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

Christmas

Hot Chocolate Floats – Holiday Traditions with a Florida Twist!

Thank you to Mayfield Creamery for sponsoring this post.


Holiday Traditions with a Florida Twist!

After spending our first holiday season in Florida last year, we quickly realized our usual holiday traditions needed to be tweaked to align with the Florida weather.  My favorite part of the holiday season has always been family movie nights with hot chocolate and snuggling with the kids.  However, it’s hard to get into the hot chocolate when it is still reaching 80 degrees during the day.  So, we have turned our hot chocolate tradition into a hot chocolate float tradition and made our family movie nights even more fun, because ice cream always makes things better!

Hot Chocolate Ice Cream Float with Mayfield Creamery

We add our favorite Mayfield Creamery Ice Cream to our hot chocolate, along with some whip cream and sprinkles and Wala you have a perfect Hot Chocolate Float, it is that simple!

Our usual ice cream flavor picks are Vanilla Bean which gives it an extra creamy taste, Smoky Mountain Fudge for the over the top chocolate flavor, or Candy Jar Crunch because my kids love this flavor for every ice cream recipe we make. 

This is our favorite chocolaty yummy drink that pairs perfectly with our family movie night.

Why we choose Mayfield Creamery Ice Cream

Mayfield Creamery Ice Cream is now available at Publix in Florida, and since we first tried it, it has been well stocked in my freezer!  The creamy texture and delicious flavor choices have my family hooked.

Mayfield Creamery ice cream uses fresh cream from their own dairy, with no artificial growth hormones, and uses a family recipe that has been perfected over three generations!  They set themselves apart from other ice cream brands with their storied heritage, unique flavors, and commitment to making ice cream that mirrors the values of the Mayfield family.

Make sure you head over to Publix and try some Mayfield Creamery ice cream, and come back to tell me what your favorite flavor is!

Santa.com, The Official Site of Santa! ~ Get Daily Text Messages from Santa

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Santa.com, all opinions are 100% my own.

Christmas is going to be here before we know it, so why not get in the holiday spirit by having some fun with the big man in red himself!  Santa.com is an amazing website that focuses on positive lessons, not presents.

Your child can receive cute text messages from Santa with facts about Christmas and messages about positive values, while his nice list promotes reading, good habits and politeness!  There are so many great services and activities on Santa.com including:

E-mails from Santa (free!): Santa.com has the most genuine email Santa Service. We are the only site in the World that Will send a detailed, thoughtful, reply using the email Santa@Santa.com.

Text Messages from Santa ($9.99): Receive daily, personalized text messages filled with Christmas spirit, amusing facts, and positive values. It’s a great, no-stress Way to enjoy Some Christmas Spirit every day.

Handwritten Notes from Santa: in late November Santa.com offers a new service for sending handwritten notes from Santa. Stay tuned for further details.

There is also some adorable coloring pictures that you can download to color and be sure to read Santa’s blog!

Plus parents can have peace of mind letting the kids roam Santa.com, the site is Kids Safe, privacy protected, FTC approved and designed for ages 1-120!

Giveaway Time!

Enter to win this awesome Santa.com prize pack including a Santa.Com fidget Spinner Wrapped in gift paper and a Santa.Com ribbon, a Santa.com eco-friendly folding tote bag, a Santa Libs storybook and Coloring pages, a Santa.com Oval bumper sticker, and a Santa.com pen.

Santa.com Giveaway!

Santa hid a 35% off coupon code!

You can locate a hidden coupon code for 35% off on Santa.com by downloading the App Blippar from iTunes or Google Play and then hold the app over any image on the Santa.com site.  One of the images will reveal the hidden coupon code.
The code will only be available until November 24th.

 

You also have the opportunity to get 20% off Santa’s daily text messages with coupon code: trisha20off.

 

3 tips for Eating Healthy during the Holiday Season

This post was sponsored by the National 4-H Council as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Eating Healthy During The Holidays

It can be easy for many of us to lose track of our healthy eating goals during the holiday season.  With so many sweets and processed foods at every holiday party and event, along with the cravings that can come with the colder weather and holiday movies, it can be hard to resist the foods we normally say no to.

3 tips for Eating Healthy during the Holiday Season

Eat something before you go to a holiday party.  If you and your family show up to a holiday function with empty bellies, your more likely to overeat all the tempting treats available.  Instead, eat some fresh fruit or a salad before leaving home, so that you are less likely to overeat at the party and are still getting in some nutritious food.

Eat what is best first.  When you head to the buffet you’ll likely find a table full of veggies, bread, sweets, and turkey.  Eat the veggies and turkey first, and save a little room to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Make your own treats for home, and to bring to holiday functions.  A perfect way to make sure you have a healthy option to eat is to bring one and keep the foods your family is going to be wanting at home.  Instead of eating a piece of the pie that is full of sugar, pastes, and ingredients we don’t know about, my family makes a simple apple pie.  We cut up a few apples and mix them with cinnamon and a drizzle of honey, cook the apples for 10 minutes while making an easy pie crust.  Then use the apples as the filling and bake the crust.  This gives us a delicious sweet treat that I feel better about feeding my kids.
We eat apples like this without the pie crust quite often for a quick and easy sweet treat.

Holiday Spirit of Giving

My kids love to cook with me, and I am blessed to be to have the resources to cook healthy meals with them.  Unfortunately, this is not the case for too many!  Nearly 16 million children live in households that don’t have consistent access to food throughout the year.

However, 4-H Food Smart Families targets families that are eligible for or receiving SNAP/WIC and is helping create more food secure homes by teaching families how to plan, shop and prepare healthy meals on a budget.  
This includes two components, equipping youth and their families by empowering them to make healthy living part of their everyday lives and helping them with things such as cooking skills and food budgeting skills.  While also connecting families with nutrition assistance resources in their community.  Knowledge is power, and this gives families who are struggling to make ends meet, the knowledge they need to be able to feed their families well.

Since 2011, United Healthcare and 4-H have partnered together to deliver healthy living programs to more than 340,000 youth and their families in 14 states!

The goal is to continue to test the 4-H Food Smart Families program in select states.  With the end goal of replicating and expanding the program across the entire country.

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.
stock-up-before-chistmas

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!
christmas-italian-cookies

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.
italian-anise-cookies
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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Elf On The Shelf Ideas

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 bookshelf 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 to 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 into 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 Ideas

  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.
    cooking-elves
  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.
    snow-angel
  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 hot 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.
    duct-tape-elves
  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!

elf-in-a-shelf-bucket
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?

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