Tag - kids food

5 Fun and Unique Family Eats in Charlotte North Carolina

With the BIG MOVE coming up soon we’ve been dining out a good bit and I’m completely okay with that. It definitely makes for an empty sink and less stressful night.

Luckily we’ve been able to try out a few new family-friendly spots in Charlotte and also enjoy some of our “usual” spots as well. Here’s a quick list of 5 fun and unique family-friendly restaurants in Charlotte, North Carolina:

Top 5 Fun and Unique Family Friendly Restaurants in Charlotte MommyB

 

For the homegrown family:

TRY Earth Fare – If you don’t mind eating in a grocery cafe {which I don’t mind at all!} the Family Dinner Nights at any Charlotte location is ah-mazing! If you head to Earth Fare any Thursday from 4pm-8pm up to 6 kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal, valued at $5.00 or more. This restaurant offers organic, healthy choices for kids meals and just recently added nuggets, and Lil’ C’s favorite pasta salad to their kid’s offerings. Definitely a great place to head for a healthy family meal on a budget. 

 

For the spicy family:

TRY Chuy’s Restaurant – Not all the dishes are spicy, but the decor is guaranteed to brighten up your day. The kids will love the playful design of the restaurant, watching the process of hand-made tortillas, and searching for the “hidden keys” around the restaurant. {We spotted a couple last time we visited}. If your kiddos don’t love Mexican food there are tons of other options on the kids menu that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Don’t forget the drink and food specials for mom and dad!

 

Chuy's Family Friendly Charlotte Restaurant MommyB

 

For the NEW traditional family:

TRY Nan & Byrons – If you want to try something you’ve ordered a million times and have it taste like never before, this is your spot. The cool twist on traditional menu items like their peppadew poppers, beet burger {that’s had rave reviews}, meatloaf, salmon, {I could go on and on} really makes this restaurant stand out. Often places with this vibe don’t offer a kids menu and aren’t super accommodating, but hallelujah, they have a GREAT kids menu with big portions, decent prices AND kids eat free Sunday through Wednesday from 5pm to 7pm. If you’re looking for a new restaurant to try and wanna bring the kiddos {or have to for lack of a babysitter} check it out!

 

Nan & Byron's Family Friendly Charlotte Restaurant MommyB

 

For the culinary family:

TRY Papa Murphy’s – The family that builds a pizza stays together. This cool “take-n-bake” concept features fresh ingredients including in-store made dough and makes your pizza your way right in front of you. The kids will love watching the pizza artists add their favorite toppings and watching it cook at home. The best part is you can order a couple to take home and freeze. They have really cool Mini Murphy kits where the kids can make their own pizzas at home, dessert pizzas, AND a great reading program where they can earn some yummy prizes.

 

Papa Murphy's Family Friendly Restaurant Charlotte MommyB

For the healthy family:

TRY Jason’s Deli – If you’re looking for organic, healthy options, this is the family-friendly restaurant for you. They have so many organic choices for adults and children from soups and sandwiches to their well-known salad bar, kids can choose from over 10 food options as well. Dine in and help yourself to their complimentary extras like mini muffins and soft-serve, low calorie frozen yogurt.

 

What’s your favorite fun or unique restaurant in Charlotte??  

 

The thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own, I was not compensated for this post but have received complimentary sample food items from the above restaurant.  

10 Things I Heart in Spring

10-Things-I-Heart-Spring

I decided that I would not write about Spring on my blog until it finally felt like Spring here in Charlotte, NC, however today, it’s going to be up in the 80s so I’m not sure if I’m allowed to write this considering the summer-like weather we are having. Then again, how can I not share with you things I’m hearting this Spring?!?!

Disneyland in the Spring MommyB
1. Traveling – Although we’re in the midst of packing for our move in June, we have been traveling a lot this Spring. We had the opportunity to visit Disneyland in California, where the weather was amazing and we had a BLAST! And we just returned from an amazing trip to Georgia where we visited the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola (I’ll have trip reports on both soon!) Where have you traveled this Spring or where are you traveling to?

