Archives for June 2014

Wordless Wednesday: What Happens When You Get Away Without The Kids

Okay…not totally wordless. This past weekend Jason and I escaped, ahem I mean got away, for a weekend with friends – without the kids! It’s the first time in a couple of years we’ve been able to do it, and we had a blast. There were four couples, lots and lots of laughs, gorgeous weather on the river, probably too many cocktails, and staying up way too late.

And this is what it looks like when you get away with your favorite people for the weekend. We are at Topock 66 where we stopped for a cocktail and to cool off.

no-kids

That’s my sister in front taking our picture. I’m in the black cover up drinking a Jager and Monster. Our friend Winter (we’ve known her since we were kids and we refer to her as a sister. I’ve also written about her before; one of my all-time favorite memories is with her!) is behind me drinking a vodka and soda. I guess we’re all hootin’ and hollerin’ because we are so excited to be kid-free. Jason’s back there too drinking a Shock Top beer. Go big or go home, people…though it is now three days later and I still haven’t recovered from the craziness. That kind of fun with good friends is good for the soul.

PS – This is one of my Top 10 Favorite Pictures Of All Time.

PSS – Does anybody still do Wordless Wednesday (or in my case, Semi-Wordless Wednesday?)

How To Get Rid of Mold and Mildew In Your Bathrooms

I’m working with Tilex® on a paid basis, but my opinions are my own.

Don't be embarrassed to admit you have mold and mildew in your home; every home in the U.S. does!You can get rid of it using Tilex® Mold and Mildew Remover.

This year, I’m pretty sure my allergies are the worst they’ve ever been. My nose runs like crazy, my eyes are puffy and red, and I sneeze constantly. So I broke down and went to get tested to find out exactly what I’m allergic to. Turns out, I’m allergic to just about everything, but specifically, I’m highly allergic to mold and mildew can be found where there’s mold. You know, that red and black looking stuff you find in the bathroom even if you clean regularly? Yeah that.

So I decided that I needed to quickly and efficiently get rid of it. And that’s where my experience with Tilex® comes in.

Don't be embarrassed to admit you have mold and mildew in your home; every home in the U.S. does!You can get rid of it using Tilex® Mold and Mildew Remover.

Tilex® has a product called Mold and Mildew Remover that is like a miracle worker. Don’t be embarrassed to say that you have mold and mildew in your home – 100% of homes in the U.S. have mold! It’s unavoidable…no matter how much you clean, it still comes back. And when we think mold, we usually think it’s green, but not in the bathroom. You’ll find mold in your home as black stains (in grout) and red stains (on your shower curtain). Whenever you find it, that means it’s time to disinfect. After learning about this cleaner, I realized the products I was using before to try to get rid of the mold and mildew weren’t doing the job; they were just removing stains. And any mold that is left behind can regrow quickly…like within 48 hours quickly.

So back to the Tilex® Mold and Mildew RemoverIt contains Clorox® Bleach, and disinfects as it kills 99.9% of household mold and mildew on hard, nonporous surfaces. Perfect for bathroom showers and tubs. And the best part is that there’s no scrubbing required. All you do is spray it on, let it sit for 5 minutes, and rinse. Done.

You can use Tilex® Mold and Mildew Remover on many bathroom surfaces like glazed ceramic tile, grout, tubs, fiberglass, glass shower doors, vinyl curtains, sinks and no-wax floors. 

The first time I used it, I was skeptical. But it took my showers from this (gross, I know):

Don't be embarrassed to admit you have mold and mildew in your home; every home in the U.S. does!You can get rid of it using Tilex® Mold and Mildew Remover.

 

to this:

after

And now I’m a die-hard Tilex® Mold and Mildew Remover lover. 

There are other ways to help control mold as well. In addition to using Tilex® you should also: vacuum and clean regularly (easier said than done if you have kids), make sure your home has adequate ventilation (0pen a window or turn on the bathroom fan while showering), or try using a dehumidifier during humid months or in damp places of your home. For more cleaning tips, you can check out my Cleaning Tips & Organization board on Pinterest.

