Category - MommyB Originals

Mitsubishi Motors’ “First Ride” Event Video

This is a sponsored post in an effort to showcase car seat safety initiatives highlighted in the video below.

Three New York City newborns will be making their first ride home in one of America’s safest cars as part of Mitsubishi Motors’ “First Ride” event. The program focuses on creating awareness and educating parents on child safety.

Instead of making the journey home through the streets of New York City in a taxi – an experience that does not legally require a car seat – the parents participating in Mitsubishi Motors’ “First Ride” event opted for a ride home from the hospital with their new bundles of joy in a fully-equipped 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander – an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) highest-rated “Top Safety Pick+” vehicle piloted by professional drivers. Their touching personal stories have become a series of short web films that contrast the craziness of the streets of the big city, with the calm, precious moments shared between three newborns and their parents.

Check out the video:

This is a sponsored post in partnership with car seat safety initiative.

Jesus Paid it All Easter Kids Craft {Guest Post}

Easter is “springing” up everywhere around us- stores are filled with chocolate bunnies, plastic eggs, and all things pastel.

While the marshmallow peeps are quite appealing to us all, its important that we take a moment to refocus and teach our children what Easter is actually all about- God sending His Son Jesus to the earth to live the life we could never live and die the death we should have died.

Jesus paid the penalty for our sins, conquered death, and rose from the grave. Easter is a time to celebrate the life of Christ and the new life we can have in Him!

I was looking for a creative way to share with my daughter the message of Easter in a fun, kid-friendly way. I came up with this simple craft idea. This craft is great to do at home, or would work wonderfully for a Sunday school activity too! And you can make it for less than $5 worth of supplies from the local dollar store!

Jesus Paid it All Easter Kids Craft

What You Need

  • 1 pack construction paper
  • 1 bag cotton balls
  • 1 bag plastic coins (on the party favor aisle at Dollar Tree)
  • Glue
  • Markers or Crayons

How to Make It

The Lamb:

  1. Trace your child’s hand on a white piece of construction paper (or if they are old enough, they can trace it themselves- my daughter is only 18 months, so I had to trace hers for her)
  2. Cut out the hand, flip it upside down, and glue it on a colored piece of construction paper (your child can choose any color paper)
  3. Draw a lamb’s face on the thumb using markers or crayons
  4. Glue cotton balls onto the palm of the hand

The Cross:

  1. Glue coin pieces in the shape of a cross onto the same piece of colored paper. Children can be creative, using all silver, or all gold, or creating a pattern

Finish It:

  1. Using a marker or crayon, write out 1 Peter 1:18-19 on the top of the page
  2. At the bottom of the paper, write (or have your child write) their name and year
  3. Make sure everything is dry before hanging on your fridge or bulletin board

 

What are some of your favorite kid-friendly Easter crafts that celebrate Jesus?

 

 

imageMelissa is a Communication Studies graduate of Clemson University. She recently traded in her human resources job for the best and most challenging career of all, being a stay-at-home mom. She loves coffee, cooking, crafting, and watching football. Melissa is also a former National Champion baton twirler and currently teaches baton lessons and judges baton twirling competitions across the nation. She recently launched the Honeybee Homemaker blog about her faith, family, and fun kitchen endeavors.

twitter.com/clemsonfeature

honeybeehomemaker.blogspot.com;

Green Mac & Cheese the Kids Will Love

Strolling through Costco the other day, my one-year-old daughter and I passed by the bulk pack of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Immediately, she shouts “noodles” at the top of her lungs and attempts to dive out of the shopping cart, lunging toward the macaroni.

I put her and the box of mac & cheese securely in our cart and chuckled a bit to myself as we continued down the aisle. I can definitely relate to her reaction- who doesn’t love some classic macaroni and cheese?

While we often buy the blue box stuff, sometimes it’s fun to mix up the standard mac & cheese and give it a healthy, homemade twist. With St. Patrick’s Day approaching, I thought my daughter might enjoy a green mac & cheese.

Healthy Green Mac & Cheese the Kids Will Love MommyB

She was excited to devour these “green noodles” (as she calls them), made with quality ingredients like whole grain noodles and spinach, and full of color and flavor that surely appeals to the younger crowd.

