Friday, February 17, 2017

Pinktastic White Chocolate Chip Cookies & Really Raspberry Punch {A Year of Color}

Happy Friday! Welcome to another monthly edition of A Year of Color!

YearOfColor

On the third Friday of each month,  I co-host a monthly linkup called A Year of Color with Little Dove, Macke Monologues, and Work It Mommy. Each month focuses on one color and you can link up any post that revolves around that particular color: Fashion, Recipes, Activities for Kids, Crafts...ANYTHING is welcome! The link will be open for a month, so you can link up any time. We hope you will join us!

The color for the month of February is...


YearOfColor_February_Pink (2)

For this month, I decided to share a family favorite cookie recipe, updated with a touch of pink, and a delicious (and easy) punch recipe!


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PINKTASTIC WHITE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Pinktastic White Chocolate Chip Cookies.jpg

I can't stop eating these!  They are sugar cookies full of white chocolate chips, and they are the perfect blend of sugar cookie and chocolate. SO good!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 stick of butter (softened)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • (OR skip the above ingredients and buy a sugar cookie mix-great in a pinch!)
  • 1 bag of white chocolate chips
  • pink food coloring

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DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Mix the ingredients together to make your dough.
  3. Mix in drops of food coloring. The dough should be dark pink.
  4. Mix in 1 bag of white chocolate chips.
  5. Drop dough by the spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 7-9 minutes.

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Bet you can't just eat one!!!


REALLY RASPBERRY PUNCH


Really Raspberry Punch

This is such an easy punch recipe! My kids love this "fancy" drink. It's typically made with 7-Up or Ginger Ale, but we love to amp up the raspberry flavor by using raspberry flavored ginger ale!

Ingredients:

  • Raspberry Sherbet
  • Raspberry Ginger Ale

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Directions:

  1. Fill punch bowl 3/4 of the way full with raspberry ginger ale.
  2. Drop in scoops of raspberry sherbet.

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In my home, one full punch bowl usually lasts about, oh, 10 minutes!

And when we combine these two pink-alicious recipes? I end up with REALLY happy kids!


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Link up your pink-themed posts all month long! Just grab the button, add it to your post, and leave your link on the widget below!


Join us next month, on St. Patrick's Day, for the next Year of Color linkup! The color is:

YearOfColor_March_Green




Tuesday, February 14, 2017

DIY Aqua Sand {Tuesday Talk}

Happy Valentine's Day, my friends!

Since today is all about love, I'm going to share a simple DIY activity that all of my kids adore! They just might be doing a Valentine's Day version of it today. I already have the red and pink sand ready to go!


When aqua sand first arrived in the stores, my kids begged for it. I was skeptical, and I never ended up buying it. I did, however, discover that you can easily make it yourself for much cheaper!

I originally shared an adapted version of our DIY Aqua Sand in one of my Camp Mom posts over the Summer. My kids immediately loved it, and it quickly became a new favorite. It's so much fun that I thought it deserved its own feature!

DIY Aqua Sand

Supplies:

  •  Sand (I bought colored sand from Dollar Tree)
  • Large Container
  • Scotch Guard Fabric Protector
  • Cups
  • Foil and large freezer bags
  • Funnel
 



Aqua Sand



Directions:

  1.  Put individual sheets of aluminum foil down on a large piece of cardboard. 
  2. Dump each color of sand into large freezer bags.
  3. In a very well-ventilated area, with your nose and mouth covered, spray the Scotch Guard into the freezer bag until the sand is saturated.  Zip the bag shut and shake to disperse.
  4. Sprinkle the sand into a thin layer on one sheet of foil and allow to dry overnight. 
  5. After it dries, dump the sand into small cups. 
  6. Fill a large container with warm water.
  7. Hold a funnel over the top of the container, and pour each color of sand through the funnel and into the container. 
  8. Continue with each color, making designs along the way!


Aqua Sand
Aqua Sand
Aqua Sand
Aqua Sand

Not only is this a fun activity, but it's a great science experiment, too! Scotch Guard repels water, so the Scotch Guard coated sand immediately repels the water upon entering the container, and forms solid, tube-like spirals. It is very cool to watch!

Aqua Sand

The best thing about DIY Aqua sand is that you can use it over and over again! When you're finished playing, simply drain the water out of the container, and store the sand in a separate container or Ziploc bag. Obviously, if you use multiple colors, they do get mixed. No worries! Watching the colors mixing together the next time it's used is very neat, too!

When the DIY Aqua Sand stops repelling water, repeat steps 1-4, and it will be as good as new!

