service before? It is amazing! Think of Uber but for baby equipment! You can go on their website and locate your destination to find representatives and what equipment they have for rent during your stay. It was super simple. Sasha, my Orlando / Disney rep arrived at the airport upon my arrival with a double bob stroller in the greatest condition I have ever seen. She was so friendly and accommodating. She followed my delayed plane and stayed in contact with me the entire time. When my trip came to an end, Sasha met me at the departure gate and took the stroller back. This was the simplest rental service I have ever used and I would highly recommend it to anyone traveling with children. BabyQuip also rents cribs, high chairs, toys and so much more! I will never carry heavy baby equipment with me when traveling again … I will forever use BabyQuip! I think this is one of the greatest “Mommy Hacks” I have found yet!

https://www.babyquip.com

Traveling to Disney ?!?! Contact Sasha !! She was amazing to work with ! I highly recommend her!

https://www.babyquip.com/sasha832

Double Stroller is perfect for Park Days in Disney !