Build-a-Bear Spring2. New friends – We have been making lots of new friends this Spring! We recently started going to story hour at the church we’ve been attending and making new friends there AND in stuffed friend news, we got a new Spring Build-A-Bear friend who is an ADORABLE Soft & Sweet Lamb ($18) She has fluffy white fur that’s perfect for cuddling. Our little lamb is all dressed up for Spring and tea parties AND at Build-A-Bear you can also add scents so your furry friends smell oh-so-sweet, how cool is that?!?

3. Outside Fun – We are blessed to have a nice, flat, and decent size backyard so lately we’ve been spending a lot of time outside. If it’s nice out I’ll let Miss A do her homework outside and of course lots of chalk, bubbles, running, scooters/bikes, and water table play. How about you??

4. Spring Cleaning – I know this sounds soooo strange, but I really do love organizing and cleaning, even though these days I don’t have quite as much time as I’d like to do either. Luckily, the move gives me a great excuse to do a little bit of both. I’ve been trying out a few new cleaning products including some Method products and Nature’s Kloth.

We try to be a little more eco-friendly here and there and both of these products help. We’ve been using Nature’s Kloth instead of a sponge and replacing the way we clean with paper towels to create less waste. I love that it’s eco-friendly (biodegradable, washable over 300 times, made from cotton and plant fiber, and more) and is great for many uses inside and outside the house. I definitely feel better about cleaning when there isn’t a huge pile of used papertowels in my trash.

5. Healthy Kiddos – I am super thankful for healthy kiddos. Lately we’ve been pretty healthy especially considering that we’ve been flying and traveling a lot. We have a lot of friends who have not been so fortunate this Spring. For those uncomfortable fevers and painful colds and aches we give our girls Children’s Advil. For Lil’ C who does not do well with any sort of pain, this does the trick for us. I love that they have so many flavors (and dye-free versions) too since she doesn’t care for most medicine flavors. Plus, they have some fun activities and tips for parents on how to stay healthy.

Garden Lites Collage

We also love that our girls like healthy foods like Garden Lites. Miss A surprisingly enjoyed these gluten-Free, veggie muffins. They’re high in fiber, and low in fat. Miss A’s favorite flavor was: Zucchini Banana Chocolate Chip. They have loads more flavors and come in a box of 4 with an SRP of $3.99.

Lee Fashion Spring Capris

6. Spring Clothes!! – I love a good infinity scarf, especially the beautiful chevron one that one of my friends gave me for my birthday, but I really enjoy wearing comfy Spring clothes. I love wearing adorable maxi and sun dresses because they are so flowy and comfortable.

I am also loving the new Lee Spring collection that features bermuda shorts and capris that are comfortable while being dressy at the same time. If I need to dress up an outfit some of their capris and shorts come with adorable, fashionable belts as well. Here are a few of my other favorites from their collection:

Lee Spring Collection

 

7. Parties – I always love a good get-together and with the girls’ birthdays, holidays and end of school coming for us, Spring is always filled with fun parties and celebrations. We’ll have a small birthday get together for Miss A {since we went to Disneyland the girls aren’t getting their usual HUGE parties}, a class party for the end of the year {here’s an end of the year gift idea}, and loads of friends birthday parties.

Iesodo Video8. Good Message Movies – We were sent a couple of videos from Iesodo (pronounced Ya-Sa-Doe) that retells Bible stories with animated animals, mainly birds. My girls LOVED the videos and have been singing the catchy songs every day since we’ve watched them. We love sharing these videos with our friends because we know the language and content are appropriate for all viewers. Even if you have no religious affiliation, but want your children to learn good values, these videos promote wholesome character traits and morals and is good for children of any age.

9. Pasta Salad – Of course you can eat pasta salad anytime of year, but this is the season pasta salads shine! I really love cold, crisp salads with lots of veggies. What’s your favorite pasta salad recipe?

B girls with Genevive Goings Choo Choo Soul at Disneyland

10. Meeting Amazing People – Not that this is necessarily a Spring thing, but since we went to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, we were able to meet some pretty amazing people. One of our favorites though was Genevieve Goings from Choo Choo Soul with Genevieve.

