Month: September 2016

Chocolate Zucchini Bread Recipe

Chocolate Zucchini Bread Recipe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CarnationBreakfastEssentials #CollectiveBias #sponsored I love having traditions. I love them so much that I think they shouldn’t just be reserved for holidays, but should be worked into everyday […]

Custom Invitations for Special Occasions

Custom Invitations for Special Occasions

Some occasions are so special that they just have to be celebrated and announced in a real way. As a blogger I’m in love with the internet and social media and how easy they make it to share information with each other. Some events in […]

Sweet Cream Raspberry Brownie Recipe

Sweet Cream Raspberry Brownie Recipe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SplashofDelight #CollectiveBias

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One of my favorite jobs was working as a summer hire at a Trona Mine & Plant in Wyoming. I worked 12-hour shifts in one of the plant’s labs, alternating between day and night. When I could I actually requested the nighttime shift. You see, I’ve always been a bit of a night owl, and I’ve also absolutely never been a morning person.

This world is clearly tilted in morning people’s favor, however. Gone are the days of requesting night shifts and instead I have an alarm clock blaring much too early reminding me that I have kids who need to be taken to school. Like most other night owls I had to overcome my natural bent and learn how embrace those early morning wake up calls, one way or the other.

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There’s only one way I’ve found to look forward to the morning–that magical drink also known as Coffee! I’ve drunk it consistently throughout my life from the time I was in high school. I love it so much that I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to it. A quote I love is “Everybody likes their coffee different.” It’s so true. I love mine on the stout side and then slathered with delicious flavored creamer.

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Lately, I’ve been crushing on International Delight® French Vanilla &  International Delight® Caramel Macchiato for my morning mugs. I love trying different flavored coffees and then mixing and matching my daily creamer. It always keeps my mornings delicious and oh so easy!

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Because I drink a lot of coffee I need a lot of creamer. The only thing worse than running out of coffee when you need it is running out of creamer. For me, it’s one of those essentials that constitutes an emergency run to the store if I run out. I always try to plan ahead and avoid those trips, though! That’s why on my last trip to Walmart I grabbed both flavors in the generous International Delight® Half Gallon sizes. I love that I won’t have to worry about running out of creamer for a long while, and the new bottle makes it is easier to hold and pour.

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What’s the only thing better than coffee? Having that coffee alongside the *most* delicious dessert ever. That’s why today I just had to share with you this delicious recipe that is just oh-so-perfect to share with friends alongside a mug of delicious coffee. The secret ingredient in this recipe is International Delight® Cold Stone Creamery™ Sweet Cream. You only need 1/3 cup for this recipe, but it also is available in that Half Gallon size, so you’d have plenty for the recipe and the coffee you serve along with it–you can’t get a better pairing!

Sweet Cream Raspberry Brownie Recipe

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Ingredients

  • 1 Box Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix (the family size that makes a 13×9 pan)
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese (room temperature)
  • 3 oz Premium White Chocolate For Baking
  • 1/3 Cup International Delight® Cold Stone Creamery™ Sweet Cream
  • 2/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • Fresh Berries (Raspberries are the very best, but this recipe works well with strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries)
  • 1 Cup Homemade Whip Cream  (I usually make this between steps one and two, but you can make it ahead of time if wished, you can also substitute your favorite store bought whipped cream, however, they will all result in a slightly different end texture depending on the brand)

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Make brownies according to box directions & allow to cool completely.

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Melt 3 oz white chocolate for baking. I always do it by heating at short intervals in the microwave, and then stirring until smooth.

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In a large bowl combine Cream Cheese, Melted White Chocolate, and International Delight® Cold Stone Creamery™ Sweet Cream together.

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Using a blender combine the ingredients using medium-high speed until completely combined, with a thick and frosting-like consistency.

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Fold and then mix in homemade whip cream until consistency is fluffy and light but well blended.

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Spread out the sweet cream layer all on top of the cooled brownies.

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Top with Raspberries & refrigerate overnight or freeze for 1-3 hours. Since you make it ahead of time this is the perfect sweet Coffee time treat to share with friends when they come over!

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The sweet fluffy cream layer is offset with the richness of the dark chocolate brownies and the tang of the raspberries creating the absolutely perfect taste sensation that will leave your taste-buds singing for more! Paired with coffee this is the combo that your friends will be begging you to make every time you get together!

Here’s the printable version to make sure you never lose it!