Green Mac & Cheese Recipe Ingredients MommyB

Ingredients

  • 1 box (12oz,) whole grain noodles (I recommend a thicker-style noodle, such as spirals, elbows, shells, or ziti)
  • 1 package Mac and Cheese Blend shredded cheese (I have found this at both Target and Food Lion. If you can’t find it at your store, any cheddar blend will work. I have also made this with 6-Cheese Italian Blend for an Italian twist-delicious!)
  • 1 package frozen spinach
  • 1½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Cook spinach according to package directions.

2. Cook pasta in boiling water, according to package directions.

3. In a blender or food processor, combine milk, ½ cup of the cooked spinach, garlic powder, nutmeg, and salt/pepper. Puree until completely blended and smooth.

Green Mac & Cheese Recipe Blend MommyB

4. In a sauté pan over medium/medium-low heat, melt butter, then whisk in flour.

5. Slowly pour in milk-spinach mixture, whisking constantly. Allow sauce to thicken slightly.

Green Mac & Cheese Recipe Prep MommyB

6. Add cheese, one small handful at a time, whisking in a figure-8 motion until the cheese has dissolved into the sauce.

7. Adjust seasoning as desired.

8. Combine sauce and noodles and serve. (Tip: I would add sauce one ladle-full at a time to the noodles so your noodles won’t drown in too much sauce)

Green Mac & Cheese Recipe MommyB

Bonus Tip

Extra sauce can be frozen for future use. I usually freeze it in ice cube trays, creating individual 1oz. servings of sauce. Then, I will simply microwave a few cubes to top a quick side serving of pasta or even vegetables!

 

imageMelissa is a Communication Studies graduate of Clemson University. She recently traded in her human resources job for the best and most challenging career of all, being a stay-at-home mom. She loves coffee, cooking, crafting, and watching football. Melissa is also a former National Champion baton twirler and currently teaches baton lessons and judges baton twirling competitions across the nation. She recently launched the Honeybee Homemaker blog about her faith, family, and fun kitchen endeavors.

twitter.com/clemsonfeature

honeybeehomemaker.blogspot.com

How to Show Your #disneyside Princess Style

It’s no secret that we love to have parties and playdates, but having two girls a princess party is a must! We’ve thrown a Sofia the First Princess party, and a Princess Birthday party for Lil’ C and of course many princess dress-up parties in our time.

Realizing that all of our #disneyside attendees were going to be girls, {we wish we could have invited millions of friends but with the party limits and space inside our house, only Disneyland could have held us all}, our obvious choice for party theme was a princess party. Don’t worry though, we had plenty of Mickey, Minnie, and the gang too.

How to Show your #disneyside Princess Style MommyB

Here’s our recipe for a great #disneyside party:

A Spoonful of Beautiful Princesses:

#disneyside princesses MommyB

and some Disney pals, including one of the new Disney Princess Palace Pets exclusively from Build-a-Bear Workshop. Pumpkin, who is Cinderella’s Palace Pet friend can now be made at Build-a-Bear Workshop and you can win a Build-A-Bear gift card at the end of this post to make your own!

Disney Princess Palace Pets and #disneyside friends MommyB

A Heaping Helping of delicious drinks and snacks:

Heaping Helping of Delicious #disneyside Drinks & Snacks MommyB

Our snacks included:

  • Disney Princess Fruit Snacks and “Snow White” bunny gummies
  • Pepperoni and Ritz cracker Mickey heads (with cheese because every mouse loves cheese)
  • Pink Princess Punch {aka strawberry lemonade} in our Mickey-fied Aladdin mason jar.
  • Mickey themed cupcake liners filled with Craisins
  • Hidden Mickey kid-friendly snacks and veggies in black round bowls
  • Hidden Mickey cupcakes*
  • Mini Mickey cupcakes*
  • #Disneyside Mickey cookies*
  • Mickey chocolate cake pops *

* Thanks to Cupcrazed Cakery for providing the delicious baked goods, the moms and princesses loved them and even got to take their cake pops home, some of them shared with siblings too! These treats were amazing!