Don't be embarrassed to admit you have mold and mildew in your home; every home in the U.S. does!You can get rid of it using Tilex® Mold and Mildew Remover.

And make sure to check out the whole family of Tilex products to keep your home squeaky clean!

How do you control mold & mildew in your bathrooms & your home?

I’m working with Tilex® on a paid basis, but my opinions are my own.

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Recipe For The Best Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER

I don’t know many people who don’t like homemade chocolate chip cookies…especially right out of the oven. They are warm, ooey gooey, and melt in your mouth. Yum.

Last Thanksgiving my sister-in-law made these homemade chocolate chip cookies and they were declared by many to be the BEST chocolate chip cookies that you may ever eat. She made two batches and not one of the cookies was left. They are that good.

You start by making browned butter, which might sound intimidating to you if you aren’t comfy in the kitchen.  But don’t worry, this recipe is totally easy to make.

Why browned butter? The browned butter makes these cookies taste of caramel, makes them rich, and makes them melt in your mouth. The sea salt makes all of the flavors pop.

I originally shared this recipe at See Vanessa Craft, but I recently made them again and wanted to share them with you here, too.

These are the BEST homemade chocolate chip cookies that you may ever eat.  The browned butter makes these cookies taste of caramel and the sea salt makes all of the flavors pop.

The Best Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER

The Best Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER
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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook 4-5 minutes, or until the butter starts to brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl or using a stand mixer, mix together the butter and sugars. Mix in the egg, yolk, and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt. If the dough is really crumbly and not coming together you can add a teaspoon of milk. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Divide the dough into 18 balls. Break each ball into two pieces. Place one half on a lightly greased baking sheet, then place the other half on top of the first half. This makes your cookies big and fat!
  5. Sprinkle each cookie with sea salt. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges. The middles of the cookies will still be soft. Let cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes.
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http://mommyofamonster.com/homemade-chocolate-chip-cookies/

And if you’re a fan of cookies, I have lots of cookie recipes to share!

These Pretzel Cookies are another sweet and salty cookie – and a kid favorite.

Butter Cookies With Jelly

Potato Chip Cookies

Death By Chocolate Cookies

Smore Cookie Bars

2 Ingredient No Bake Oreo Truffles

Cookie Dough Dip

Want other dessert ideas? Check out my board Desserts on Pinterest. I’ve also tried lots of dessert recipes that I’d make again – check out my Pinterest Recipes: Tried ‘Em And Loved ‘Em board on Pinterest.

And Then I Freaked Out: Why Safe Medicine Storage Is Crucial

Vitamins. Eye drops. Nose spray. Skin creams and ointments. Cough drops. They all sound harmless enough, right? But they can all be very dangerous to a small child’s body if ingested. Most moms (me included) think that they are already practicing safe medicine storage because the “dangerous” medicines are kept hidden away in medicine cabinets or in a place the kids can’t reach them. But vitamins and skin creams are normally kept within reaching distance without a second thought.

Well, let me make you give it a second thought. Safe medicine storage is crucial in a home with kids. But are you considering ALL medicines (like eye drops and cough drops?)when you practice safe storage?

Nearly every household has several bottles with caps like these in them. We think because it’s “childproof” that our kids can’t open them. Ethan, my six year old, figured out how to open these lids. He wanted to get his vitamins one day, so he figured it out after reading what the instructions said. He also doled out vitamins to his sisters. To say I freaked out when I realized he could now open medicine bottles would be an understatement.

Needless to say, all of the medicines that we had that he could reach needed to be moved. And that my friends is why safe medicine storage…keeping ALL medicines (even the over-the-counter (OTC) ones) out of the hands of kids…is so important. What if he would’ve picked up the wrong bottle? What if he opened a different bottle and the pills were pink or green so he thought they were candy? What if he thought eye drops were some kind of drink? The thoughts are enough to give me nightmares.

