July 10, 2014

Cape Cod

If you happen to follow my Instagram feed, than you know that we spent the 4th of July holiday in Cape Cod. We stayed in the same house my parents rented last year and we had a blast! The best part of the trip was seeing how happy my daughter was to be with her grandma, pa-pa, aunties, uncles and cousins. If you've never been to Cape Cod it's a beautiful place to visit! It's full of beaches, quaint towns with shops and delicious restaurants and plenty of activities for the kids.

Packed up and on the ferry from Long Island to Connecticut. It was then about a 3.5 hour drive to the Cape. My daughter actually did great on the car trip there!

I'm always obsessed with the amazing hydrangea on Cape Cod. I probably took a dozen flower pics!

One of our favorite stops in East Harwich. My husband is in the dental field so it's kind of a family joke when we stop here.

Due to that little hurricane, we had to spend most of the 4th inside. I had brought along this mask kit in case of a rainy day. What a lifesaver it was! The kids made their own animal masks and put on their own 4th of July parade in the house! Always have a rainy day back up plan when traveling!

We were super lucky that the beach was walking distance from our house. We would load up a wagon and head over with the kids. Last year my daughter wasn't too crazy about the beach but this year she loved it! We had so much fun collecting shells and making sandcastles!

I think my other favorite part was eating lobster rolls and sipping this pineapple margarita!

It was such a great time and I was so sad when it was time to leave. I wish I had taken more pictures but it was kind of nice to not be so attached to my phone and have fun with my family. Unfortunately our trip home wasn't as smooth as getting there. We hit traffic getting off the Cape, our ferry was cancelled and my daughter threw up twice! It was a doozy!

It's been a couple of days since we came home and I'm already missing Cape Cod. I can't wait to go back!


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June 19, 2014

The First Last Day and Fruit Pops

This week was my daughter's first last day of school. It's only pre-school but it was still a little sad for me. How did this school year go so fast? Wasn't it just yesterday that we were sitting in the school director's office signing her up? 
It turned out to be a great celebration though. I met her at school where the class had the cutest picnic. They sang songs, made teddy bears and gave the teachers big hugs goodbye. Sob.


We were given the task of bringing fruit to the picnic. Of course, we had to try and make something fun out of fruit so we made fruit pops to bring. My daughter picked out pineapples and strawberries and we used striped straws as our skewers.


They turned out pretty cute! As you can see from the first pic, my daughter did go for a vanilla ice cream cone too. It was such a fun last day celebration and now we have the summer to look forward to. Hmmm...keeping an almost three year old busy all summer is going to be quite the challenge!


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June 11, 2014

Banana Ice Cream Recipe


I never quite understood all the buzz about banana ice cream until I started making it myself. I kept hearing about how easy it was and I had to make it. My daughter is an ice cream fanatic so I thought, it's time to try this out. Now, this really isn't ice cream, as most people know already. Maybe I'm a mean mommy but what my daughter doesn't know won't hurt her! She thinks she's getting ice cream, I know she's eating something way healthier.

As with any recipe, there are so many variations to this. This banana ice cream recipe that I'm sharing is super simple and all you need are 3 ingredients. In my version I don't even add any cream or milk. Yea, we are talking simple.

Banana Ice Cream Recipe

3 ripe bananas
1/4 tsp vanilla
scant 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Peel and cut your bananas in half and throw into a freezer bag. When they are completely frozen, put into a food processor. Pulse the food processor until the banana turns into little chunks (almost like little balls). Add in the vanilla and cinnamon. Turn on the processor again and mix until a creamy mixture forms. Scoop into serving bowls and top with your favorite fruit. Or go ahead and top with sprinkles and chocolate sauce too!

It's such a sweet treat and tastes just like a creamy ice cream. Yum!

