The Mommyhood Life – Travel, Crafts, Food, and Florida Family Fun

Month: December 2016

Love Your Hair!

This post is sponsored by Dove. All opinions are my own.
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A girl and her hair, her hair can be a source of joy or her worst enemy.

I have straight to wavy fine hair so when my daughter came out with thick curly hair, I was at a loss about how to care for it.
My biggest fear though was her not realizing how incredibly beautiful her hair was because I couldn’t figure out what to do with it.  I remember having her on my lap screaming as I tried to brush through her dry curls, at the end we were both in tears.  From that day on, I realized how important it was for me to learn how to care for her beautiful curls so that her confidence never wavered because of her at times unmanageable tresses.  
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As she’s grown, we have both learned how and when to brush her hair, what styles she likes, and what to use on her thick strong hair to keep it looking and feeling amazing.  Now at 7, she loves her hair.  When she combs it herself she is not shy about telling everybody she has beautiful hair and that makes me proud.
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I am excited to team up with Dove to share about their “Love Your Hair” campaign because there is a narrow depiction of what “beautiful hair” is believed to look like and earlier this year, Dove Hair found that 8 in 10 women feel pressure to wear their hair a certain way.  For many, these pressures begin at an early age.  In my culture long and straight hair is thought to be beautiful.  While I have at times fallen into the trap of thinking my hair needed to be straightened every day, I never wanted my daughter to feel like she needed to flatten out her full and bouncy curls.
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Dove Hair believes a positive role model can greatly impact a girl’s confidence. In fact, a recent Dove study found that 82% of girls learn to care about themselves from their mother.

These findings don’t surprise me.  My daughter has watched me style my hair, put on makeup, and has been trying on my high heels since she started to walk.  Our daughters are always watching us and as mothers, we can make a difference and help ensure our daughters grow up feeling confident.

Celebrate the beauty of your daughter’s hair today–so she loves her hair tomorrow!

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Do you tell your daughter how beautiful her hair is?  Tell her why you love her hair by creating and sharing a custom #LoveYourHair animated message with @Dove: LoveYourHair.Dove.com

6 Ways to Save on Beef this Holiday Season!

This post is funded by The Beef Checkoff and brought to you by The Motherhood. All opinions in this blog are my own.
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The holidays are here and as the only one with kids in my family, holiday parties are usually at my house.  The kids don’t like to leave their new toys on Christmas and I like them home in their own beds when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.  While I love all the planning, decorating, and cooking, I don’t always like the impact these huge dinners have on my budget.

Luckily this season, beef retail prices are down nearly 10 percent from the highest prices in late 2014, making it easier on your wallet. This is great news as we plan for holiday meals!  

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You can expect to be seeing lower prices at the meat case in your grocery retailer. Take advantage of these prices as you shop for roasts, steaks and ground beef this season.  I sure will be, my husband loves steak, and my taco dip with layers of ground beef is a holiday staple in my house.
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This 10% savings will definitely help, especially during a time of the year when so much money is already going out.  However, I am always looking for ways to save on my grocery shopping and The Beef Checkoff has some awesome advice.


The Beef Checkoff, the leading authority on all things beef, shares expert tips on how to get the best deals on beef this holiday season and every day.
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Now that you know that it’s an option within your budget, are you thinking about Beef for your holiday dinner but not sure where to start?  Beef It’s What’s For Dinner has you covered.

Where to Start
Add roasts to your grocery list this holiday season, an excellent cut of beef to serve friends and family! Here are the resources you need for preparing a perfect roast to wow your guests:
This oven roasting guide will help take the guess work out of this simple preparation method.

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Follow this guide to find out exactly how much beef to buy for your guests, no more, no less.

Confused about which roast to buy? Visit the Interactive Butcher Counter for a variety of options – you pick which beef cut fits your needs!

For additional holiday entertaining ideas, browse this recipe collection at beefitswhatsfordinner.com.

Not sure what to make this holiday?
beefitswhatsfordinner.com some incredible recipe ideas!  Here are some favorites;

Citrus-Marinated Beef and Fruit Kabobs

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Braised Short Ribs with Red Wine Sauce

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Beef Stuffing with Apples and Cranberries

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Adding beef to your holiday menu offers endless possibilities and is sure to impress.

