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

Snacks

The Perfect Beach Day Snack – A Delicious Bread Tray

This post was sponsored by Heluva Good! as part of an Ambassador Program and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

The Perfect Beach Day Snack - A Delicious Bread Tray

The Perfect Beach Day Snack – A Delicious Bread Tray

I can’t believe it’s Labor Day weekend already!  Are you heading out on the water or hitting the sandy beach to celebrate?  If you are, I have the perfect snack idea for you!

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Living in Florida we spend a lot of time on the boat and at the beach, it’s pretty much a way of life down here.  With three kids, you can imagine snacks are always on my list of what to pack, and knowing that space can be limited on the boat plus, we will likely be carrying food to a sandy beach once the boat is anchored, limits my snacking options.  With space being a concern, I also like to find snacks that everyone likes, both the kids and the adults.  Chips and dips are always a popular duo, but after a few days in a row, my go to snack becomes mundane and it’s time to get creative.

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Luckily with Heluva Good! Dip there are so many other dipping options!  With a assortment of flavors including French Onion, Buttermilk Ranch, White Chedder and Bacon, Bodacious Onion, and more, they really have a flavor to satisfy everyone’s taste buds and to pair with whatever you want to dip.

One of my family’s favorite foods to dip in every flavor of Heluva Good! Dip is bread, in particularly pumpernickel bread.  It is a tasty and satisfying snack that is super easy to prepare and take out to the beach.

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I grab a couple loafs of bread from the bakery, uncut.  As I said pumpernickel is a favorite of mine, but we also love French bread and Seseme bread.

For the small loafs I cut it into thin slices.  For large loafs or the round loafs that pumpernickel usually comes in I just tear it apart by hand into small chunks.
I then package it all back up in the bags I bought it in, or in a ziplock bag. 
The bread can be put right in your beach bag and is ready to go, and the small Heluva Good! Dip tubs fit easily in any cooler.

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Once we get to the beach, the kids will either snack right from the bag, or if there’s a group of us, like at a Labor Day party, I will bring along some plastic bowels/plates so everyone has room to dip. 

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I love how easy this appetizer is, yet it is not something often thought about, making it an awesome snacking experience!

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What is your favorite food to dip?
Make sure you look for these bold-favored dips in the dairy aisle at a store near you!

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Un-Slump Your Summer Lunch Routine!

This post is brought to you by StarKist and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own. 

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We are half way through summer break, which means my family has hit a lunch slump!  During the school year, the kids not only have breakfast at school, they also typically buy lunches there or bring sandwiches and purchase extras from the snack line.  During the summer, I must go from planning one meal a day to three plus snacks.

My grocery bill triples, the kids complain about “this again”, while my time is consumed with making meals.

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StarKist Tuna and Salmon Pouches

Luckily, I was invited to learn more about StarKist Tuna and Salmon Pouches at Blogher last month. 
I grew up seeing StarKist Charlie in commercials and my mom always having cans of Starkist Tuna in the cabinets for Tuna sandwiches.  However, I had no idea how much of a variety Starkist offers and how many meal ideas there are using not only their original tuna but their delicious Tuna Creations.   that have opened my meal time options wide up my meal time variety, while saving me time on meal prep.

I received a couple pouches of the Tuna Creations Pouches at Blogher to try, and they have been in my shopping cart every week since.

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They are Quick and Easy!

Each pouch is a single serving and requires no can opener or draining.  Just tear it open and your good to go.  This may sound silly but there have been afternoons when I purposely didn’t use the tuna fish in the cabinet because I didn’t want to deal with draining the can and the fish smell because my dishes weren’t done.  No judgement please.

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They are Nutritious!

Featuring at least 13 grams of lean protein and less than 110 calories per pouch, these are the perfect snack option to keep you going.

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They are Versatile:

I am on the go constantly, so you will likely find a pouch and a plastic fork in my pocketbook for an instant snack anywhere.  The flavor options are great on their own, but I also add them to my salads and pastas, top our chicken breasts with different flavor creations, make sandwiches with them, top veggies with it, and so much more.

My favorite way of serving the StarKist Tuna Creations is to open a few pouches of the Thai Chili Style Pouches and spread it into a nice bowl and pair it with crackers for a party appetizer.  No one knows all I did was tear open a pouch and served.

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They Taste Great!

StarKist Tuna and Salmon Pouches are Available in 21 varieties, including 13 deliciously seasoned Tuna & Salmon Creations, tuna & salmon in water or oil, as well as low sodium options.  The meal options are limitless and with such a vast variety you never get bored when using them as a healthy snack option!

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Want to learn more about the great flavor options StarKist offers?  Visit http://starkist.com/,

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Tips For Having the Perfect Movie Night at Home

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Tips For Having the Perfect Movie Night at Home

If you are looking to create a fun and perfect movie night at home, than try out some of these options below! Having a movie night at home with the family can be lots of fun! Plus it is a more affordable option than going to the theater, and you get comfier seats!