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June 10, 2014

Tips for Starting A Blog and How Not to Get Sucked In


I thought that since I am back to blogging here that I would share some blogging tips. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I'm the grande dame of blogging. But in my year and a half of blogging, I feel like I've seen a lot and learned so much. So, here we go with my tips for starting a blog and how not to get sucked in.
  1. Don't start a blog with the sole intention of making money and getting free stuff. I know, blogging seems like it's such an easy way to get some free loot. You see so many people doing it. Be warned, if you're only in it for these reasons, people will see right through you. Blog because you're passionate about something. I don't begrudge anyone for making money from blogging but be sure you're authentic to what you are writing about or you may lose readers.
  2. Try not to get caught up in blogger envy. It's just not worth your time and energy. You don't know the real story as to why some bloggers may have a ton of comments and social sharing on their posts. Don't worry if your Facebook page doesn't have as many likes or not everyone is following your Instagram. A lot of bloggers run flash giveaways where people have to like pages or follow social media to enter. You can do this too! Listen, there are something like 152 million blogs out there (according to a Google search) so don't get into a rut comparing yourself to others.
  3. Find your own blogging voice. Who cares if your first few posts are terrible? Just be yourself and you'll find your groove. You don't have to format your posts or change your writing style to the way another blogger does it. People will want to read what you have to say, just hang in there and keep working at it.
  4. Decide from the start if you want to self host your site. This is something that I did not do. I just started right away on Blogger with a blogspot address. It's not the worst thing and I do actually like using Blogger. A lot of bloggers are running their sites on WordPress which is also really great. I ended up buying my domain name for the future but I hate the hosting site I bought it from. Recently, I found Web Hosting Hub and it's so much less expensive. I've also done my research and it's such a better hosting company to work with.
  5. Utilize free picture editing sites. You really don't need a fancy picture editing program like Photoshop or Lightroom to have a successful blog. Check out Pic Monkey for great photo editing that's for free. Use it also to watermark your photos, which is so important! Readers like visuals, don't just slap bad pictures onto your posts and call it a day. Take the time to edit!
  6. Sometimes you need a break. It actually takes a lot of work to keep a blog going. It can get overwhelming and consuming. Sometimes you just need to put the computer away and re-charge your own creative battery. Your blog will still be there when you're ready. Living life is always the best inspiration!
This, of course, is just my two cents about blogging. Everyone has a different experience. If you're thinking of starting a blog, just go for it. You have nothing to lose from trying!

Disclaimer: This post contains one affiliate link that I am only compensated from if you sign up with Web Hosting Hub. I stand by any product that I post an affiliate link to and all opinions are my own.



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June 6, 2014

Homemade Granola Recipe


I'm crazy about granola. It's my all time favorite yogurt topper and I could totally snack on it plain too. Recently, I started making my own granola at home. Why? Because I like to be able to control what's going in there and make it my own. Plus, my daughter is really getting into granola too and I personally like giving her a homemade one.

Granola is so simple to make. Really! And you can get creative with your flavorings and toppings. I'm going to share the recipe I use and add little notes for what you can use for additions or substitutions.


Homemade Granola Recipe:

3 cups rolled oats (can also add in quinoa for added crunch)
1 cup raw almond slivers (feel free to use other nuts like walnuts, pecans, etc)
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (hulled pumpkin seeds work too)
3/4 cup maple flavored agave syrup (you can also use regular maple syrup or plain agave)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (can also use canola or even olive oil for added bite)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg (feel free to experiment with other spices too!)
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried apricots, sliced (any type of dried fruit will do; guava, papaya, etc.)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a large bowl combine oats, nuts and seeds. Add in syrup, oil, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir to coat all of the granola. Get it all covered. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes until golden. Be sure to give a stir once or twice while baking. 
Wait until granola is completely cooled and then add the dried fruit.

It's just heavenly sprinkled over yogurt. Right now my daughter is just into the dried apricots and cranberries so those are my go to dried fruits for granola. That's the beauty of making granola at home, you can create whatever you want!
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June 4, 2014

Things Ahead// June


I know it has been so long since I've blogged from here and I've probably lost some readers along the way. Things got so busy and I got so caught up in the numbers of blogging and blah, blah, that I forgot how much I loved my little site. So now I'm back and hope to share a lot more again with whoever is still reading.

As my little one is getting older, I'm trying to switch my focus onto making healthier treats for her. Well, for all of us. So I thought, why not blog about it? And you know I love my parties, so I'm still sharing that stuff too! While I'm no health expert (far from it) or trained baker, hopefully you'll like some of the new concoctions I'll be posting.

My blog also got a little facelift from Pink Loves Gold on Etsy. If you're looking for a new template, I highly recommend Christine. I still have a little work to do updating everything but it will get there.

Before I launch into new recipes, I thought I would share what we're looking forward to this month. I can't believe it's June! (I know I'm a few days late).
  • my daughter's last few days of toddler pre-school (Sob)
  • my brother is turning the big 4-0 (Sorry M)
  • shopping and packing for our annual Cape Cod vacation (Yay)
  • a family wedding (at night with our toddler invited too - Yikes)
  • more outdoor activities with my daughter (she's already tearing through our neighborhood on her bike)
  • barbecues (Yum)
  • cooking and baking more!
So thanks so much for sticking around and looking forward to sharing more!

What are you looking forward to in June?


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