Monthly Archives: July 2015

The BEST Homemade Frozen Yogurt

The BEST Homemade Frozen Yogurt.  The kids loved being able to make their own sweet treat.  I loved that they got to participate, play outside, and then relish the healthy organic goodness.  Definitely a must for our hot, sticky summer.

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The BEST Homemade Frozen Yogurt

The kids were beyond thrilled that they got to help.  Who doesn’t like helping make a treat?  Emma Marie and Raymond helped put all of the ingredients in, rolled the treat, and then of course(the best part), helped devour the goodness.  I call that a #MomWin if there ever was one.

 

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Organic Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

The SoftShell Ice Cream Ball from YayLabs showed up on our doorstep and both kids immediately yelled, “A new SOCCER ball!”-to which I had to clarify that we would be ROLLING this ball with our hands to make FROZEN YOGURT and that trumped soccer.  Easily.

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SoftShell Ice Cream Ball from YayLabs!

The SoftShell Ice Cream Ball from YayLabs! enables you to make a frozen treat anywhere-ANYTIME.  The SoftShell Cover is removable so you can safely wash and care for your new-found ice cream maker.  You simply put your ingredients in one side and add Rock Salt and Ice to the other and roll to your little ones delight.  Make sure they remember that this is NOT a soccer ball(as it will hurt them AND the ball to be kicked).

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Our Ingredient List

I wanted to make our Ingredient List as pure as possible.

Ingredient List:

32 Ounce Container of Stonyfield Organic Whole Milk Yogurt in French Vanilla

1/3 Cup Sugar

 

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Let the Rolling Commence

The kids rolled the ball for about twenty minutes outside.  The YayLabs! Ball didn’t leak-it will if you don’t close the hatches well enough-so this could easily be an indoor activity for when it is too hot or too cold.

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The YayLabs! SoftShell Ice Cream Ball

Both kids were thoroughly exhausted and ready for the frozen yogurt.  I simply used an ice cream scoop(be careful not to scrape the inside of the canister-you may want to use a plastic scooper) and we all sat down to eat our tasty treat.

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You could say that Raymond was a TAD BIT EXCITED to eat their own creation.

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The BEST Homemade Frozen Yogurt

I loved being able to make an Organic Frozen Yogurt with two delicious ingredients.  The kids helped add the Rock Salt, Ice, Yogurt, and Sugar to their respective hatch.

We are now on batch three over the past two weeks and I am loving the independence this has brought to my two handy-helpers.   There are a multitude of ingredients you can throw in to make your own confection and diced strawberries are a MUST-TRY.  Simply delicious.

 

Do you make your own Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt?

I would love to find new recipes to try!  Please share them below!

 

To learn more about Stonyfield and YayLabs!

Connect with YayLabs!- Website/Facebook/Twitter

Connect with Stonyfield- Website/Facebook/Twitter

 

Thank you to Stonyfield for sponsoring this post.  As always all opinions are 100% my own.

Our Babywearing Adventures: LILLEbaby COMPLETE

In the crazy world of parenting there are a lot of opinions.  All of them matter and yet at the same time- none of them.  We each need to figure out exactly what works for us and our family.  Every family is different.  When we became pregnant everyone knew what was right and what we should do.  Everyone all of the sudden had an opinion.  That was both overwhelming and somewhat helpful.  I realized people were not honestly trying to derail our starry-eyed plans as parents, but to try to help us sift through the mountains of baby gear that lay before us.

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Adventure’s in Babywearing

Our budget was minimal.  We even did the old-fashioned cloth diapering until we were able to afford the all-in-one variety.  You know those cloth diapers that you pin with REAL pins and then put plastic pants(that resemble a shower curtain) over? No? Google is your friend.

I am beyond thankful for being able to own twelve all-in-one cloth diapers and now that we have the option to grab Huggies when we need to for vacations(trips to see family).  It is an option now financially.

When I was looking at carriers years ago I just went to the Big Box Stores and saw the (sad amount) displayed.  I did not know of this wonderful world of babywearing parents and therefore tried to ask the store clerks for their help.  Many without children of their own just pointed to the most expensive one on the shelf and said that the majority get that one.  Well, they all looked the same back four years ago in BabiesR’US.

We grabbed one and thought that all baby carriers were alike.

