Building Our Story

Friday, December 19, 2014

Jude's Christmas Program

Last weekend Jude had his school Christmas Program and once again we saw his inner HAM!  He was super excited to show us his songs and poem he had learned.  It is always fun to see him interacting with his friends at school too.  


Our sharp looking boy ready to go sing!  


See him?  He knew all the actions to the songs too.  So cute!  


Going to these events is one of my favorite things about being a mom - I love that Jude is old enough to do these programs and I cannot wait until we get to see Teagan do hers too!  


This is Jude's best friend - they always play together and we have had a couple outside of school play dates.  It is great to see Jude with his buddies.  

Merry Christmas!!

Did your kiddos have their Christmas program yet this year?

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Cinnamon Apple Life Cereal Muffins

Disclosure:  This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Quaker. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #LoveMyCereal #QuakerUp


The first question we ask the kids every morning - "What would you like for breakfast?"  Honestly, I am not sure why I even ask because I know what they will both say!  Jude and Teagan have a love for muffins; any kind of muffins but their very favorite is those really sugary store bought mini muffins.  Yes, those.  Well let's be real, I do let them eat those some mornings but other mornings those kids need some whole some grains and nutrients!  That means I have to get creative with my hidden nutrients and trick those kids!  Guess what - you can totally trick a toddler into eating nutrient heavy breakfasts if you make your own muffins!!  With the help of Quaker® Life Cereal and Quaker® Oats I have made a couple different flavors of muffins that freeze wonderfully and can be heated up quickly in the morning for quick breakfasts!   One Jude's favorite muffin is this Cinnamon Apple Life Cereal Muffin.  

Cinnamon Apple Life Cereal Breakfast Muffins.  Cereal topped muffins.  Healthy Muffins for kids.  Cinnamon Apple Muffin recipe.  Apple Raisin Muffins.  Breakfast muffin recipes.

Cinnamon Apple Life Cereal Muffins


Free Printable Recipe Here.

Cinnamon Apple Life Cereal Breakfast Muffins.  Cereal topped muffins.  Healthy Muffins for kids.  Cinnamon Apple Muffin recipe.  Apple Raisin Muffins.  Breakfast muffin recipes.

Ingredients:

For the Topping:
1/4 cup Oats
1/4 cup crushed Quaker® Life Cereal
1 tsp cinnamon 
1 TBSP butter, melted

For the Muffins:
1 1/2 cups Oats
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup crushed Quaker® Life Cereal 
1 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda
1  tsp cinnamon 
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsweetened applesauce 
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla 
1 egg
1 cup Raisins 

Cinnamon Apple Life Cereal Breakfast Muffins.  Cereal topped muffins.  Healthy Muffins for kids.  Cinnamon Apple Muffin recipe.  Apple Raisin Muffins.  Breakfast muffin recipes.


Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line cupcake tin with cupcake liners of choice.  

2.  To make the muffin batter first combine the Oats, Flour, crushed Quaker® Life Cereal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in large mixing bowl.  

3.  In a medium mixing bowl combine the applesauce, brown sugar, milk, oil, vanilla and egg.  Whisk together until completed combined. 

Cinnamon Apple Life Cereal Breakfast Muffins.  Cereal topped muffins.  Healthy Muffins for kids.  Cinnamon Apple Muffin recipe.  Apple Raisin Muffins.  Breakfast muffin recipes.


4. Add applesauce mixture, slowly, to the oat mixture.  Mixing as adding.  Combining the dry ingredients with the applesauce mixture.  

5.  Next, add the raisins to the mixture.  Stir well!  

6. Set muffin batter aside.  Time to make the Topping!  Delicious!  

Cinnamon Apple Life Cereal Breakfast Muffins.  Cereal topped muffins.  Healthy Muffins for kids.  Cinnamon Apple Muffin recipe.  Apple Raisin Muffins.  Breakfast muffin recipes.

7.  In a small bowl, combine the oats, crushed Quaker® Life Cereal, brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter.  Make a crumble by mixing everything together.  

Cinnamon Apple Life Cereal Breakfast Muffins.  Cereal topped muffins.  Healthy Muffins for kids.  Cinnamon Apple Muffin recipe.  Apple Raisin Muffins.  Breakfast muffin recipes.

8.  Fill the cupcake liners with the batter, this should make 16 muffins.  

9.  Top the muffin batter with the crushed Quaker® Life Cereal crumble.  

Cinnamon Apple Life Cereal Breakfast Muffins.  Cereal topped muffins.  Healthy Muffins for kids.  Cinnamon Apple Muffin recipe.  Apple Raisin Muffins.  Breakfast muffin recipes.