Miss A says her favorite person/character she met the entire stay was Genevieve and we met a lot of people/characters so that says a lot. Of course we fell in love with Genevieve on Disney/Disney Junior with her Choo Choo Soul songs and realized she did more music for Disney as well as a round up of songs from Disney classic movies.

We’re excited to hear that her first Independent Children’s Album for pre-schoolers is called “Do You Know?” and releases June 3, with the first single “My Telephone Number Is” available NOW on iTunes.The album focuses on learning key fundamentals with Genevieve’s unique brand of “Kids Music with Soul.” I got an exclusive preview of the songs on her new album and wow!

My girls love to dance and sing and they get that from their mommy, this is one album you will not be able to contain the dancing. Our favorite songs are: “My Telephone Number Is” {great for helping your child learn your phone number, a MUST}, “Inside Voice” {which is rockin’ and rowdy in the best possible way and teaches kids when and where to use their inside/outside voice} and surprisingly, “Gotta Do My Business” {a potty song with swagger}.

I love when kids music is both appropriate and enjoyable and Genevieve definitely accomplishes that with the album. I can’t wait to buy a copy for our family and give one away on the site along with a few other goodies! In honor of Spring, I’m giving away a $25 Build-A-Bear gift card, 2 copies of Iesodo DVDs (Faith and Love) and once it’s available on June 3rd, a copy of Genevive Goings’ new album.

Enter here to win!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This is not a compensated post, however I did receive samples of some of the above products/brands and chose to tell you about them. All opinions expressed in the post are my own honest thoughts.

A New Way to Get Your Kids to Drink their Milk

This is a sponsored post on behalf MilkSplash.

Ever feel like this???

 

Hilarious right? Unless it’s completely true. Miss A is an avid milk drinker, but Lil’ C on the other hand not so much, but regardless we like to make our meals fun and often eat purple pancakes, turn our veggies into landscapes, and add flavor and color to our milk with MilkSplash.

MilkSplash+Logo-02-medium

MilkSplash is an innovative new milk flavoring that is perfect for busy parents who want their kids to drink more milk. MilkSplash has zero calories and it allows kids to enjoy milk on their own terms. MilkSplash is also working on an all natural version!

MilkSplash comes in a variety of great-tasting flavors, colors and collectible characters such as Cocoa Loco, Sir Strawberry Swirl™, Orange Cream Dream, Cookies ‘N Cream and Jammin’ Banana – with many more to come.

MilkSplash_lineup_5

 We were able to sample Cocoa Loco and Sir Strawberry Swirl™. The products were easy to use {although being the Type-A mom that I am I’d recommend parents helping smaller kids squeeze MilkSplash into the milk for little ones}, and Miss A loved the taste of both flavors. I personally like that there are zero calories, and as with anything would love to try the all natural version once that comes out too.

MilkSplash New Product MommyB Review

As a mom, I would recommend MilkSplash whether you’re trying to get a non-milk drinking kiddo to finish up their cup or if you want to have a little food fun like us. Check out MilkSplash.com to see the flavors and where you can find them on shelves in a store near you.

MilkSplash is giving 2 lucky readers a chance to win MilkSplash samples and a $25 Target Gift Card.

Enter here to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received samples and a gift card to write this post, however any opinions expressed in this post are my own. Your opinions may vary.

Princess Party Food Ideas

Lil’ C turned 3 last month and knew a few months before that she wanted a princess party. As you’ve seen in previous years {Miss A’s Rainbow Birthday Bash, Lil C’s Bee Party} I like to get crafty and creative when I throw my little girls birthday parties, whether they are at our home or at a party location. One of the aspects of a party where you can get really creative are with food!! Princess Party Food Ideas from MommyBKnowsBest

Since it was a princess themed birthday party I checked out all things girly on Pinterest, Etsy, and of course googled, “Princess Party” to see what I could come up with. I found some great recommendations all over the web and a lot of recurring ideas from several websites. I can’t attribute them to just one website, but here are a couple that gave me inspiration: disney princess inspired, and cute ruffle hombre cake.