Sweet Cream Raspberry Brownie Recipe
Recipe Type: Dessert
The sweet fluffy cream layer is offset with the richness of the dark chocolate brownies and the tang of the raspberries creating the absolutely perfect taste sensation that will leave your taste-buds singing for more!
Ingredients
  • 1 Box Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix (the family size that makes a 13×9 pan)
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese (room temperature)
  • 3 oz Premium White Chocolate For Baking
  • 1/3 Cup International Delight® Cold Stone Creamery™ Sweet Cream
  • 2/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • Fresh Berries (Raspberries are the very best, but this recipe works well with strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries)
  • 1 Cup Homemade Whip Cream
Instructions
  1. Make brownies according to box directions & allow to cool completely.
  2. Melt 3 oz white chocolate for baking.
  3. In a large bowl combine Cream Cheese, Melted White Chocolate, and International Delight® Cold Stone Creamery™ Sweet Cream together. Using a blender combine the ingredients using medium-high speed until completely combined, with a thick and frosting-like consistency.
  4. Fold and then mix in homemade whip cream until consistency is fluffy and light but well blended.
  5. Spread out the sweet cream layer all on top of the cooled brownies.
  6. Top with Raspberries & refrigerate overnight or freeze for 1-3 hours.
  7. Slice into squares & serve with Coffee. Relax & Savor the moment!

 

What’s your favorite way to enjoy coffee? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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Cheesy Chicken Bacon Casserole Recipe (And How To Spend More Quality Time With Your Kids)

Cheesy Chicken Bacon Casserole Recipe (And How To Spend More Quality Time With Your Kids)

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Mars, Incorporated. All opinions are mine alone. #BensBeginners #UncleBensPromo #CollectiveBias I cry, every time. This might make sense if I was one of those moms who cries over every little thing, but usually, […]

Ad: Delicious & Easy Chicken Sliders Bar

Ad: Delicious & Easy Chicken Sliders Bar

This post is written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. All opinions are entirely my own. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GameTimeHero #CollectiveBias In Texas fall means two things: Beautiful Weather […]

How To Make School Mornings Run Smoothly

How To Make School Mornings Run Smoothly

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BetterBreakfast #CollectiveBias

How to Make School Mornings Run Smoothly

Ready or not Back-To-School is now here in full force. With Labor Day over the weeks of school stretch as far as the eye can see. Each of these days brings along with them the hurry, scurry, and stress that getting ready and out the door on time causes. The more kids you have to send off to school each day, the more this hurry and stress grows. As a fellow mom, I completely understand.

This school year is an important one for us. One big change is that we moved to a new town just in time to get the kids registered for their schools. An even bigger change this year for us, however, is that Tyler is in Kindergarten which means that both of the kids are in school all day, all week for the very first time.

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Our new school district divides its campuses up according to grades, rather than location. This means that the kids are both in different schools across town, and not overly close to one another. I drive them each day, which means we have to be up and out the door in plenty of time for both stops and to accommodate for the morning traffic and the drop off lines. With the kids gone all day I want our time together in the morning to run smoothly and be stress-free. Making sure they are able to get the nourishment they need and leave for the day with a full belly and on a positive note is so important. I know I’m not alone in wanting this for my family, so I thought I’d share my top tips with you today to help make it a reality for your family as well. Be sure to scroll aaaaalllll the way to the bottom of the post, too, a sweepstakes will be your reward!

It’s all wonderful to wish for a smooth morning, but the reality is that it won’t happen without preparation and planning. Once you establish good routines with a handy reminder, however, you’ll be amazed at just how easy it really is!

How To Make School Mornings Run Smoothly

BuildBetterBreakfast

Go Shopping

The very first step in creating a smooth school morning is making sure you have everything in stock ahead of time. I used my first solo shopping trip to Walmart to stock up on everything my family needs to build a better breakfast and create our new back-to-school routine. Here’s what you’ll need on your shopping list so you’re prepared as well:

  • Great Value 2% Milk
  • Lenders Bagels
  • Del Monte Fruit & Veggie Fusions
  • Magnetic Dry Erase Board (be sure to purchase mounting tape if it does not come with some)
  • Dry Erase Markers w/ attached eraser

While I was shopping I noticed these signs that told about an amazing charitable promotion going on right now. I absolutely love giving back and paying it forward, and when I can do it simply by purchasing items that my family loves, with *no* extra steps??? Amazing! I was so happy about it I wanted to share the information with you, too!

Childhood should be filled with playing, learning and growing. But for many children who face hunger, even basic staples like milk – and the nutrients that help power childhood activities – are missing. Milk is naturally nutrient rich and powers potential – if you have access to it. Milk’s 9 essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality protein per 8 ounce serving, can help to ensure that kids have the potential to play, learn and grow. Join Feeding America in The Great American Milk Drive to help deliver highly desired and nutrient-rich gallons of milk to hungry children and families who need it most. More than 14 million servings of milk have been delivered to food banks through this first-of-its-kind initiative. Now, you can help feed a childhood – by purchasing 1 or more of these products, you are helping Feeding America provide nutrient- rich milk to kids and families in need. Visit milklife.com/give to learn more.

