About Me

10.12.2018

Embracing Fall in Florida with these Fun Halloween Foods: Jack-O'-Lantern Snacks & Batty Bite Sweet Potato Fries


This post is sponsored by Bel Brands USA & Mini Babybel® Cheese, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.


So... let's get real for a moment. Living in Florida has its advantages, sure - we all know the beach is great and palm trees are gorgeous. I don't take that for granted for even a second. I love it here...

We don't have Fall in Florida, but that isn't stopping me from embracing all things autumn! Go ahead, indulge yourself with these delicious & kooky appetizers and get ready for this fabulous fall season!

Which is why I never thought I'd say this, but I kind of miss "home" - which to me really is just the midwest as a whole. Having lived in both Missouri and Oklahoma, I just feel connected to those center states and all their glory... It's probably a mixture of missing family & looking over old pictures and reflecting on fond memories, but the midwest really is & always will be "home" to me and I'm missing it tonight. Ironically, one of the things I miss the most about my home and my childhood spent in the midwest is FALL.

I mean, not just fall, I miss good ol' trees-changin'-color, boot-and-North-Face-wearin', crisp-fresh-air, running-wild-through-a-pumpkin-patch type of fall. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore Florida, but I certainly do miss certain aspects of "home".
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Since we likely aren't relocating to the midwest anytime soon, we are doing our best to at least pretend it's fall here in Florida so Delainey gets a taste of all things amazingly autumn. So this weekend we turned our a/c down a little lower, made a little bonfire out back, and embraced what felt like a little breeze outside - we even have plans to set up a tent at some point and teach her about camping. Another way we are trying to bring out that fall feeling is to decorate & even eat fall themed foods.  So... along with our apple cider, we also decided to get festive with some appetizers and these little batty bites & jack-o'-lantern snacks were just too cute!

We don't have Fall in Florida, but that isn't stopping me from embracing all things autumn! Go ahead, indulge yourself with these delicious & kooky appetizers and get ready for this fabulous fall season!


Since we're huge fans of cheese in this house, when we saw the adorable Fall/Halloween themed Mini Babybel® at Target, we knew we had made some new "friends".

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Delainey is obsessed with the little faces on these guys and I'm obsessed with how delicious they are *and the fact that are 100% real cheese with no artificial growth hormones* - so it's a total win-win!




So... Whether you are having a little shin-dig or you just want to show your toddler what fall is about, you have to give these recipes a try (and you should most definitely snag the adorable Halloween Mini Babybel® from Target while you're at it)!


We don't have Fall in Florida, but that isn't stopping me from embracing all things autumn! Go ahead, indulge yourself with these delicious & kooky appetizers and get ready for this fabulous fall season!


The best part is these delicious snacks are so easy to make, not to mention SO fun! So go ahead and add these two Sweet Potato fry recipes to your must try pins, because although they are simple both of these yummy dishes are sure to wow your fall loving friends, no matter where you are:

We don't have Fall in Florida, but that isn't stopping me from embracing all things autumn! Go ahead, indulge yourself with these delicious & kooky appetizers and get ready for this fabulous fall season!

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To create both of these recipes you will need:

One pack of the Mini Babybel® cheeses - You can find these adorable Halloween packaged Mini Babybels at Target!
2 sweet potatoes
Black olives
¾ cup all purpose flour (I used gluten free, you can use whatever works for your family!)
¼ cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
High temperature Frying oil (corn, peanut, or vegetable)
Black pepper
Sea salt
Garlic
Red pepper
Parsley
Pumpkin spice
Paprika

Slice potatoes. One should be cut horizontally to form circular shapes resembling pumpkins. The other should be cut vertically to make the bat wings.

Now detail the potato slices by carving faces into the circular shapes and carving bat wings out of the longer sliced potatoes. Use half a long slice per wing for small wings or one full slice per wing for larger wings.
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PREP FOR Jack-O'-Lanterns Snacks: (after carving their faces):
Place on tray lined with aluminum foil and set oven to 425. Rub each slice and each side with olive oil. Sprinkle on the salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika onto one side then flip it and sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic, and pumpkin spice onto the other. Put in oven for 15 minutes flipping half way through or until browned on the edges. Serve with Mini Babybel® and use the jack-o'-lantern as a delicious substitute for crackers!

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PREP FOR Batty Bites:

Wings: Mix the flour, breadcrumbs and herbs (1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp paprika, ½ tsp red pepper flakes, 2 tsp garlic, ½ tsp parsley) together in one shallow dish. Beat the egg and milk together in another shallow dish. 

Dip “bat wings” into flour, then egg mixture, then flour again. Place them on a tray lined with parchment paper after being battered to wait for your frying oil to heat up to 375 degrees (I used a corn and peanut oil blend). 

Drop the sweet potato wings one at a time into the hot oil and cook for approximately 7 minutes or until they look done, then take them out and place them on a paper towel and/or rack to allow oil to drain and for the wings to cool.

Presentation: Slide a toothpick through one side of your Mini Babybel® Cheese and out the other. Attach wings onto the toothpick. Place sliced olive pieces onto cheese to make kooky eyeballs. Add a red sauce to make teeth if you want. We used a chipotle apricot sauce which was a delicious extra touch on all of the sweet potato goodness!
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So tell me, what do you miss about your hometown? What parts of fall are your favorite about the area you live in? I'm excited to hear! I also would love to hear what you think about these kooky & delicious recipes, leave me some love when you give them a try and in case you aren't stalking Cartwheel already, I wanted to mention you can score 10% off Mini Babybel Cartwheel offer that runs 10/7 through early November.


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10.04.2018

Be The Change: Here's How YOU Can Easily Help End Period Poverty

This post is sponsored by U by Kotex but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.


