Monday, March 16, 2015

"Pudding All of Your Eggs in One Basket" Pudding Cup Party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SnackPackMixins #CollectiveBias
My kids have been snacking on Snack Pack Pudding Cups since they were toddlers.  The pudding cups are a quick and convenient snack option with easy open lids, as much calcium as an 8oz glass of milk and does not require refrigeration. We set up this Easter themed pudding party table with some easy-to-create recipes to share with you today.
I noticed the new Super Snack Pack pudding cups at the end of the baking aisle at a late night trip to Wal-Mart the other night.  "Super" is like double the size of the regular packs- which is great!  Now that my kids are 10 & 12, they often eat 2 pudding cups at a time.  Heck, I sometimes eat more than one pudding cup for a serving.  Here's a SnackPack Coupon for you to use at Wal-Mart!
The first easy-to-create recipe is for the buried bunnies.  I was inspired by these cupcakes I made a few years ago from the Hello Cupcake cookbook.  I made two versions of the bunnies; one candy coated white to look more like the traditional white Easter bunny and a tan bunny with the Nilla Wafers in their natural state.
You'll need chocolate SnackPack Pudding cups, Mini Nilla Wafers, regular Nilla Wafters, mini marshmallows, white candy melts, coconut and frosting.
Melt the candy melts (I used marshmallow flavored) and place Nilla Wafers on a cooking rack so the candy melt can drip down the sides of the wafers.  As you see in step 3 (below), you can be sloppy.  Step 4, lift and tap the cooling rack on the counter a few times.  This evens the candy coating and leaves a nice smooth layer.  Step 5, repeat on the Mini wafers.  Let the candy coating set until firm (10-15min).
I placed some shredded organic coconut in a Ziploc with several drops of green food coloring.  Shake the sealed bag until evenly coated green.
Peel back the tops of the pudding cups and place green coconut as shown below:
Place a large Nilla Wafer and two Mini Nilla Wafers.  Add a mini marshmallow bunny tail and pipe pink bunny feet pads with pink frosting.  I place the frosting in a Ziploc and snip a small corner of the bag to use as a piping bag.
The decorations for this table set-up are simple, yet add a punch of spring color.  This is paper Easter grass.
Next, the instructions for the sheep pudding cups using the Vanilla Super SnackPack Pudding Cups.
The sheep heads are made from gumpaste.  You could also use fondant, pink Starburst or other pink taffy or even a big pink jelly bean.  Insert a toothpick at the base of the head to insert into the marshmallow topped pudding cup.
Piped facial details:
Again, peal back the pudding cup tops, pile on the mini marshmallows and insert the edible sheep head:
We placed a can of ReddiWip next to the spoons as a little extra to top the pudding cups.  ReddiWip is always a kid crowd favorite.  The party favors are plastic Easter bowls the perfect size to hold a regular SnackPack pudding cup, some mini jellybeans, licorice and a spoon.
The bluebird cookies in the baskets with eggs were the perfect addition to the party to dip into the pudding cups.
My son likes the chocolate pudding cups and my daughter is the vanilla fan.  I like both.  How about you and your kids?  Let the kids get in on the fun of making these cute little animal pudding cups.
I couldn't resist on the title of this post.  How are you at "pudding all of your eggs in one basket"?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ringing in the New Year with MotoX

Motorola's new MotoX lets you customize your new phone from top to bottom, front to back, sides and insides!  As a nature lover, I was drawn to the wood-grain.  You can even add custom lazer engraving on the back: add your name, your favorite team or your one word intention for 2015.  My word is Inspire.
How would you customize a phone to fit your personal style?  My son was all over the football texture:
I think my favorite feature is the Best Shot feature which takes several photos before and after you snap the picture and identifies your optimal shot.  It even knows if you’ve taken several pictures at a party or on vacation, and will organize them into a highlight reel with options for music and special effects.  It also lets you do more using only your voice, working with favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, Google Play Music and Pandora.