We do this activity often, but my kids are mesmerized every single time!


Aqua Sand


Join us for Tuesday Talk! Grab the button and link up any post below! 


Lexie Loo, Lily, Liam & Dylan Too
 

Tuesday Talk 



Monday, February 13, 2017

Quenching Thirst On The Go with Nuby + Instagram Giveaway

DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Nuby, but all opinions are 100% my own.

Some days it feels like we are away from home more often than not! With four kids, there are a lot of activities, events, playdates and commitments. My entire family quickly got used to life on the go.


Nuby Thirsty Kids Flip-It Reflex Water Canteen

I like to be prepared for anything, so I keep our SUV well stocked with all the necessities and I always have the things we use most within easy reach. Being able to grab what we need quickly before rushing out of the house is key!  Keeping a snack bag in the car and taking along something to drink is an essential part of our busy lifestyle.  I am always on the lookout for products that are a great fit for my family!

The Nuby Thirsty Kids 12 oz Flip-It reFLex Water Canteen is the newest product from Nuby, and it's the perfect choice for my younger kids!


Nuby Thirsty Kids Flip-It Reflex Water Canteen

This new cup from Nuby is available in 6 different colors/patterns, so it's a great choice for any child. Liam loves the robot on his red cup!

Nuby Thirsty Kids Flip-It Reflex Water Canteen

This cup quickly became our favorite and we don't leave the house without it! My favorite feature is the convenient handle that allows us to easily carry it along with us at all times. It attaches to our diaper bag quickly with the help of a utility clip. I no longer have to dig for Liam's cup. Instead, I can quickly remove it from the clip and hand it over. When you have a thirsty toddler, time is of the essence!

Nuby Thirsty Kids Flip-It Reflex Water Canteen
Nuby Thirsty Kids Flip-It Reflex Water Canteen
Nuby Thirsty Kids Flip-It Reflex Water Canteen 

The Nuby Flip-It reFLex cup comes in a 12 oz size for kids 18 months and older. It's great for toddlers and preschoolers because it holds plenty of liquid for those bigger, thirsty kids!

Nuby Thirsty Kids Flip-It Reflex Water Canteen
Nuby Thirsty Kids Flip-It Reflex Water Canteen

The cup is BPA Free (also free from latex, nitrosamine, PVC and phthalate), which makes it a worry-free choice for parents.

Nuby Thirsty Kids Flip-It Reflex Water Canteen

The durable Flip-It reFLex is break-proof. That is an absolute must for my toddler tornado! The easy grip on the cup makes it suitable for those clumsy toddler hands.

Nuby Thirsty Kids Flip-It Reflex Water Canteen

The sip spout folds down for on the go and pops back up easily with the push of a button. Liam immediately figured out how to work it.

Nuby Thirsty Kids Flip-It Reflex Water Canteen

The No-Spill design is also a key feature! I tested it out repeatedly, and the only time any liquid came out was when I shook it really hard. There was some liquid left in the spout and that came out. But I found it on its side on the floor many times and nothing came out!

Nuby Thirsty Kids Flip-It Reflex Water Canteen

Cleaning the cup is also a breeze! The straw and spout remove easily for cleaning and it's top rack dishwasher safe. This is just a bonus to all of the amazing features that make this on the go cup so awesome!

Nuby Thirsty Kids Flip-It Reflex Water Canteen


The Nuby Thirsty Kids Flip-It reFlex water canteen is our new on the go favorite! Liam is definitely a big fan!

Nuby Thirsty Kids Flip-It Reflex Water Canteen

You can purchase the Nuby Thirsty Kids Flip-It reFLex water canteen HERE.


OR

You can visit me on Instagram for a chance to win this cup!


Nuby Thirsty Kids Flip-It ReFLex water canteen - The perfect on the go cup #sponsored

Connect with Nuby:


Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!

I am SO glad it's the weekend! The past two weeks have been very rough. My family has never had a sick streak quite like the one we experienced over the last two weeks!

Last Monday, I got the call to pick Dylan up from school. He had a very bad stomachache and felt like he was going to throw up. He spent the day in bed, and by that evening, the stomach pain started for me and I got really sick in the middle of the night. He headed back to school the next day, but I was in so much pain that I could barely move.  I managed to drive to the school to pick up Lily from Kindergarten, and while I was waiting, I got the call that Lexie had stomach cramps. So I picked up both girls, and by the time I got home, Grant had returned from the office to work from home so he could take care of us.