10.  Bake for 16-18 minutes.  

11.  Let cool!  Enjoy warm or place in a freezer bag for a great freezer meal option.  Enjoy!! 


To make these better for you muffins make sure you stop by Walmart, all of these ingredients can be found there.  We love Quaker® Life Cereal in our house, not only does the Life Cereal make these muffins delicious but we all enjoy Quaker® Life Cereal for snacks.  In fact, that is what Teagan calls them.  When she asks for snacks we know that she wants some Life Cereal.  Yum!  Such an easy and portable snack for both of our kiddos.  


Our pantry is packed full of Quaker® products that are perfect for this baking season but also for better for you snacks and recipes.  I love using Quaker® Real Medleys®, Quaker® Oatmeal Squares, Quaker® Simply Granola and Quaker® Life in our recipes and snacks.  I will also confess that I might have a box of Quaker Oatmeal Squares in my desk drawer at work!  YUM!  

 Cinnamon Apple Life Cereal Breakfast Muffins.  Cereal topped muffins.  Healthy Muffins for kids.  Cinnamon Apple Muffin recipe.  Apple Raisin Muffins.  Breakfast muffin recipes.

We are a family that loves to eat, cook and bake with Quaker® Products, it is the perfect way to get necessary nutrients in your meals and bake some wholesome recipes as well!  Yum!!  Make sure you #QuakerUp with Quaker® and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  
Find inspiration!

What kind of wholesome better for you breakfasts do you serve to your family on busy mornings?  

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Do not miss the Harlem Globetrotters! #COUPON

Who loves the Harlem Globetrotters?  Well I know most kids AND adults do so jump on this!  I am so excited to take Jude this year!!  



Don't Miss The Harlem Globetrotters Coming to Broomfield on March 7th. Save $7 Off Select Tickets to any Harlem Globetrotter Game with promo code FAMGUIDE.

The iconic Harlem Globetrotters are coming to an arena near you with their unrivaled family show, featuring some of the greatest athletes on the planet. 

With incredible ball handling wizardry, amazing rim-rattling dunks and trick shots, side-splitting comedy and unequaled on-court fan interaction, this must-see event is guaranteed to entertain the whole family creating memories that will last a lifetime. 

The Globetrotters will face a great challenge this year against the Washington Generals who were the last team to beat the Globetrotters in 1971, and are now coached by a former member of that team. They are on a mission and will do whatever it takes to win, with a new strategy that is sure to give the Globetrotters a run for their money. 

Use promo code FAMGUIDE to get $7 off select tickets.

Save $7 Off Harlem Globetrotters 2015 Tour - Save $7 Off Tickets to the Harlem Globetrotters 2015 Tour. The iconic Harlem Globetrotters are coming to an arena near you with their unrivaled family show, featuring some of the greatest athletes on the planet. Use promo code FAMGUIDE to get $7 off select tickets.

Buy Tickets here!  





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Using Wind Power as Alternative Energy?

"What are those Mommy?  They look like giant pinwheels!"

~Jude - 4 years old 


That is just one of the many questions that Jude has asked from the backseat of my car - and honestly, I did not really know how to answer him when he asked me what "those things" were.  So I told him we would do some research.  Yes, he is 4 and we came home and did some research on the wind farms that are in Colorado.  

Before I could really sit down and help Jude understand wind power and renewable energy I knew I had to educate myself.  

Windsource® Power Facts:

  • Xcel Energy has a program called Windsource® that allows customers (both residential and businesses) to purchase blocks of wind power or you can even choose to power your entire house with wind energy.
  • Xcel Energy has nearly 5,300 megawatts of wind on their system, enough to power nearly 2.7 million average-size homes annually.
  • Purchasing Windsource® supports affordable and domestic energy production that provides electricity price stability and prepares us for the future.
  • Xcel Energy is the nation’s No. 1 wind power provider for the past decade.
  • Wind Power can help to keep energy rates affordable by protecting customers against rising fuel and other costs - more than just an environmental issue!
  • Windsource® enables Xcel Energy’s electric customers to purchase renewable energy, generated above and beyond the renewable energy in our standard energy supply.



After I did my research I was very proud to live in Colorado, a state that is focused on helping customers not only advance the green technology but also move towards lower costs on energy.  So, these wind farms are so much more than fun looking pinwheels!  

Teaching Children About Wind Power:

I had Jude draw me a picture of the wind farm and we discussed what those BIG pinwheels do.  We also talked about why we need to be more careful with the energy we use in our home.  He is 4 so turning off lights is not on his radar.  I told him that with the wind that we feel when we walk outside we can get power to turn on the lights in our house!  This very smart 4 year old was processing this statement for a long time!  