Now that you’ve got all the items you need, you’re ready to set up your “Command Center” that will help guide your kids (and you!) through everything you need to tackle.

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Set Up Routine Check Lists

Get out your new Magnetic Dry Erase Board & Markers. I decided to go with 3 colors for mine, one for the routine steps, and 2 others so the kids would each have their own color. On a piece of scratch paper list out every item that needs to be done before school each day. Next take that list and divide it into steps that can be done in advance the night before, and steps that must be done in the morning. By prepping for the day as much as you can the evening before you’ll be adding valuable time to your mornings. This allows you to make sure the most important things like sitting down to a nutritious and filling breakfast actually happen. Here’s my list and a little about each item on it, to help get you started on your own!

Evening Routine

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Lay Out Clothes for The Next Day — You’ll be amazed at how much time and stress this saves you each morning. Instead of fumbling through their closet, coming out in mismatched clothes, or wearing dress clothes on P.E. day you and your kids will be able to simply get dressed as soon as you’re up. You can create a special hook or place to put clothes, or you can simply hang them up on their closet or bedroom door.

Make Lunches & Snacks —  Make and pack all lunch & snack items the evening before, any food will keep well when placed in the fridge overnight.

Pack Backpacks — As soon as homework is done have the kids re-pack their backpacks with any items that will be needed for the next day (notes, lunch money, etc)

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Prep Breakfast Items — This is another biggy! A well balanced breakfast is much more likely to happen if you plan on it in advance. Now that you have your items, it’s just a matter of setting them together.

There are several reasons you should choose these three items to start your day. The combination of milk, a bagel, and a fruit cup gives kids protein, carbohydrates, vitamin C and other things that they won’t get with other choices. Eating them all together make this a better breakfast choice.

Lender’s bagels are filling – sustaining kids all morning — and they come in Plain, Blueberry, and Cinnamon-Raisin flavors which are completely kid-friendly & great for the whole family. Lender’s has a bagel for Everyone! They’re available in the refrigerated dairy section, which is perfect as it means you can keep all 3 items together in the fridge where they’re easy to find. Bagels for breakfast are timesaving, easy, tasty and nutritious–all things that are musts in order to keep the morning running smoothly.

To complete your balanced breakfast you’ll need Del Monte Fruit & Veggie Fusions. It’s the only fruit cup product that provides 1 serving of fruits and veggies in a single cup. The veg is in the juice but you’d never know it, and neither will your kids! Be sure to look for specially marked Del Monte Fruit & Veggie Fusions packages on shelf at Walmart for valuable coupons for Del Monte and Lenders products!

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Now that you have all your food items ready it’s time to prep the serving dishes as well. Just like with the clothes, if you have places set the night before all that’s left to do in the morning is to pour a glass of milk, get out a bagel, and open a fruit cup. Couldn’t be easier!

Set Alarm —  Don’t miss this last step! We each have our own alarm clocks, yes, even my Kindergartner! Setting multiple alarm clocks helps the possibility of sleeping in due to a missed alarm drop down drastically, plus it allows everyone to be up in the time frame they need to according to their personal routines and how quickly they can get things done.

Morning Routine

As promised, since you’ve done so much prep work the night before your morning routine should be a breeze and completely self-explanatory. Being well organized means plenty of time to sit, wake up, and enjoy each other and a better breakfast!

Get Dressed (including shoes)

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Brush Hair & Teeth

Now that you have all your routine items planned out, you just need to write them down onto your dry erase board and add checklists for each child (you can do it for yourself as well if you’d like!) Another option would be to use your vinyl machine to create the checklist, but I love the flexibility that dry erase gives.

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Now mount your Command Center any place handy in your kitchen. I chose the side of our fridge, but the front of your fridge, on a wall, or on the pantry door are all great options. Use the magnets to hold anything you need that goes along with your routines like information from school or paper items to be packed in the backpacks.

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As the kids complete each item have them put a dot in the box (you can do checkmarks as well, but then you’ll need to re-draw the boxes each day). In the middle of the next day use the edge of the attached marker to clear out the boxes and start over again!

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After a week or so of following your new checklists and routine steps, you’ll wonder why mornings ever felt so frantic and stressful in the first place!  In the meantime here’s an amazing sweepstakes for you to enter!
#BuildABetterBreakfast Sweepstakes

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