Lexie went back to school on Wednesday, but I ended up having severe stomach pains until Friday! If it hadn't been for Dylan and Lexie having the same pains, I would have gone to the ER because I thought it was a ruptured ovarian cyst. It always seems to hit me the hardest! Meanwhile, Liam went to the doctor on Thursday, and he had a sinus infection and an infection in both ears and eyes. He NEVER acts sick. The only reason I took him in was because he looked awful! And to top off our week, Lily woke up with pink eye on Friday!  Just when I thought it was all over, I got a cold over the weekend and I have been so sick all week. It turned into what appears to be bronchitis. I am SO over being sick!

Now I just want to focus on the positive. So here are all the things that I'm currently loving!


Friday Favorites 


{FRIDAYS}

Who doesn't love Friday?!? I'm celebrating with this awesome $2 clearance find from TJ Maxx. Let's not tell my husband that I added another mug to my collection...

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{SMILE BRILLIANT}

As a busy mom of 4, I don't have time to go to the dentist to get my teeth whitened, and I'm not a fan of whitening strips. I was so excited to receive an at home teeth whitening system from Smile Brilliant to review!  I made my impressions quickly and easily at home, did some blogging while they hardened, then sent them to the lab so they could make my trays. I can't wait to whiten my teeth in the comfort of my own home. Stay tuned!

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{UNSEASONABLY WARM WEATHER}

Winter in Pittsburgh has been very mild this year.  During my brief reprieve from illness over the weekend, we were able to get some fresh air. The plan was for a quick photoshoot of Liam, but he didn't want to cooperate. He just wanted to run after being cooped up indoors for over a week!

In true Pittsburgh fashion, it was 60 degrees on Tuesday, we got 4 inches of snow on Wednesday night, and it's going back up into the fifties over the weekend.  But any break from winter is welcome!

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{VALENTINE'S DAY CRAFTS}

I love seeing Lexie and Lily's Puffy Paint Hearts craft on display in our home! It was so much fun and so easy to make! You can learn all about it in my post from Tuesday

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{LITTLE COSMETICS}

One of Lily's favorite toys is her Little Cosmetics makeup set! She was so excited for the chance to try out their new nail polish. It looks just like the real thing, and the liquid even moves around in the bottle, but nothing comes out! Now she can play with nail polish without making a mess!

If you want to try Little Cosmetics, you can save 15% by using the code LEXIELOODYLANTOO15.

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{THE TOOTHBRUSH PILLOW}
  
Now that Liam is 3, we are working really hard on his independent personal care skills. He's doing surprisingly well, but needs some assistance with a few things! He is starting to brush his teeth on his own (although we always finish the job), but we are teaching him how to put toothpaste on his toothbrush and rinse it when he's done. 

He gets a bit distracted by the water, so we have been practicing in the living room for a few minutes each day. The Toothbrush Pillow makes this task a bit easier for him! It was created for children, senior citizens, and people who are disabled or have special needs. Its purpose is to hold the toothbrush steady so you can easily apply toothpaste. It is such a useful tool for Liam!

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{MOM LIFE MUST HAVE}

I am a huge fan of dry shampoo. It's pretty much a must have for moms! Batiste Dry Shampoo is one of my favorites, and I recently discovered that TJ Maxx carries it for $4.79. It's so much cheaper than everywhere else! And out of all the scents, the light & breezy fresh scent is my absolute favorite!

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{MARC JACOBS #HIGHLINER VOXBOX}

I was so excited to get the Marc Jacobs #Highliner VoxBox from Influenster!  I received two Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliners from Marc Jacobs Beauty. I wear eyeliner several days a week, so I'm always on the lookout for a great one! This eyeliner goes on smoothly, is waterproof, and best of all, it lasts all day long! It's definitely one of my new favorites!

 *I received these products for free for testing purposes. #contest

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{BUBBLE BRAIDS}

The fact that bubble braids are popular again makes me laugh! I did this to my own hair 20 years ago, and I remember being one of the few people in my school with this style. My art teacher use to rave about how creative my hair was. 20 years later, I'm starting to spot it everywhere! I can't pull it off anymore, but my girls can! Lexie prefers the traditional down the middle braid, but Lily likes hers to start from one side of her head and go to the other side or she likes the pigtail version!

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{LOVE DAY} 

Thanks to sickness ravaging our household, we haven't had much time to celebrate Valentine's Day this month. Despite having a basketball game and two birthday parties in addition to our usual busy schedule, we're going to do our best to cram it all in over the next 5 days!

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I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! What do you have planned? 

Let's Connect!