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Two kids, four years, and 6 baby carriers later I can now firmly attest that, “NO, they are not all alike.”

We live in the desert with temperatures ranging from 20F to 125F.  Not all baby carriers work in this type of climate range.  You can only take off so many layers until the Police are called…

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Temperature Control Panel FOR THE WIN

Thankfully I’ve found my true love that lets me just zip-down the temperature control panel to expose the cool mesh.  I’ve spent the last four years searching for something that I could use for both newborns through toddlerdom in this heat-that could also be used in the biting cold.  I’ve worn one of my children every year at Zoolights for the past four years.  Being able to bundle them up and carry them safely is incredibly important.

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Too Cool for School

The past three months Emma Marie and I put the LILLEbaby Complete to good use.  Hiking through the foothills in the sticky heat with temperatures soaring well into the 100s proved to be a thrilling adventure.  The sweet mesh relief made it possible for us to get out in the Valley of the Sun.

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Hiking Champs

We can’t hide for three months indoors.  We would ALL go crazy.

I’ve worn her for three hours at a time on long shopping excursions-hello Ikea, looking right at you, with your blasting AC, frozen yogurt, and my need for an office space- and guess what?  Three hours worn and not an ounce of pain in my shoulders, hips, OR back.  Little Miss is 26 lbs strong and is almost TWO.  But a cart in Ikea(they really aren’t that kid friendly) for that length of time would be painful in itself.  WHY do those carts travel sideways? I feel like Ross yelling, “PIVOT,” each time I bank for a turn.

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Close to the Heart

Oh and my little girl LOVES to fall asleep in the inward infant carry position.  Cuddle til we die. I will take a napping toddler over an overtired monster in a cart ALL DAY EVERY DAY.

Seriously, if I could go out and buy one for all of my dear friends with littles and soon to be littles I would.

LILLEBABY-COMPLETE

LILLEbaby Complete

THIS.IS.IT.

You can wear your itty-bitty squishy baby from 7lbs-45lbs in the LILLEbaby Complete.  There are SIX possible positions you can carry and the mesh is a make it or break it for me.

My baby’s are cranky when they are hungry, tired, or hot.  The option of the mesh just solved one of the three… and the fact that they BOTH fell asleep when I carried them takes care of another….

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Two Birds. One Baby Carrier.

So what I’m really is saying: two birds-one baby carrier.

Beyond thankful. I’ve been #babywearing since I became a momma close to four years ago. Nothing comes close in terms of comfort for both little and I – ESPECIALLY in this HEAT. Seriously, I’ve taken three months to wear Emma Marie in the hottest of hot hiking, through tours of Ikea, and sleeping successfully by the campfire. I really wanted to take the time to see how this beauty held up in the heat. The zip-down temperature control panel WORKS. Hiking in 105 degree heat and not getting overheated(Em or I) is IMPORTANT. Plus the fact that I’ve carried her 26lbs of cuteness for hours on end and my hips and back didn’t care. Completely worth the investment. Hands down. Look for a full review #ontheblog soon! #LILLElove #LILLEbaby #LOVEMyLILLE #momlife

A photo posted by Holly Marie (@ascuteasabugsear) on

And chalk it up to awesomeness.  My husband is over on our Youtube Channel debunking a few babywearing myths! I asked him what he thought of baby carriers PRE-babies, are they worth it, and what would you tell yourself four years ago.  Loved his honesty.  Click Here >>> Adventure’s in Babywearing: Husband’s Perspective.

Please check out the LILLEbaby Love Facebook Group -they are incredibly wonderful about helping choose a carrier AND with the fit and position that’s right for you and YOUR baby.  I’ve loved watching parents empowering one another.  So refreshing to see a community build each other up instead of tearing one another down.

Did you/Do you babywear your little one?

I’ve loved every second of our adventure’s in babywearing. Would love to hear your experience!

Plus feel free to comment below with any questions.

 

 

Thank you to LILLEbaby for sending me this sweet carrier.  I am now and forever will be a LILLElove fan.

All opinions as always are 100% my own.

 

 

 

Diet Coke & Mentos: Preschool Experiment

Our weekend started off with a BANG. A Diet Coke & Mentos kind of bang. The science experiment is a true learning experience. For toddlers that can simply be following ALL of the rules for safety. For preschoolers following the rules is key, along with making assumptions, learning cause and effect, and working as a team to get the experiment loaded correctly for the optimal rocket launch.