Here are the princess inspired food choices:

Princess Party Food MommyB

1. Trader Joe’s Yogurt Star cookies (nut-free) – these were great because the party colors were white, pink, and purple.

2. Chocolate covered Marshmallows – we used pink dipping chocolate that contained nuts, I also used some pink sprinkles to give them a little sparkle.

3. Princessy Fruit Wands – instead of using lots of different fruits like I had seen online I chose to stick with grapes for the handle of the wand and made cantaloup stars using a play-doh cutter we had around the house.

4. Pretty Meringue cookies (processed with nuts) – someone online mentioned Trader Joe’s had colored versions of meringues including pink, I didn’t find the pink ones but this white version was perfect and pretty.

5. Mini Ruffle Cupcakes – I knew I wanted to make ruffles but wasn’t sure about making an entire cake. (I made my own cake because we had an attendee who has a nut allergy). I found a great tutorial of the mini ruffle cupcakes, and scaled mine down from 2 cupcakes they used to just one, I figured that was plenty for each child. I used a strawberry box mix and made my own buttercream frosting. I topped them off with a princess themed Wilton topper and they were relatively easy to make not having much icing experience. I’ll admit it was a lot of icing to cake ratio, but I don’t think the kids minded *LOL*

6. Blue Bunny Ice Cream Castles – Using an ice cream cone, sprinkles, princess decorations, the same dipping chocolate I used on the covered marshmallows, and any flavor Blue Bunny Ice Cream or Frozen YogurtI made these cute “ice cream castles”. I came up with the idea on my own, but I’m sure other people have probably done something similar in the past. Growing up I always had ice cream with my cake so I tried to figure out how I could incorporate it into our princess theme. It was pretty easy to do.

I dipped the cone into our melting chocolate, covered in sprinkles and sugar pearls, let it dry, filled the cones with Blue Bunny All Natural Frozen Yogurt, and topped with a sparkly metallic flag that I found while shopping at Super Target.

Ice Cream Castle Supplies MommyB Ice Cream Castle MommyB

Are you throwing a Princess themed birthday party??? What was your favorite snack idea? {you don’t need to pick just one}. If you do use any of my ideas, especially the ice cream castle idea, feel free to link back here or share by pinning, on Facebook or Twitter!!

 

Blue Bunny Ice Cream with Cake MommyB

(For the party we cut Blue Bunny Birthday Party Ice Cream Sandwiches in half and each child enjoyed them with their cupcakes, they were easy and one of the best flavors for a birthday party (or anytime)).

 

I received Blue Bunny ice cream products for this party, that in no way reflects the integrity of my post or any opinions I have shared. My family enjoys the products and Lil’ C said, “Best Birthday Ever” so I think that speaks for itself. 

Breakfast for Dinner – A Twist on the Classic Hashbrown Casserole

Hashbrown Casserole


I always love challenges when it comes to cooking. Recently, I was even in a fun cooking challenge/blogger event. This time, I thought it would be fun to try to make a meal out of only the things I already had in my fridge before going to the grocery store. Now for some of you foodies this may not sound like a challenge, but for me, someone who goes grocery shopping about every other day to fill in missing items, and the person who keeps random foods that sound good at the store, {but may not as much when I get home} in my fridge, this definitely was a challenge.

Hashbrown Casserole

I love hashbrowns and enjoy ordering the hashbrown casserole whenever we go out to eat breakfast style, so I thought why not take a swing at making my own Ore-ida hashbrown casserole. Remember, I said I was only going to use what I already had in my fridge and pantry.

Here are my wacky-ish ingredients:

  • 1 Package of Frozen Ore-ida Hashbrowns
  • 1 Small Can of Condensed Mushroom soup
  • 1/4 Cup Minced Medium Red Onion
  • 4 Patties Pre-Cooked Turkey Sausage (you could also use links)
  • 4 Slices of Provolone Cheese
  • 1 Cup of Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Small Container of Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup of Butter
  • Salt and Pepper

Thaw Ore-ida Hashbrowns. Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees. Mix ingredients together. Place in a greased 13×9 casserole dish. Spread panko breadcrumbs over top of the finished casserole. Cook for 45-50 minutes or until top layer golden brown. Cool and enjoy!!

