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Nest Building

Simple Pumpkin Yogurt Bark – A Perfect Fall Treat

pumpkin yogurt bark, a frozen treat for fall!

We have a favorite summertime breakfast.  It involves yogurt and assorted berries of serious awesomeness.  It is a magnet for kids and adults alike. And it is perfect for summer because it is so stinkin’ hot outside.  But we live in the desert and the summer tends to stretch into what would normally be called fall.  This seriously shortens my pumpkin-treat-eating season – which is a problem.

I was dreaming about fall the other day when the temperature outside was hitting upwards of 115 degrees.  And I started to imagine all the pumpkin goodness I would be making this fall, when the temperatures dropped somewhere in the 80s. Continue Reading

Nest Building

Filling the Freezer: Meatball Madness

preparing meatball recipes for the freezer

Somewhere in the past year, my 5-year-old girl has become obsessed, OB-sessed, with meatballs.  She can’t get enough.  When we go to the pizza place we love, she wants meatballs on her pizza.  She requests spaghetti and meatballs quite regularly.  And when I made our most recent batch of meatballs to fill the freezer for this fall, I had to give her some for lunch before freezing the rest.

But not everyone in our family is as mad about spaghetti and meatballs as she is.  Specifically, my husband.  Not because he doesn’t like meatballs.  He doesn’t like pasta.  I KNOW!  Something that, try as I might, I cannot remedy – yes, it is an illness.

Combining the need to get dinner on the table with the many-varied desires of my family, while trying to get through the day around here can be super-difficult some days.  Often I start to dread the moment when my husband asks, late-afternoon, “What’s for dinner?”  Ugh.


“Um…I don’t know.”

Instead of relying on the old standby of drive thru or convenience meals this season, I am working on filling my freezer with things I can quickly prepare in the early morning (slow-cooker) or afternoon (after-school) that will make everybody happy.  Or, at least most of us happy.

So, I found myself the other day taking 4.5 pounds of ground beef and making a serious amount of meatballs.  I got the ground beef on sale at our new Aldi store – I am so impressed with how much a homemaker can get there on a budget!  But before I got started on making those meatballs, I made sure I had some unique meatball recipes in mind to try this fall. Continue Reading

Nest Building

Back to Milk and Cookies

make the perfect back to school snack, cookies and milk with a2 Milk® and these super simple recipes for kids to make

The following post was sponsored by a2 Milk® as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central.  I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.  As always, all opinions are my own. 

Oh, goodness!  We are about to embark on a new part of the parenting journey!  Kindergarten!  I can’t believe we are already here.  It seems like the world could not have possibly gone 5 times around the sun since we had our oldest one.   But here we are and I am excited and nervous (and excited and nervous, in that order) to start this new season in our lives.

I am currently in crazy planning mode: getting our “school” room set up, changing up the girls’ play area to include a new (boy) addition to the fun, banking meals in the freezer for this fall, and trying to figure out what in the world we are going to eat every day! And though all the planning can be a little overwhelming at times, I have created my own reward system in all the planning: Cookies!  And milk!

Now, back at the beginning of the year, I would have never added the milk part to the mix.  I was perfectly content with just a cookie thanks.  And it was because I have had some tummy troubles when I drink milk.  But this year I found a solution to the tummy troubles: a2 Milk®!  It comes from cows that don’t have a hormone that is thought to cause most typical tummy issues in humans.  So, it has me not only getting ready for back to school, but also back to milk and cookies! 

And since I am in my intense planning stage for back to school, I thought I would share with you what we are planning for our after school snacks for this fall: Milk and Cookies!  I mean this classic combination has been making kids squeal with excitement for ages – right?  And I definitely want our kids to have some baked yumminess to look forward to at least once a week.

Bonus points on the day they have just come out of the oven.

Ultra-bonus points if the kids baked them all by themselves! Continue Reading

Growing Up

Simple Summer Activities: Strawberry-Banana Ice Cream

As I have mentioned on this blog previously, I am always in search of simple summer activities for our girls to do.  And I have been waiting to make ice cream with the girls for quite some time.  But when I found this recipe for Strawberry-Banana Ice Cream that did not need an ice cream maker, I knew this would be easy and fun for us!  The girls loved making this ice cream almost as much as they loved eating it!

Throwing everything together took only a few minutes of prep before the girls got up.  If you have older tots, you can have them help you to cut the bananas and prep them for freezing, while you cut the strawberries. Continue Reading

Growing Up

Hobo S’mores for Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Hobo S'mores

Have you ever made hobo s’mores?  We love them (!) because they are so easy to make and taste SO good.  If you have never made or had a hobo s’more and you are wondering what one is; it is basically a marshmallow with chocolate and graham crackers all on a stick.  They are utterly cute, portable, and so giftable for any time of year.  We haven’t made them with our girls yet, so I thought it would be fun to change it up a little bit for Valentine’s day and make them using heart-shaped marshmallows.

This little project is perfect for little hands because it involves lots of fine motor skills and has a yummy result!  We made our Valentine hobo s’mores with our 3.5 year old and our 2-year-old, but these are perfect for any age kid.  These would make really great Valentine treats to give at a class party, too! Continue Reading

Nest Building

Just Desserts: Coffee-mate Dulce de Leche Tarts

One of my favorite things in life is a morning cup of coffee.  In fact it has really become a necessity for me.  I just don’t feel right before I have had my coffee.  So, when Coffee-mate offered to let me try out their newest flavors of Coffee-mate, I knew I would be a happy camper because I do like a little cream in my coffee.   But, when I found out what the new flavors were: Abuelita® Mexican Chocolate and La Lechera® Dulce de Leche, I knew I didn’t just want to have them in my coffee, I wanted to use them to play in the kitchen and make awesome new desserts: Coffee-mate Dulce de Leche Tarts. Continue Reading