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Diet Coke & Mentos Preschool Experiment

Who doesn’t love a Rocket Launch and thereby a Rocket Launch Countdown?

That’s right.

NO ONE.

My mother teaches middle school science and as she just moved cross-country to teach down here in the Valley of the Sun she thought she needed some updated pictures for her classroom. Along with an assortment of lava lamps, filled test tubes, x-rays, skeletons, and such she displays photographs of all of her labs she completes throughout the year in her classroom. Her students are very lucky.

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Scientific Explanation & Rules to Follow

Safety First

Seriously, as with all experiments safety is always paramount. You definitely do not want to knock over the two liter of Diet Coke once the Mentos are released. Pandemonium.

Safety goggles or glasses are worn in the school setting and you should prepare yourself adequately at home.

Diet Coke & MENTOS Science Experiment

Need:

1 two liter of Diet Coke-MUST BE Diet Coke.

6 Mentos Tabs-Fruit Mentos will not work.

Geyser Tube with Release Hook

 

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Maniacally Laughing Preschooler

Directions:

Procure your ingredients.

Experiment should be done outside with plenty of room for everyone involved.

Remove the cap of the Diet Coke.

Place Geyser Tube SECURELY on Diet Coke.

Insert six Mentos.

Alert those around you and commence countdown.

Pull string(gently) and run away.

Rejoice in the simple things in life.

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Running for the Hills

The science behind the Diet Coke & Mentos Experiment can be explained with the science concept of nucleation. Tiny bubbles get trapped and quickly release on the rough surface of the Mentos(like tiny craters on the moon).  Nucleation is a physical reaction that occurs when parts of a solution start to precipitate out.

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Diet Coke & Mentos WIN

You can go into much greater detail here, but it really depends on the background knowledge of the learner and what other examples you use to help illustrate the science concept.

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Commence the Countdown

Science is exciting.  Bill Nye was onto something with all of the explosions… but I prefer Myth Busters.  Raymond loved being in charge of all three blast offs.  The anticipation was half-the fun.

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Success

The little things in life are truly worth celebrating. Our preschooler loved learning all about this simple science experiment that can definitely grow with him as he gets older and the scientific laws can be explained in greater detail. Our toddler followed all of the rules and listened intently each time we re-set the experiment.

I always loved a great visual to help explain learning concepts in school. I am beyond grateful that my two children will be able to grow to love science as much as we did growing up.

 

Our weekend wrapped up with a a couple hours spent at the splashpad followed by a Girl’s Day of getting our toes and nails done.  Definitely underestimate how amazing it is to get them BOTH done.  What a treat!

How was your weekend? Any big plans or trips coming up?

Our Fourth of July

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Our Fourth of July

This past weekend we spent time with our loved ones.  Relishing in quality time.  My sister and her family surprised us and drove over to the desert from their new home in California.  All the cousins together is priceless.  Ages” 3 1/2, 3, Almost 2, and 1 1/2.  Definitely love these ages.

 

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Nana & the Grandkids

The Splashpad was a saving grace as the weather was a bit toasty-as it’s known to be here in the Valley of the Sun.  Everyone got soaked each trip.

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Raymond Running the Gauntlet

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Emma Marie & Nana

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Daring M

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Adventurous Baby K

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Emma Marie

Emma Marie was just a bit too scared on our first trip to this new splashpad.  The bucket dumping the water was LOUD.  With some encouragement from Nana though, she was soon running circles through the water!

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Family of Four

With more hands there was time for an actual family photo.  Thankful for the rare moments where we can freeze time.

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Best Friends

Emma Marie is smitten with her new love.  Abby is her favorite thing in this world.  And now that the husband has seen what loving a pet can do-melted his heart-he is researching places for when we decide to grow our family.  That’s right.  Soon we will be a family of five.

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Future Soccer Players

You may remember Raymond’s first soccer camp experience.  Well, now he takes any time he can to grab a ball and play soccer.  He even color-commentates his own flare.  Priceless.

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Throwing the cupcake for Abby.  Anything for Abby.

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My mom’s house is now fondly called the One Horse Ranch.