Stay connected with Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner for more tips and yummy recipes!
Social media: Twitter |  Facebook |  Instagram |  PinterestYouTube.

Have a wonderful holiday dinner!

All Images above credited to The Beef Checkoff.

 

Yummy Italian Cookie Recipe!

This post is sponsored by Arm & Hammer and Gold Medal Flour.  All opinions are my own.
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Christmas is next week and in my family that means the oven will be running over time to get all our baking traditions done.  One of my most favorite holiday time baking treat is my Nana’s recipe for Italian Cookies.  These cookies are so soft and yummy with the perfect level of sweetness that allows for you to eat way to many at once.

The recipe is easy to make, luckily because in my family we are always making a second or third batch before the cookies have even hit the oven.  I have so many vivid memories from my childhood of me and my cousins sneaking balls of this dough when my Nana would turn her head, add to that the fact that she was sneaking her own scoops into her mouth when she thought we weren’t looking and you can imagine we needed to keep extra ingredients on hand if we ever wanted a fully cooked cookie.
Now I laugh as I sneak to the laundry room to hide the dough I’m eating after yelling at my kids to “stop raw dough!”

This recipe calls for 3 1/2 cups of flour, and has been nicknamed “The Flour Cookies” by some family members, so as you can imagine picking a good flour and keeping a lot of it on hand during the holidays is very important.  Another big ingredient we use in our kitchen is baking soda.  Luckily, in the busyness of the holidays, these ingredients are convenient to stock up on in the baking aisle at Walmart.  Each year I grab several bags of Gold Medal Flour and a couple boxes of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda so that I won’t have to worry about running out during the holiday season.
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These are trusted name brands that have been around for over 100 years and are still affordable.  My Nana took her cooking and baking very seriously, she always had something baking from scratch, some ravioli’s to cut and a lasagna in the freezer in case someone stopped by unannounced.  So it these brands were in her cabinets throughout my childhood, I use them and definitely recommend them!

So do you want to make some Yummy Cookies this Christmas?
Here’s the recipe!
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Nana’s Italian Cookies

Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
3 Eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups Gold Medal Flour
5 Teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar

Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl and all wet ingredients in a second bowl.  Once both bowls are well mixed, slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredient bowel while mixing.

After about half the dry ingredients are mixed in, the dough will become thicker so I then shut off my mixer and begin to kneed the rest of the dry ingredients into the dough until all the flour is absorbed by the butter.

Grease a cookie sheet and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Roll the dough into 1-2 inch balls to bake for 9-10 minutes.

Optional: Once finished baking I drizzle them with a mixture of 1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar and 2 teaspoons of water.
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That’s it, super easy yet incredibly delicious!

24 Fun and Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas! #MyReason #AtHomeStores

This post sponsored by At Home, all opinions are my own.
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I remember the first year we had our Elf visit.  It was about 7 years ago and back then our pore little guy Rex must have been tired because all he did was move from the Christmas tree to the book shelf and back again.  When he was really ambitious he would fly over to the top of the TV or into a stocking, but that was it, he didn’t pull any real shenanigans back then.

Fast forward to today, he started bring another elf friend along, her name is Snowflake and they are up to all sorts of craziness once the kids fall asleep.  I’m guessing now that all of their friends are making debuts on Pinterest, Rex and Snowflake had to up their game too!
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Our elves head back to the North Pole on Christmas Eve night with Santa so when we brought them out on December 1st, I jotted down some fun and easy Elf ideas, in hopes that I wouldn’t have many “OH NO! I forgot the dang elf” mornings.  
Then I had some fun shopping at the At Home store in Orlando.  We recently moved down from Massachusetts so this was my first time in an At Home store and I am now obsessed!  We are still settling in to our new place and At Home has everything I need to make it a home.  From rugs and patio furniture to fun accessories for our elves to play with!
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24 Days of Elf on the Shelf