Oreida Dinner

It’s a great dish if you want breakfast for dinner, or breakfast for lunch, and especially breakfast for breakfast.

Compensation was provided by Ore-Ida® via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Ore-Ida.

Perfect Healthy Kid’s Snack – Mango Pops #letsmango

My family and I LOVE fruit, especially in the hot summer months, but one fruit that we, shockingly enough, have not tried is mango. We’ve seen them in the stores, in fact they’re available all year ’round, but growing up, never having eaten one myself, I suppose kept me away from buying one for my own children.

When I was asked if my family might be interested in trying mango and making something yummy from it, I figured why not and am extremely glad that I did, as you’ll be able to see from my recipe video my girls didn’t just like mango, they fell in love with it. Now I can add mango to our long list of fruits and all the amazing recipes that come with this delicious, tropical fruit too!

 

 

MommyB’s Mango Pops

Ingredients:

2 ripe mangos, 2 strawberries for garnish (optional)

Tools:

Sharp cutting knife, cutting board, blender or food processor, freezer pop molds or ice cube trays and toothpicks. 

Instructions:

After washing your hands, cut the mango as shown in the video making sure to cut around the mango pit/seed. (You may cut the mango any way you would like, we prefer “porcupine” style, just so long as it fits in your blender.)

Place the pieces of mango, including any juices into the blender, and blend till you have a nice mango puree. This mixture should be pretty free of lumps. 

Pour the mango puree into the freezer pop molds or ice cube tray. If using an ice cube tray place the toothpicks into the ice cube sections using some plastic wrap to secure them in place.

If you would like add a slice of mango, strawberry or leave plain and freeze for 1-2 hours, depending on your own freezer. 

*You may want to rinse your freezer pop mold (being careful not to get water on your mango pop itself) to ensure easy removal of your mango pop from the mold.

Want to create your own mango inspired recipe or just learn more about this awesome fruit?? Check out http://mango.org for more information, videos, and fun facts. My girls and I learned a ton including the fact that the paisley pattern that we now know and love was developed in India and is based on the shape of a mango, a pretty fashion forward fruit!

Now that you’ve seen and read our easy, Mango Pop recipe, tell me, what’s your family’s favorite way to enjoy fresh fruits and veggies??

The National Mango Board challenged me to spend a week creating healthier eating and snacking habits for my family. Join the conversation and one of my readers will receive a cookbook and a chance to win a shipment of mangos and $200 gift card to Williams-Sonoma. 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of National Mango Board. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Sweepstakes Rules

We Love Chick-fil-A

For those of you who regularly frequent Chick-fil-A with or without your families I don’t have to tell you how amazing this fast food restaurant is. In my opinion, and until I am corrected, this is the top family fast food joint offering customer service, kid friendliness, and tasty food high above other fast food standards.

Chick-fil-A is the only fast food restaurant where I’m greeted and my order is taken in a very polite manner. Occasionally I’ll get a, “How are you,” or a “Please pull up” at other ff restaurants but typically I’m just glad if I get a glum, “Can I take your order.”
Now aside from their friendliness this joint is amazing if you have kids. This is the only fast food that I know of that gives you disposable place mats, bendy straws, and allows the kids to trade their toy for ice cream. On several occasions when dining in we’ve had servers help by brining food to our table and even getting items like high chairs, and silverware for our table instead of staring at us while we struggle like most fast food restaurants. Just that in itself amazes me.
Also on the kid front I love that Chick-fil-A is so involved in the community offering several activities monthly for families.
Now while I’m not always in the mood for chicken, (sorry Chick-fil-A cows,) when I am I do love their fried chicken and the fact that it’s white meat. Maybe not the healthiest lunch but very tasty. I appreciate the reduced fat milk and fruit cup choices for the kids meals.
I love Sunday’s but I do have my sad moments when I realize that Chick-Fil-A is closed 🙁
So thank you Chick-fil-A for being kid friendly, community friendly, tummy friendly, and just generally friendly!