A dash of decorations, crafts, games, and goodie bags:

#disneyside princess party mommyB

Our guests got their photos taken in front of the Mickey and Gang Step and Repeat, chose their favorite Disney Princess tattoo, made Disney inspired t-shirts from Hanes brand, {of course most of the shirts featured Mickey and favorite princesses}, listened to the Disney Frozen soundtrack, played Disney trivia and Disney Bingo, and of course left the party with some pretty cute purple and pink princess swag including headband crowns, star wand lollipops, and a variety of Disney goodies.

We had so much fun with our friends and had a blast showing our princess #disneyside. I can’t wait to take the girls to Disneyland as a part of the Disney Social Media Moms Conference in April. They will be beyond excited to visit and DaddyB and I can’t wait either.

We want to know, how do you show your #disneyside???

As promised, here’s your chance to show your #disneyside with Build-a-Bear Workshop, enter to win a $25 gift card and be sure to check out their new Disney Princess Palace Pets friends.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks to BSM Media, Walt Disney World Resorts & Parks, Build-a-Bear Workshop, Cupcrazed Cakery, SmartFab, Aladdin for helping us with our #disneyside celebration and share it with friends.

Why I’d Rather Build My Daughters’ Self Esteem than Buy a Magazine

My friend, and fellow blogger {and Charlottean}, Kelley Crowe wrote a post today about the controversial Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 50th Anniversary Edition. Check out her thoughts here: This is Not Okay For My Daughter’s Eyes…

I completely agree with Kelley’s sentiments and understand her frustration and here’s Why I’d Rather Build My Daughters’ Self Esteem than Buy a Magazine and my response to Kelley’s post.

Self Esteem in Girls MommyB

As a conservative mom of two girls who wants her children to know that their worth is not skin deep, issues like this really make me sad that our Nation is going overboard. I think often times the general population, (some parents included), start to tune things like this out because it’s more the norm than not.

Yes, I already mentioned I’m conservative, and things in stores like music videos or magazines, or even some mannequins dressed provocatively bother me. Do I wish that stores, television, and people would stop promoting the objectification of women? Sure! Do I wish they would stop promoting the objectification of men? drugs? alcohol? sex? etc, yup.

The only thing we can really do as parents is change our children; let them know our moral beliefs, let them ask questions and find answers, discuss situations, and maybe once and a while flip off the tv {or cut the cable like we did}, turn over the magazines in the store, and pray for our family and the future of our Nation.

 

What are your thoughts on the Sports Illustrated cover, or magazine in general? I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on the topic of self-esteem and children, even if you disagree, but please be respectful or your comments may be deleted. 

10 Things I Heart

Sometimes I just can’t contain myself when I find things that I love I want to tell the world. Sometimes those things are products I’m checking out, sometimes it’s people that rock my world, and other times it’s just life in general.

I post a lot on how blessed I truly feel, no matter if life seems up or down there’s so much to be thankful for. So I wanted to share with you 10 Things I Heart with you, because you never know, you may like them too.

10 Things I Heart

1. This Blog – ThingsICan’tSay.com

I love Shell, in her blog she bares her soul and shares thoughts that we as mom have but never express. Her touching posts and the realness that she shows on her site inspire me and I heart Shell and her blog.

Things I can't Say Blog

2. Glue Dots – As co-room mom for Miss A’s 1st Grade class, I was in charge of the Valentine’s Day craft. I had originally planned a really cool heart chain with family activities for the rest of February {as they tore one heart from the chain}, then I ended up with a heart chain, and then after the V-day party was delayed I ended up going to A.C. Moore and picking up some super cute, but very nicely priced wreaths and used John 3:16’s VALENTINE and had the kids create their own to hang in their homes. Anyway, while I love helping with crafts I do not like waiting for glue or paint to dry. I used permanent Glue Dots for this project but they have different strengths for different needs. The only thing that would be “bad” would be that there’s the paper left behind for trash. PS Keep in mind this was a test run so that’s why the hearts are orange, but would be fun in rainbow or other colors too.