Safe medicine storage is crucial in a home with kids. But are you considering ALL medicines (like eye drops and cough drops?)when you practice safe storage?

June is National Home Safety Month. Did you know that every year, 60,000 children are seen in the ER because of accidental medicine ingestion? That equates to 4 busloads of kids per day! This is the perfect time to talk about safe medicine storage because it’s not just important in your home. Many families vacation during summer break, so if you are visiting family or friends, you might find that they leave medicine out in the open. Even if it’s just eye drops or the like, they can still be dangerous.

Note to Self: You really need to clean up this closet.

Note to Self: You really need to clean up this closet.

So we’ve moved all medicines to the top of our linen closet in our bathroom – a spot that the kids can’t get to even if they try climbing. If you could use some safe medicine storage tips, check out the CHPA site Up & Away for more specific information. And if you are visiting a friend or family member’s house, don’t be shy about asking them to put medicines away!

If you keep your medicines out where the kids can get to them simply because if you put them away you’ll forget to take them, these safe medicine storage tips will help you remember to take them.

Safe medicine storage is crucial in a home with kids. But are you considering ALL medicines (like eye drops and cough drops?)when you practice safe storage?

It may take some time and effort to rearrange everything and make sure you are practicing safe storage in every room, but just take one look at your kids’ faces and you will know that you are doing the right thing.

kids

Where do you keep your medicines stored? 

What might be sitting out that should probably be put somewhere the kids can’t reach?

Psst! Summer’s almost here! I’ve got the best sunscreen tips that will make getting sunscreen on the kids much easier.

Disclaimer: I’m being compensated as an OTCSafety Blogger, though all thoughts, opinions, and suggestions expressed here are my own. Keep up-to-date on OTCSafety information by visiting the OTCSafety website  and by following them on Pinterest.

Easy Bake Oven Mixes You Make At Home: Chocolate Cake

Looking for recipes for Easy Bake Oven Mixes you can make yourself? There are recipes for both chocolate cake and cookie dough that are inexpensive to make!

I’ve shared a recipe for Easy Bake Oven Mixes before – it was for Easy Bake Oven Cookie Dough. It’s a yummy one that you can add mini chocolate chips or mini M&Ms to, and it’s our go-to Easy Bake Oven recipe.

But the girls were getting bored with it. So I decided to make another recipe. This Easy Bake Oven Mixes recipe is also quick and simple to make, and can be doubled or tripled to make and use throughout the week.

You don’t have to add in the extra chocolate (mini chocolate chips) if you don’t want to, but the girls (who am I kidding? Me too!) like the little additional wow! of chocolate.

This recipe is a mix of a few different recipes that I found on Pinterest that we played with until the girls declared it perfect. We hope you enjoy it!

Simple Recipe For Easy Bake Oven Mixes: Chocolate Cake 

Chocolate Cake Easy Bake Oven Mix
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Recipe Image

Ingredients

  • 6 teaspoons flour
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 teaspoon veggie oil
  • 6 teaspoons milk

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa, chocolate chips, and oil. Until well blended. Add milk and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the Easy Bake Oven baking pan (don't forget to spray it with cooking spray first!)
  2. Bake for 12 - 14 minutes. Let cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or even a drizzle of chocolate syrup!
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http://mommyofamonster.com/easy-bake-oven-mixes/

Simple enough for the girls to make without  a whole lot of help. I usually double the recipe so each of them can have their own cake since they are so small. And by small I mean tiny. Easy Bake Oven mixes don’t make the cakes as big as when we were kids!

Make your own cookie dough that can be used in easy bake oven recipes. This saves you a lot of money because you use ingredients you already have on hand.

You can find a ton of recipes for Easy Bake Oven mixes on Pinterest. It’s fun to try them and see if they work! And it’s fun to experiment making your own. Do your kids have an Easy Bake Oven? Do you buy the premade Easy Bake Oven mixes or use your own mix recipes?

photo credit: gkamin via photopin cc