 

Flying on the Fourth

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One Horse Ranch

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The Fourth of July ended on a sweet note. S’MORES.  We made a fire pit and set right out making the best S’mores known to man.  Of course Raymond requested his Rice Crispy S’more and who was I to say no?

Delicious.  Plus watching Emma Marie and Raymond spy the fireworks from Nana’s backyard will go down as definitely one of our favorite summer memories.

Typical:

 

Loved our weekend spent with those that we hold most dear.

Hope you all had a wonderful and safe Fourth of July weekend!

 

Did you stay up for fireworks?

What was your favorite part of the holiday?

Would love to hear from you!

 

Celebrating the Fourth & Summer Savings

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #Save4Summer #CollectiveBias

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Celebrating the Fourth & Summer Savings

Last year we stuck close to home with a baby and toddler.  A large BBQ on the Fourth and sprinkler time outside with the munchkins called for an early bedtime last year. Our plans for this year include an awesome array of BBQ food, tried and true treats, and hopefully a couple oohhs and aahhs with fireworks.  Reality with a one year old and three year old that the best laid plans can fall through in the blink of an eye.  #ParentLife

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Backyard S’mores

Now that the kids are older we made sure to include S’Mores in our Summer Bucket List and we try not to disappoint.  Seriously, who doesn’t love crafting the PERFECT S’more? The answer to that is NO ONE.  Unfortunately, Raymond is deathly allergic to graham crackers so we substituted with rice krispy treats.

You need to try that. STAT.

Seriously, so much goodness.  The mess is substantial, but like all good things in life, the mess is worth it.

I grabbed a big batch of S’more essentials last week when I picked up my new phone at Walmart.  We are now set with regular, s’more, and campfire sized marshmallows.  Who knew there were so many different options?  The campfire marshmallows are GIGANTIC.  Definitely toddler approved.  One and done.

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American Flag Treat

As with most things in life, moderation is key.  That’s why we always outnumber the goodies with healthy fruit and vegetables.

Menu Plan for the Fourth:

Garlic Steak Burgers

Chicken Kabobs- Bell Peppers & Yellow Onions

Dill Plank Salmon

Fruit Flag Platters

Vegetables and Dip

S’mores

Star Spangled Marshmallows

Patriotic Popcorn

One shopping run at our local Walmart and I am set.  I am beyond thankful with how much money we have saved when we switched over to Walmart Family Mobile in March.  Our savings immediately paid off our Disneyland and California trip.  Now after a few months of research I am beyond happy about being able to upgrade to the LG Leon with the new 4G LTE service.  We will be saving over $2,000 dollars this year as a direct result of making this switch.  I am thrilled that we no longer need to worry about “splurging” on treats for parties and that hosting a get together with friends and family is feasible!  Life is short and we are now able to relish in the moments we hold most dear.  More time with the ones that we love.

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Summer Savings with Walmart Family Mobile & LG Leon

What could you do with an extra $2,000?  I know for many of my friends that their plans are A LOT more than ours used to be so their savings would be even MORE substantial.  Take the kids to Disneyland for the first time?  Down payment on a car?  Be debt free? The quality of the LG Leon beats my old phone. Easily.  And now with 4G LTE Service for both my husband and I’s phones we don’t worry about dropped calls or slow social media service.

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Perfect Upgrade

Walmart Family Mobile service is $29.88/month (for the first line) Unlimited Talk, Text & Data service plan which includes up to 1G of 4G LTE data.

Disclaimer: All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer HERE or your local Walmart for current pricing.

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Deliciously Simple

I love the simplicity of these fruit platters and make a large tupperware FULL of them to place out.  Our kids gobble them up!  Almost all of our meal plan can be prepared ahead of time which makes actually enjoying the Fourth with our family and friends possible.

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The Aftermath

Can’t wait to celebrate the Fourth of July with some of our favorite people! Holding out hope that this year we will be able to view some early fireworks and that when the kids go to bed that no one wakes them up with a homemade concoction of BOOM.  I guess that’s what white noise machines are made for.

Hope you have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Last minute treat recipe ideas that are tried and TRUE crowd pleasers:

Patriotic Popcorn

Star Spangled Marshmallows

What are your plans for the upcoming holiday? Leave a comment and let me know!

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