Below you will find the perfect way to create a movie theater feel in the comfort of your home! One thing I love about watching movies at home, is you can pause them when you get up to use the restroom or refill your drink!

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Creating a Movie Night At Home

Atmosphere: Make sure it is a nice low key atmosphere. Dim the lights or even turn them off, so you get that dark room effect like in the movie theater! Make sure you have good comfy seating, or lay out blankets and pillows to lounge on the floor if you want.

Snacks and Drinks: You can’t have a movie night at home without good snacks. Think delicious popcorn! G.H. Cretors sent me some yummy popcorn to try and I am inlove with the Just the Cheese Popcorn by G.H. Cretors, they do have other flavors. It is popped and ready to be devoured! Make sure to have licorice, chocolate candies, cotton candy or any other movie theater treat. Then of course you can forget tasty drinks to wash them down with! If you want a more healthy option do veggies and hummus or protein balls.

Themed Snacks: Say you are watching a chick flick, you might want a fun virgin drink to sip on, if it is a cartoon, make cupcakes that resemble a character, scary movies, do gummy worms or other gooey snacks. Just make it fun and light hearted.

Put Away Electronics: Make sure to put up your electronics when you watch a movie. Just like going out, you have to turn it on silent. Try and make the most out of your movie night, by spending time with each other.

Picking a Movie: Make sure to pick a movie that everyone would probably enjoy. Read reviews so that you don’t end up with a movie that turns out to be really slow and goes nowhere. Find a movie that is new for everyone to see or watch one of your families favorites!

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As you can see throwing a movie night at home can be very laid back and fun. Just make sure you have good seating, great movie, and delicious snacks and I think you will please everyone!

What tips do you have for planning a perfect movie night in for the family?

Learn more about G.H. Cretors here, and get social with them:
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Disclosure:  I recieved a Movie Night Box from G.H. Cretors to help facilitate this post, all opinions are 100% my own.

 

My Families 5 Favorite Foods this Winter with Fresh from Florida!

This post was sponsored by Fresh From Florida as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central, however all opinions expressed are my own

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Winter is upon us down here in Florida and I think it might have dipped into the 60’s for a day or two.  With this being my families first winter after moving down from Boston, we were ready for the beach even on those 60 degree days.  

In New England that temperature is a cool summer night.  As you can guess, all the new northerners stand out from the true Floridians when “winter” strikes.  While my kids are at the bus stop in shorts and sandals, they’re in a sea of kids wearing fur lined hoodies.  

While it did dip into the “frigid” 60’s on a couple occasions, the rest of the winter has been incredible.  I didn’t really know what to expect weather wise in our first year, but I can honestly say Florida during the winter has my absolute favorite weather.  High 70’s and sunny pretty much 90% of the time, what’s not to love! Beyond the weather my favorite advantage of living in a region with such an amazing climate is the ability to get fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables all year round!

  I have fallen in love with being able to stroll the Tampa area farmers’ markets each weekend and pick up juicy fruits and crisp vegetables from local farmers all year long. 

With so many of my family’s favorite produce being in season this winter, my family has eaten healthier than ever before.

Curious when each fruit and vegetable is in season?  Find out here.

My Families 5 Favorite Fresh from Florida Recipes this Winter 

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Florida Grape Tomato and Orzo Pasta Salad
Tomatoes are in season all winter long in Florida and my kids would eat them by the dozen, so by putting them in a pasta salad they turn into a great afternoon lunch on a breezy sunny day.

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Cheddar-Bacon Florida Sweet Corn
Corn is another veggie the kids love that is in season all winter long, and Lilly has asked for corn-on-the-cob for breakfast on numerous mornings, so this recipe is a favorite in our house.

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Florida Strawberry Parfait
This is our go to dessert or afternoon snack.  Each member of my family says strawberries are one of their favorites and this recipe is beyond simple!

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Florida Avocado Smoothie
With 5 of us getting up and out the door during the week, mornings are crazy.  This Avocado Smoothie is an easy and quick breakfast that I can take with me and avocados are in season through January in Florida.

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Florida Beef and Sweet Pepper Skewers
My husband is Brazilian, he LOVES to barbeque and in Florida he does it constantly!  My favorite vegetable is Bell Peppers, I eat them raw, sautéed, grilled, any-way I love them.  So, this is a recipe he often grills us up and it’s delicious.

Want to check out some more yummy recipes?  Head over to Fresh from Florida!  

Whether I’m stocking up on produce at my local grocery store or at one of the cities farmers’ markets, I always look for the “Fresh from Florida” label.  That way not only am I getting fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables, I am also helping the local farmers in my community profit and be able to continue a sustainable farm and keep growing quality food for all of our families.