My daughter selected a teal back with silver sides, white front and coordinating case:
She inscribed her phone with "Adventure Outside".  Her dad just sent her a Motorola phone with a note saying, "Remember the world of Adventure lives outside a phone a computer."  I think it's a good reminder that our smartphones can help us prepare and get us to places, but it's up to us to put the phone/screen away and get out and live.

The new Moto X is everything you want in a premium smartphone without the premium price. It is available for $99 with a two-year contract and $499 without a contract. Add $25 for the wood or leather backs.

What adventures await you in 2015?  How will you ring in the New Year??  Head over to the Moto Maker site and create your own customized phone and check out the other features the MotoX offers.  Ring in this year with style!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Building Memories wih LEGO® & LEGO® Minifigure Holiday Cards

Are you ready?  The family is arriving and you can feel the excitement in the air with all of the kids running around Grandma's house.  The little balls of wound up energy usually scurry straight to the basement to get busy continuing the LEGO land they've left off at Thanksgiving.
These LEGOs have been passed down from one generation to the next.  My aunt brought over a huge tub of LEGOs passed down from my cousins, now in their 30s.
LEGOs truly are the gift that keeps on giving.  My brothers all got LEGOs for Christmas when they were kids and I love the Friends sets they came out with several years ago.  When my sister and I were younger, we'd spend full days building Barbie villages out of LEGOs.  The Lego figures fit the same scale as the village- no more towering Barbies in LEGO villages!
The kids spend hours down here building, making modifications and using their imaginations.  The best part to me is that as they build, they are also building lasting memories of spending time with their cousins.  It's so easy for the kids to each disappear on an electronic device and barely have contact sitting right next to each other.
As they are busy playing, the adults are freed up for last minute holiday preparations.
I like to keep an extra kid gift on hand in case I forgot about someone.  Although we don't buy gifts for each person in our family, you never know when a BFF might show up with a gift or an unexpected birthday invitation shows up in your kids' backpack.  Kids love 'em, grown ups get tired of stepping on them...I know.  
The only thing I didn't get done this holiday was the family Christmas card.  We had gorgeous family photos taken in a wintery aspen grove - perfect for a holiday card.  Sometimes, you just have to give yourself permission to let a few things go.  Not all is lost.  If you skipped the holiday card like I did, you can create your very own LEGO Minifigure Holiday Card!
As a family-owned company, LEGO Systems is in the business of helping families "build" memories. The LEGO Minifigure Holiday card is yet another way the whole family can come together, create and share. Choose your scene and your own characters/family members with outfits, expressions, hats, hairdos, wardrobe and more tocreate a one-of-a-kind LEGO Minifigures Family Photo.  Honestly, I think the ski goggles on my LEGO doppelganger add such a local touch.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cashew Chai

This is my favorite warm Ayurveda breakfast:  stewed fruit with spices and warm chai.  I prefer a dairy-free, soy-free option to mix with my chai and have been using almond milk in place of skim milk for quite some time now.  The stewed fruit is apple, pear, pineapple, cinnamon, ginger & cloves simmered until soft.  The warmth of the fruit and warming spices is very satisfying for breakfast.  I've discovered a new creamy dairy-free, soy-free option...

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Nature Box Snacks

I was just sitting down with my brother and sister-in-law and we were discussing afternoon snacking.  My brother and I made the same homemade snack mix and we both commented that it leaves us with a heavy feeling.  There must be something better.  I started telling him about NatureBox and the snacks I selected to review.  The list of snacks was extensive from granolas, dried fruits, and crunchy snacks.
When you join NatureBox, you'll receive five different snacks every month. You can choose the snacks you want or be surprised with their carefully curated selections.  Check out their snack catalog!  I chose Siracha Rice Crackers, Caramel Pretzel Pops, Sweet Potato Sticks, Guacamole Bites and Chocolate Quinoa Granola:
Next time, I'll for sure order multiple packages of the Siracha Rice Crackers and the Chocolate Quinoa Granola.  The granola had a nice sea salt flavor to go with the chocolate and completely satisified all afternoon chocolate cravings.  Got a dietary goal or taste preference? NatureBox has 100+ snacks to excite and delight every palate.
My kids espeically liked the Salted Caramel Pretzel Pops and Siracha Rice Crackers.