The best part about this conversation is that Jude is now telling everyone to save energy by turning off electronics and lights but also that every time he feels or hears the wind his eyes light up and he looks at us and says "Energy!"  Simply put - I am glad that Jude asked me what "those things" were because I am not more aware of the alternative energy movement the Xcel Energy Colorado is making!  


Want to embed this infographic on your site? Copy and paste the code below:


 


If you’d like to join Windsource® to support the increase in renewable energy generation, and to be a part of a growing community of environmentally-sensitive consumers you can call Xcel Energy at 1-800-895-4999 or visit ResponsibleByNature.com/Windsource to enroll.


 Disclaimer: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Xcel Energy. The opinions and text are all mine.



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EOS Lip Balm Christmas Printable - Merry and Bright #DIY

Who doesn't love the EOS Lip Balms?  I confess, I have about 4 different colors/flavors at my desk at work.  Well I was trying to decide what to get my coworkers while I was brainstorming at work and I looked down and saw my favorite Lip Balm - EOS.  Time to get creative!  I went to my local Ulta and found a color of EOS that I hadn't seen before - yellow.  Instantly I knew what I was going to create.


Every time I see a pod of EOS Lip Balm in a new color you better believe I will be trying to get creative for any holiday reason!  This is the perfect last minute gift on a budget!  Oh and if you use the Yellow balm - the lemon flavor is so refreshing.  I guarantee that the person you gift this to will be happy!


Feel free to use this printable to make your own easy but totally amazing gifts for your friends, coworkers and family. 



Free EOS Lip Balm Christmas Printable - Merry and Bright HERE


What is your favorite color/flavor of EOS?

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Egg Nog Mini Cakes #Recipe

'Tis the Season!  You know, the Egg Nog Season!!  So last week I shared with you an Overnight Egg Nog French Toast Recipe that pretty much makes your life easier and tastes amazing.  I had some left over Egg Nog so I decided to get creative in the kitchen and I made these amazing Egg Nog Mini Cakes!!  OH!!!  Yum!  

Egg Nog Mini Cakes 

Free Printable Recipe here

Egg Nog Mini Cakes #Recipe.  Egg Nog Desserts.  Egg Nog Cake recipes.  Egg Nog Christmas Desserts.  Mini Cake Recipes

Ingredients:

For the Cake -
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup Egg Nog
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the Glaze - 

1 cup powdered sugar
4 tablespoons egg nog
1 tsp cinnamon 
Sprinkles 

Egg Nog Mini Cakes #Recipe.  Egg Nog Desserts.  Egg Nog Cake recipes.  Egg Nog Christmas Desserts.  Mini Cake Recipes

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cake pan. 

2.  Time to make the cakes!  Using a hand mixer, mix the oil and sugar together.  

3.  Add eggs and vanilla to the sugar mixture; mix well. 

4.  Stir in the egg nog and mix well.

5.  In a separate bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. 

6.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well!  Mixtures should be smooth and pour-able! 

Egg Nog Mini Cakes #Recipe.  Egg Nog Desserts.  Egg Nog Cake recipes.  Egg Nog Christmas Desserts.  Mini Cake Recipes

7.  Fill cake pans with batter.  

8.  Bake cakes for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  

9.  Let cakes cool completely. 

Egg Nog Mini Cakes #Recipe.  Egg Nog Desserts.  Egg Nog Cake recipes.  Egg Nog Christmas Desserts.  Mini Cake Recipes

10. For the glaze:  Mix the powdered sugar, egg nog and cinnamon well.  Creating a nice glaze for your cakes.  

11.  Once the cakes are cooled, remove cakes from pan and pour glaze over cakes. 

12.  Decorate these festive cakes with red and green sprinkles!  

13.  Enjoy cooled and covered in glaze! 

Egg Nog Mini Cakes #Recipe.  Egg Nog Desserts.  Egg Nog Cake recipes.  Egg Nog Christmas Desserts.  Mini Cake Recipes

These are perfect for sharing with friends or coworkers.  There is something adorable about these mini cakes!  Just like the Egg Nog French Toast these are the perfect Egg Nog flavor.  Not too over powering but a perfect holiday spice!  Enjoy!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Traditions Continued with Toll House Cookies - Peppermint Cream Gingerbread Man Sandwich Cookies

Disclosure:  Thanks to Nestle Toll House for sponsoring today's discussion.