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Looking for a local Farmers’ Market?
Fresh from Florida has a Directory!

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10 Simple Ways to Show Kids You Love Them Everyday! #MixInImagination

This post was sponsored by DOLE® as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions expressed in my post are my own.

10 Simple Ways to Show Kids You Love Them Everyday

Life gets crazy!  In my house, I have three children running from school to sports, then finishing up homework, squeezing in time to run around with friends, and so much more sometimes in a single day.  There have been days that once dinner and baths were done, and my children were tucked in to bed, I collapsed on the couch in exhaustion with a bit of mommy guilt.

Some days it felt like we had been running none stop all day.  We were doing things they had begged to do but I still wasn’t sure if I had really connected with them in those little ways that make them grin and know they are what makes my heart beat.

I decided to start trying to do little things throughout the day that would make them sporadically feel special.  Here are 10 of my favorite simple ways to show my munchkins I love them though out the day.
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10 Simple Ways to Show Your Kids You Love Them

  1. Draw on the bathroom mirror.  My oldest is in middle school and often by the time I get up with the twins, he has already woken up and got ready.  He sees the bathroom mirror before he sees me, so I love sporadically grabbing a marker and drawing silly faces on the mirror to make him smile first thing in the morning.
  2. Surprise them at school for lunch.  My tween has explicitly told me NOT to do this to him, but my elementary aged kids love it.  Every so often I will whip up some of their favorite foods, the kind that wouldn’t keep well in a lunch box, and surprise them in the cafeteria.  Their school also lets students sit outside to eat when parents come, adding to that “I’m special” feeling.
  3. Leave something special in their pockets.  We lay out the kids outfits the night before school, so it is easy for me to sneak treats or pictures into there pockets.  One day I knew my oldest was stress about a big test, so I put a small picture of us in his pocket with a note saying “I was proud of him no matter what”.
  4. Say yes when they are expecting a no.  You know, when they have already eaten half your kitchen and are asking for a second helping of dessert, expecting a no.  Or when they want to stay up late an watch a movie and you were already counting down the minutes till bedtime.  Every once in a while, say yes to the usually no’s.
  5. Call them and chat.  If I have errands or work to do on the weekends or after school, the kids are home with dad.  When I am walking from place to place, I will often call and chat with each of them throughout the day. 
  6. Listen to them read.  Now that my kids are older, they are usually off reading to themselves but sometimes I crawl into bed with them or snuggle up on the couch and tell them to read the story to me.  This gives us great one on one time, plus, it helps them master reading out loud.
  7. Bake something yummy.  When I have some extra time in the day, I will surprise them with one of their favorite treats as an afternoon snack.
  8. Build them up by bragging about them.  When I know, they are within ear shot, I will make sure to build up some of their accomplishments and brag about them on the phone to Grammy or to my husband.  With an “Anthony is doing amazing in school, I am so proud” or “Lilly has been being so kind at school, she has such a caring heart”.  
  9. Put the phone away and get off the computer.  As a work at home mom, it is easy for me to sometimes loose sense of time and get caught up in the middle of writing or answering emails, and of course the social media wormhole.  I’ve started setting an alarm 10 minutes before the kids come in from school so that when they walk in the door, they see me, not me staring at a screen.
  10. Pack their school lunch with Love Notes.  By the time the kids sit down in the cafeteria for lunch, half their day has passed.  They could be having a great day, they could also have gotten a bad grade on a test, got into a disagreement with a friend, forgot their locker combination, or just be having crumby day.  So, putting a little note of encouragement in their lunch could lift them up right when they need it.  DOLE Mixations® are now a signature in my kid’s lunch boxes.  Not only are they a delicious combination of smooth fruit sauce mixed with chunks of real fruit, they also have a customizable package that lets you draw fun designs and personal messages on the lids.  This makes sending an unexpected pick-me-up simple and yummy.

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More about DOLE Mixations!

DOLE Mixations are available in 4 great flavors
Apple-Strawberry Sauce with Dices of Apple
Pineapple-Mango Sauce with Pineapple Pieces
Peach-Apple Sauce with Pineapple Pieces
Apple-Raspberry Sauce with Dices of Apple

My kids love all four flavors and I love that they are non-GMO*, contain no high fructose corn syrup, or artificial flavors, are gluten free and rich in Vitamin C!  Making them an ideal snack.

Plus, not only are DOLE Mixations a tasty and healthy snack option, they are also an easy and mess-free snack with no liquid to spill!

Are you ready to try DOLE Mixations and send a little encouragement in your child’s lunch box?  Now’s the time to try them with this great coupon!  Save $1.00 on any one (1) package of DOLE Mixations.

Dole-Mixations

What little ways do you use to show your children you love them through out the day?


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*No genetically modified (or engineered) ingredients

 

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