Click here to start your free trial with NatureBox!*  The free trial box contains one full-sized bag and four single-served pouches.

*Fine Crumbs: Free trial is available for new and US subscribers only. Not valid on gift subscriptions and may not be combined with any other offers”

Follow NatureBox on TwitterNatureBox on FacebookNatureBox on Instagram.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Friday, November 14, 2014

PTA/Life Lock #ShareAwesome Contest - How's your online decision making?

We played out an interesting experiment one weekend to see how many times over the course of a weekend, we'd typically pick up a device for an answer to a question:  the weather, a product, a movie time, a recipe.  I think we were each surprised at the frequency.  That doesn't even count any connection to social media or games. It is part of our daily lives and our kids don't know a world before these devises.  My kids had their first cell phone at age 2 (for parenting reasons, so they have an even bigger head start than most kids).

Online saftey is a key issue for me.  I don't reveal my location, employment, house numbers or any number of identifying information about myself.  My personal Facebook privacy settings are pretty tight and I rarely use location services.  I watermark over my kids' faces on photos I use for my blog Facebook fan page or any other public social media site.  On the other hand, I like sharing and connecting with friends and family online.  I like seeing photos of their lives and sharing photos of ours and it can be exchanged in a safe way.

As my tween son has started texting with friends, my rule is "If you wouldn't send it to Grandma or Papa, don't send it."  That includes use of language, photos, links, and friendly banter.  Same goes for his app games like Clash of Clans with the chatting feature.  Real and/or full names are not to be used and all of his emails are forwarded to my account.  We've had conversations about nothing ever "disappears" from the Internet.  Once you put it out there, it's out there and there can be some serious consequences to safety, reputation and character.  I've held firm that social media is restricted until age 13.
I don't understand this game, but a crew of friends play and chat.  The chats "disappear" after 100 messages and kids build up 100 messages in a matter of minutes.
The National PTA has joined with LifeLock to bring online safety to your awareness and into your families.  The #ShareAwesome campaign seeks to build an understanding among parents and students that no matter the device, the app or the networking site – the skills we need to be safe and positive online are similar to what you need offline.

I think the key thing is to check in on devise activity.  Every now and then I have to reel it in and question some decisions and/or discussions.  It's a good place to keep open and frequent conversation.

  • The #ShareAwesome contest invites social media users to share a smart and safe decision, uplifting accomplishment, or positive action for the good of others using hashtag #ShareAwesome on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Students who enter a photo between September 15 – November 30, 2014 will be eligible to win fantastic prizes, including tablets and a $2,500 scholarship! Visit to learn more.

  • I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

    Monday, November 10, 2014

    Cocozia Coconut Water Review

     A couple of my new favorite liquids:  Liquido yoga pants and Cocozia coconut water.  This is my tame pattern of Liquido pants.  They have some pretty outrageously fun print fabrics.  The fabric feels great and the pants wear great.
    My go-to drink is now Cocozia Coconut Water.  Epicurex sent me a case to sample via Amazon and now I'm hooked.  I want more!! As the packaging reads, it's 100% organic.  So far it is my favorite coconut water.  Bonus, I'd rather get electrolytes from a natural source than from a sugary sports drink.   It's the perfect drink to re-hydrate throughout the day, but I especially like to drink it after yoga.
    That was an epic slack line spanning the width of the park.  You can find other Cocozia flavors like chocolate, coffee, mango and pineapple.  I definitely want to try the chocolate and pineapple flavors.  You can go to the website to see if Cocozia is distributed near you or purchase online through Amazon.  The 16.9oz case ships free!