Glue Dots Heart Wreath Craft MommyB

3. Amazon Prime – We went unplugged last week. Yep, that’s right we gave up cable. DaddyB picked up a great antenna from Best Buy, and we’ve been trying out PlayOn {a cool computer program that pulls in video feeds of channels that some TV alternatives don’t offer, will put review up another day}, but I have been loving our Amazon Prime. I enjoy watching Intervention and Hoarders {sometimes I think I should have been a psychologist} and DaddyB and I have been watching shows from our past too like Are You Afraid of the Dark? Overall unplugging isn’t a huge deal, we watch some shows delayed but are much less attached to our regular shows and are saving a good bit of $$ too!

4. This gorgeous Spring-like weather we’ve been having, especially after last week’s snowpocalypse. Although we are missing the Snow Cream.

5. Our amazing realtor Kristi Vernon and the Zillow iPad app are doing a great job hunting down houses for our upcoming move in May!! We’re staying in North Carolina, just moving to a different area still in or very close to Charlotte.

6. Queen City Q – I really like this local BBQ restaurant in uptown Charlotte, we’ve only been twice, once with DaddyB’s family and once recently just the four of us. The food is amazing and the prices are really great. It’s never been too packed to enjoy ourselves. The only thing that bugs me is that they don’t have booster seats for the kiddos, {but they do have highchairs for the smaller ones} and the booths are pretty low (even for a short momma like me). I’m glad we don’t go more often, I would definitely gain 20lbs easily.

Q City BBQ MommyB

7. Disneyland Pinterest Boards – If you haven’t heard my family and I have been invited to the Disney Social Media Moms Conference this year. This will be our first year attending and I am beyond excited to have this opportunity. I get to see some awesome bloggers {aka my coworkers}, hang out with my family in DISNEYLAND, and hear some amazing speakers. So, I’ve been trying to do some research for our trips on what the best apps are, good places to eat, etc. Have you ever been? Any tips?

8. Jeremy Tankard and Mo Willems Books – We love these children’s books for the girls. They are hilarious and allow me to use my silly voices. Last year we bought Miss A 10 books for her birthday and most were from these two authors.

Piggie and Gerald Book

9. Amazing friends!!! You know who you are. The people I can pour my heart out with, the ones I go to for advice, and the ones I can share my life’s blessings with. I don’t know what I would do with you and I definitely heart you this month and every month.

10. Discount Valentine’s Day candy. Here in Charlotte there’s a lot of it, especially at Target. I may have grabbed a bag….to give next year of course….or maybe not. But seriously how can you pass on those deals???

What things would you put on your “heart” list right now???

Mississippi Crockpot Pot Roast and Gluten-Free Version {Guest Recipe}

I’m a pretty good cook. Like everyone, I’ve had my mishaps in the kitchen, but I can guarantee that people don’t groan when I bring a meal to a potluck.

One thing I have NEVER mastered is roast. You know, the traditional meat, potatoes, carrots, and onions after Sunday church roast.

Even with my mother’s guidance, whenever I make a roast, it’s a regrettable meal. Or it was until I discovered Crockpot Mississippi Roast. I tried it on a whim and it was by far the best roast I have ever made! It has become a staple in our home and with some tweaking I have made it gluten-free as well! Perfect for us in every way.

Crockpot Mississippi Roast

Mississippi Pot Roast (original recipe)

Ingredients:

3 lb pot roast
1 packet Ranch dressing mix
1 packet Au Jus mix
8 pepperoncini peppers
1 stick butter

Instructions:

In a 6-quart slow cooker, add the roast and sprinkle dry mixes over the top.

Lay the stick of butter in the middle of the roast and place the pepperoncini peppers
around the butter. (I also like to add a bit of pepper juice to the crockpot. It adds a bit more kick.)

Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Mississippi Pot Roast (gluten-free recipe)

Ingredients:

3 lb pot roast
1 packet Ranch dressing mix
1 cup of hot water
2 Tbsp Better than Bouillon (beef flavor)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
8 pepperoncini peppers
1 stick butter

Instructions:

Dissolve Better than Bouillon in water and pour in the bottom of a 6-quart crockpot.