  1. When our elves arrive they bring a little gift for the kids to celebrate their arrival.  Usually a pez dispenser, water bottle, silly putty.
  1. It’s time to bake!  December is for baking, Rex and Snowflake will get things started for us and let us know what to do next on the chalkboard cheese platter from At Home.
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  2.  Another December tradition is making gingerbread houses, our elves arrived one morning with kits from At Home and were positioned on the kitchen table to watch all the decorating fun.
  3.  Rex and Snowflake also like to spend a day sitting in the Christmas Tree so they can admire all the pretty new ornaments.
  4.  The elves like to bring some of their favorite Christmas books on some morning, usually they even wrap them up to make it extra fun.
  5.  Using a peppermint Hershey’s Kiss one day our elf used the potty, for the boys this was an epic morning!
  6.  On days that are cool enough that we won’t use our ceiling fan, the elves have fun hanging around on it.
  7.  Set up a zip line throughout the house with candy canes.
  8.  The night before we start to decorate, the elves pull out all our Christmas lights and tend to make a mess.
  9.  We are missing out on the snowy fun of New England this year, but the elves aren’t!  Rex dumped all my sugar out to make Snow Angels.
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  10.  After some busy couple weeks, the elves like to spend a cozy day hanging out in the kid’s stockings.
  11. Have the elves drink syrup because they love sugar with some staws.
  12. They plan holiday movie nights by pulling out their favorite movie and bring packages of cot chocolate.
  13.  Make a snowman out of toilet paper rolls and have the elves in the center.
  14.  While in the checkout line at At Home I decided to toss some red duct tape in my carriage because I figured I would use it for something fun over the holidays.  Well I didn’t yet, but Snowflake had some fun with it.
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  15.  Have the elves host a movie night in the microwave with some popcorn!
  16.  Our elves also love to write messages with toothpaste on the bathroom sink.
  17.  The kids know Christmas is coming really soon, once Rex and Snowflake bring their new Christmas Jammies.
  18.  Our elves will set up board games and play together all night.
  19.  They get dressed up.  I’ve seen some cute Elf on the Shelf outfits, but I decided to try something that I can use all season long instead.  Wine Bottle decorations from At Home!  I recently got a wine bottle scarf and hat set that fit on Snowflake perfectly, and I can’t wait to go back and grab some wine bottle sweaters.  Plus, on the days the elves aren’t getting festive, mommy’s wine bottles look awesome!
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  20.  One morning the elves moved around the silverware and when the kids opened up the utensil drawers for breakfast they found a couple of elves.
  21.  Snowflake loves to toast mini marshmallows over our candles.
  22.  Have the kids leave their letters for Santa with their elf to bring up to the North Pole.  We did and Santa wrote back telling them to stay on the nice list.
  23.  The kids favorite morning was when they landed in a sealed holiday bucket from At Home with a note that said “carry us around, our magic is safe”.  The kids showed Snowflake and Rex off to everyone!
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    I can’t believe Christmas will be here and our elves will be heading back to the North Pole in just 10 days.  Time seems to be passing so fast as I hold on to and cherish as much of my children’s holiday magic as I can before they grow up.  I want them to look back at these years and remember the fun mornings of December looking for their elves and that feeling of Christmas magic.  They are my reason for bringing our Elf on the Shelf alive.
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    What is your favorite Elf on the Shelf hiding place?

A Must Have for all Little Mermaid Fans!

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Back in November I shared a great deal on Fin Fun Mermaid Tails here.  Since then Fin Fun has sent Lilly her very own Mermaid Tail to review!
Lilly received the Maui Splash Mermaid Tail and she is in love with it!  It slips on easily and the quality of the fabric is amazing.  Lilly has worn hers several times in both the pool and the ocean and the fabric has remained stretchy with brilliantly bright colors.

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She tells me “the Monofin makes it easier to swim with because it moves back and forth so easily”
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The price of the Maui Splash Mermaid Tail is a bit high at $54.95, but for the quality of the tail along with the fun design, I think the price is a good match.  Plus, if $50+ is to0 high for a pool toy, Fin Fun offers designs priced as low as $34.95.

I thought about getting Lilly a mermaid tail for the last couple summers, but always put it off.  However, after seeing how much fun she has had over the last few weeks, I will definitely be adding the to my Summer Mermaid Must Haves post that will be live this spring.

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Make sure you check out all the great fins and blankets that Fun Fin has to offer, and stay up to date on Limited Edition patterns and sales by connecting with them on  Faceboom and Twitter!


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