Look what Peppermint and Cupcake brought us!  When we woke up on Sunday morning it was obvious that these silly little Elves wanted us to make some Christmas cookies.  We had some very anxious kiddos who wanted to get to baking right away!  Thankfully these Elves know me - sure I love to bake and cook but right now I am feeling the hustle and bustle of this holiday season and the idea of baking cookies from scratch was making my stomach turn.  Peppermint and Cupcake are pretty smart, they dropped off these NEW Nestlé Toll House Rolled & Ready Cookie Dough Sheets.  Well okay my Elf friends, I CAN do this!  


Those Elves had the frosting, sprinkles, and cookie cutters all ready for us to sit down and get to Christmas Cookie business - man those Elves might need to stick around all YEAR!  Now, the best part about these Rolled & Ready Cookie Dough Sheets - they are literally ready for you to get creative with the cookie cutters.  Not only does this help me not have to make a bigger mess with this fun Christmas tradition BUT it allows me to be more present with my kids during the process.  

We had the Sugar Cookie and the Gingerbread flavors so we started with the traditional Sugar Cookie.  We opened the package and let each of the kids have their own sheet - again, how much time did that save?!  There was no fighting over who got the bigger sheet or anything.  


We let Teagan and Jude decide what shapes they wanted for their cookies and had them use the cookie cutters.  It was a great project for them both.  I love this Christmas tradition that we have continued even with small kiddos at the table.  Jeremy and I made cookies every year since we have been married and think it just makes the holidays even sweeter!  


Look how proud he is of his work!  The rolled sheets are so consistent which means these are literally the prettiest sugar cookies I have ever made for the holidays.  These all ready rolled cookie sheets can be found in the refrigerated section at your local grocery.  I highly suggest picking these up - your kids will think you are awesome!  


I have always thought that Nestlé makes a really great sugar cookie dough and these Rolled & Ready Cookie Dough Sheets are just as yummy.  Once we cut out our shapes we put them in the oven and let them cool over nap time.  Once the kids woke up we got busy with the frosting and sprinkles!  You know, the part that the kids decide to put more frosting and sprinkles on the floor and table than on the cookies?  Yeah that part - the part that makes memories and overflowing frosted cookies!  Delicious!!  


Check those out!  We will be saving some for when Santa comes to visit and plan on boxing some up for the Grandparents to enjoy too.  Nothing says I love you like an one of a kind Candy Cane Sugar Cookie from a 2 year old!  Such a special weekend activity for our family.  Just another Christmas tradition to check off of our Christmas bucket list of 2014!  


Oh and we did let the kids try their creations too!  Yummy!! 

I decided to get a little more creative with the Nestlé Toll House Rolled & Ready Gingerbread Cookie Dough Sheets.  Sure, I could have just done some normal Gingerbread Man Cookies but since Nestlé made this tradition so much easier this year, I decided I had to do something!   


Peppermint Cream Gingerbread Man Sandwich Cookies 

Free Printable Recipe here. 

Ingredients:
1 package Nestle Toll House Rolled & Ready Gingerbread Cookie Dough Sheets
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups marshmallow fluff 
candy canes, crushed 


Directions:

1.  Using the Nestle Toll House Rolled & Ready Gingerbread Cookie Dough Sheets - cut gingerbread out of the dough.  

2.  Bake gingerbread man cookies as directed on the Nestle Toll House Rolled & Ready Gingerbread Cookie Dough Sheets package.  

3.  Once baked, remove from cookie sheet and let cool completely. 

4.  While cookies are cooling, begin making your cream filling.  

5.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the butter, powdered sugar and marshmallow fluff using a hand beater.  Mix until mixture is completed combined.  

6.  Crush the candy canes in a zip lock bag, creating a nice fine peppermint candy.

7.  Once the cookies are cool, create your sandwich. Add cream to the middle of 2 cookies.  

8.  Once the sandwich is made, sprinkle sides of cookies (cream) with the crushed peppermint.  

9.  Decorate the top gingerbread man cookie if you would like.  

10.  Keep sandwich cookies in refrigerator until ready to serve.  The cream will set better in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!!


This perfect cream filling could be used on any of the Christmas cookies you traditionally use.  A simple addition to any cookie!  The Gingerbread Cookies from Nestlé are so yummy too.  I may have enjoyed one with my morning coffee this morning!!  Nom!!  

Well if you are still waiting to check "Make Holiday Cookies" off your Christmas Bucket List, I highly suggest you find some Elves to bring you some of this Nestlé Toll House Rolled & Ready Cookie Dough to get you started!  You will be amazed with the Mess and the Memories that are made with your family!  

Want more information about the Rolled & Ready Cookie Dough Sheets?  Click here!  


Merry Christmas and Happy Baking!!  


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