Add the roast and sprinkle ranch mix, onion powder, and garlic powder over the top.

Lay the stick of butter in the middle of the roast and place the pepperoncini peppers
around the butter. (I also like to add a bit of pepper juice to the crockpot. It adds a bit more kick.)

Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

(Personally, I found this version to be even better than the original. The Better than
Bouillon just seemed to add more depth and richness to the roast.)

Mary BioMary Renee currently lives in Missouri with her husband and 2 year old “little diva”. Southern by birth and gluten-intolerant by a twist of fate, she is determined to work her way through all the comfort foods her momma made and then some, giving each dish a gluten-free twist that’s good enough for a Southern palate.

You can find her creating new dishes at Gluten Free with Southern Charm and dishing on her family at Joy in These Moments.

Chick-Fil-A Ice Dream Copycat – Snow Cream Recipe

Have you been seeing sightings of “Snow Cream” posts on social media? The last time it snowed this year in Charlotte, North Carolina, everyone and their mothers were talking about it, and making it.

Before this year I had NEVER heard a single thing about it, and until today, I had never tried it. If you have snow it’s really pretty easy and tastes almost exactly like Chick-Fil A’s Ice Dream, so thus the copycat recipe.

PicMonkey CollageHow to Make Chick-Fil-A Ice Dream Copycat Snow Cream Recipe MommyB

If you are expecting snow, place a large, clean pot {or several} out to collect enough for about 6-8 cups of snow. I used the biggest pot that I had in my kitchen and set it on one of our outdoor chairs {hoping that no animals bothered it.} Empty Pot for Snow Cream MommyB

Pot Full of Snow for Snow Cream Mommyb

Here’s the full list of ingredients:

  • 6-8 cups of fresh, clean snow
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (I like Eagle brand) If you don’t have condensed milk you can use heavy cream, coffee creamer, almond milk, coconut milk etc, you just may have to add more sweetener.
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • Toppings (think chocolate sauce, sprinkles, fruit, nuts)

How to make Ice Dream Copycat aka Snow Cream:

Once you have 6-8 cups or more of snow prepare to experience your first taste of Snow Cream. I measured mine {sort of}.

Measure Snow for Snow Cream MommyB

Add all of your ingredients in a mixing bowl or if you want to leave in the pot you collected the snow in that’s fine too. I started with the condensed milk, then added the vanilla extract.

Milk for Snow Cream Recipe MommyB

Mix all of the ingredients until combined. I would recommend not to mix until the Snow Cream is smooth though as it will become too “soupy” and more like a milkshake {which would be yummy too}.

After mixing, consider adding your favorite toppings or enjoying as is {both are delicious}.

Snow Cream Toppings MommyB

My girls decided they wanted to add their favorite ice cream sauce and rainbow sprinkles. The sprinkles definitely gave us some color on this cold wintery day. They loved eating them in their Disney cups too, which worked out perfectly when the last few scoops were liquid-y enough to sip.

Snow Cream Ice Dream MommyB

There you have it, simple, yummy, and tastes just like Chick-Fil-A Ice Dream {or maybe even a little yummier.}

Have you ever heard of Snow Cream?? Have you ever eaten or made it??

Like this recipe?? Be sure to share with your friends and follow MommyBKnowsBest.com for more great recipes, product reviews, and parenting tips and tricks.

 

Easy Heart Healthy Pancakes {Guest Post}

Every morning, my one-year-old daughter greets me with a smile and exuberantly exclaims, “mama, breakfast, pancakes!”. As you might have guessed, pancakes are truly the way to her heart and a staple for breakfast in our household.

In my pursuit to provide a wholesome, nutritious breakfast and simultaneously fulfill her request for pancakes, I’ve tested dozens of pancake recipes. While I love cooking from scratch, I’ve learned that sometimes it’s okay to take a little help from the store when you need it.

As a busy mom with a hungry child who hasn’t quite grasped the concept of patience, I can’t usually spare 45 minutes to prepare pancakes. So, I have actually found the best solution for a quick and healthy pancake breakfast is a combination of a prepared mix with a creative twist.