Oh dear... We've all been there - you knew you were expecting a visit, but Aunt Flo came early and it's not a pretty sight.

Being a woman in today's society is full of challenges, gaining access to feminine supplies shouldn't be one of them. Find out how you can help women in need by doing something you do monthly anyways...

Ladies - it's happened to us all. Whether she came a day or early, or right on time, I believe we've all experienced that panicked feeling when it's that time of the month and you aren't fully prepared. Whether feminine supplies in your purse just happen to go missing or you totally spaced and forgot to grab a pack when you were doing your grocery shopping. It truly happens to the best of us.

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While most of us can run to the store real quick and grab a pack of supplies to battle your monthly visitor - the reality for others is that panicked feeling is how they experience this time of the month - the whole time.

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1 in 4 women have struggled to purchase these must-have items because of lack of income and resources, but U by Kotex is doing something to help those in need. he Alliance for Period Supplies is their answer to this problem in our society. Founded in May 2018, this organization helps ensure that individuals in need have access to essential period products so that they can participate in daily life.

I know, this is great to hear... but why am I sharing all of this? It's because YOU can help those in need too... and you don't even have to do anything more than you normally would!

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What do I mean exactly? During the month of October, for every (1) U by Kotex product purchased in store (or online) at Walmart, they are donating (2) products of U by Kotex pads or liners to women in need & their also donating $25,000 to help raise awareness! How generous of them is that? I'm over here with both hands raised, praising this Alliance and thanking them for my fellow sisters in tough spots.

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So whatcha waiting for? Now is the time to help those in need, by buying something you would already purchase anyways - so go ahead and visit Walmart.com and add a few packs to your cart now!

10.03.2018

Making Toddler Meal Time Enjoyable with Happy Family Organics & Mama Mentors!

This post is sponsored by Happy Family Brands but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.



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Meal times should be enjoyable... I mean, sure, we all can agree they should be... but when you're two and learning to express yourself in different ways sometimes lunch involves screaming silly words at the top of your lungs and other times dinner is filled with tears and complaints, even though your plate is full of foods you previously loved.

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Toddlerhood. That's what this is. She's a ball full of confusion, sass, and knowledge. One day she begs for carrots, the next she throws them at the dog. One thing she hasn't started handing over to her canine companion is her Happy Tot snacks and bless it, I'm so thankful for this fact.

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The thing is, we were worried a few weeks ago when she started turning down all her favorites, I had no clue what to think - so I turned to my new friends over at HappyFamilyOrganics.com and actually was able to get some sound advice on how to cure her picky eating habits once and for all.

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When the expert I spoke to mentioned "Division of Responsibility" it sounded more like a chore chart than a way to solve our issue, but she explained it a little further and it basically breaks down the feeding relationship between parent and child and allows your child to take the lead & follow her instincts in a way that's right for her.

Toddlers are a ball full of knowledge, sass, and confusion - don't make meal time any more difficult than it already is... Check out how Happy Family Organics & their team of mama mentors can help you!

What it gets down to is, providing your child with an adequate, wholesome meal and letting her take the reigns at that point. This is tough sometimes, when she's being a little sassy pants especially - but it's easier when we tie in familiar parts of her diet - like Happy Tot Pouches.

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We have introduced some new foods to her recently that have been huge hits - like the Happy Tot Protein bars. She sees the box and sometimes demands one for snack time, which is a-okay with me since she isn't a fan of most other protein-rich foods.

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One last way that we've found to encourage her to eat, is offering something she truly enjoys once she finishes something else on her plate... this may not be ideal, I believe it's actually called bribery, but when I just want her to eat some carrots, I'll offer a Happy Tot Cookie and she's all set to chow down on some veggies!

Toddlers are a ball full of knowledge, sass, and confusion - don't make meal time any more difficult than it already is... Check out how Happy Family Organics & their team of mama mentors can help you!

Are you experiencing some food troubles with your kiddo? From breastfeeding help to encouraging your kiddo to enjoy a meal, the experts at Happy Family Organics are here to help. Check out the website and chat with an expert now and then grab your kiddo some delicious, nutritious Happy Family foods the next time you're at the store!

10.02.2018

Teaching Your Toddler: Simple Alphabet Crafts - The Letter A - Ants on an Apple




Introducing the alphabet to your little one should be fun. Whether it's through a simple craft or a new activity, it's important that the time spent is enjoyable!



Delainey is a little sponge so she's a huge fan of our new daily time spent learning all of the letters of the alphabet. Today we're sharing the very first craft, our simple yet adorable little Ants on an Apple created almost completely by her, with guidance by me.



For you and your toddler to enjoy this little learning activity you will need:

Crayons, Paper, Black circle stickers (or just use construction paper in the shape of circles and glue)



To make this simple project: You'll either draw a simple apple & leaf yourself and encourage your toddler to color it in OR ask your toddler to create the apple & leaf herself. Delainey did this herself, then I created an outline for her afterward. As we were scribbling her apple we were discussing the colors she was using as well as the shapes she was drawing - it's amazing how much she wants to learn, with nearly everything she is now asking "what's this?"... and now she's also started to quiz me on colors and shapes - which is equally fun & adorable.

Once her apple was colored in some, we decided to start adding ants into the equation. If you know Delainey, you know she loves seeing creepy crawly ants so this craft was a dream come true for her. For this step, we simply used black circle stickers and placed them together in groups of 3 onto the paper. Then she scribbled some little legs on each ant, I added an uppercase and lowercase "A" on each side of her creations and we kept discussing all the "A" words I could think of!




That's it - now you have a precious little "A" craft!

Next up, we'll be sharing our silly yet fun birdhouse craft we made!

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