These “heart healthy” semi-homemade pancakes are made with whole wheat pancake mix, infused with cinnamon, and fashioned into heart shapes. Moms can be confident in the added calcium, fiber, and iron, while kids will love the fluffy texture, sweet flavor, and fun heart shapes, perfect for Valentine’s Day, or, just as in our house, perfect for every other day too!

Easy Heart-Healthy Pancake Recipe

Easy Heart Healthy Pancakes

Ingredients

• 2 cups of whole wheat pancake mix of your choice

• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

• 1 stick butter (or cooking spray)

• Heart-shaped cookie cutters

Heart Healthy Pancakes for the family

Directions

1. Preheat an electric griddle to 375 (or a griddle pan over medium-high heat)

2. Prepare the batter according to package instructions and mix in the cinnamon.

3. Grease the griddle and the cookie cutter(s) using butter or cooking spray

4. Place the cookie cutters onto the griddle and spoon about ¼ cup of the batter into the cookie cutter (amount will vary depending on the size of your cookie cutter. Also you might need to use the back of a spoon to even out the batter and push the batter into the edges of the cookie cutter)

5. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until you can lift the cookie cutter and the edges will retain their shape (i.e. batter will not run and the edges will be browned).

6. Remove the cookie cutter from the griddle (Caution: if using a metal cookie cutter, it will be hot)

7. Flip the pancakes and cook on the reverse side an additional 3-5 minutes

8. Serve with the syrup/topping of your choice (my daughter even eats them without any syrup!)

Bonus Tip

Mix your favorite fruit, like blueberries or bananas, into the pancake batter to add further flavor and extra health benefits!

What’s your family’s favorite healthy breakfast food??

 

imageMelissa is a Communication Studies graduate of Clemson University. She recently traded in her human resources job for the best and most challenging career of all, being a stay-at-home mom. She loves coffee, cooking, crafting, and watching football. Melissa is also a former National Champion baton twirler and currently teaches baton lessons and judges baton twirling competitions across the nation. She recently launched the Honeybee Homemaker blog about her faith, family, and fun kitchen endeavors.

twitter.com/clemsonfeature

honeybeehomemaker.blogspot.com

A Berry Sweet Holiday

I’ll try to keep this post as un-punny as possible, but I can’t make any promises. However I do promise an honest review of the following products that I received to test out. My taste buds thank you for continuing to read and support my posts so I can enjoy yummy treats like those that Shari’s Berries have to offer.

This season I’ve had the blessing of being able to host a few different play dates and get-togethers and I love figuring out what goodies I’ll be serving my guests. Shari’s Berries makes entertaining so easy!

Easy Entertaining with Sweets

Shari’s Berries products arrive at your doorstep and once you open them from their packaging are ready to be plated and eaten with little to no preparation.

Although Shari’s Berries products are beautifully designed in themselves, if you want to dress up your presentation even more, consider using common holiday food items like peppermints, chocolate sauce, marshmallows, or extra sprinkles.

My favorite products to share {only because it’s the season of giving}, are their Handmade Artisan Sea Salted Caramels, I’m not kidding you when I tell you these delicious pieces of sweet goodness will make you want to regift them to yourself. I love the unique sugars, my favorite is the Classic Salted Caramel with Murray River Pink Flake Salt. This is definitely one you will want to buy for yourself and of course for others too!!

If you’re in the mood for some chilled desserts I highly recommended Shari’s Berries Dipped Strawberries and Cheesecake Trios {the Original NY Cheesecake is my all-time fav, even though I’m a self-proclaimed choco-holic}. All three of the cheesecake trios are creamy and rich and a great, giftable item.

So if you have a party coming up soon and not enough time to make some delicious, holiday inspired treats, think Shari’s Berries for your holiday dessert needs.

Be sure to head to Shari’s Berries here: berries.com to check out their wide selection of affordable treats.

What kinds of parties are you hosting this holiday season??

 

This is a sponsored post in conjunction with Shari’s Berries, however my opinions are my own, honest thoughts based on my experiences with the product. Your opinions and experiences may vary.