Monday, October 10, 2016

Delicious and ScArY Spagetti

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With fall just around the corner, it's time to start getting ready for Halloween. Black Bean Spaghetti with AFRAID-O Sauce and Garlicky Black Bean Spaghetti Spoons with Deviled Eyes made using Explore Cuisine's Black Bean Spaghetti.

Black Bean Spaghetti with AFRAID-O Sauce, White Carrot Phalanges
White Carrot Phalanges-
Peel 8 white carrots then carve with small knife into finger-bone shape. Steam until al dente. Set aside.

Black Bean Spaghetti with AFRAID-O Sauce-
1 box Explore Cuisine Black Bean Spaghetti - cooked, drained
1 jar of alfredo sauce (can choose gluten-free)
1 jar of marinara sauce (choose one that is more blood red in color, rather than orange)
fresh basil
Heat the sauces in separate saucepans over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Place warm Explore Cuisine black bean spaghetti in the center of four serving plates.
Ladle alfredo sauce over the center of the spaghetti.
Arrange carrot phalanges over the sauce.
Splatter marinara sauce over the entire dish, in a gruesome manner.
Garnish with basil.

 All Explore Cuisine pastas are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and made with 100% organic ingredients. The Black Bean Spaghetti boasts 25 grams of protein per 2 oz. serving and is made from only one ingredient- organic black beans!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Back to School and Staying Healthy!

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 On my kids list for school supplies is 'hand sanitizer'.  I prefer to use something that is botanical plant based over an alcohol based formula. I found this great brand for kids called Jersey Kids.  They have a hand sanitizer that is great to toss in a backpack or lunch box. It doesn't have a smell, or leave your hands feeling dry the way that an alcohol cleanser does.   It has been lab tested to kill 99.99% of germs without petrochemicals and harsh toxins!

It is so important that I use products on my kids that are healthy for their bodies. My girls also love their lip balms.  They could put on makeup all day, and with the delicious flavors, they have a lot of fun playing together.  

 What are you putting in your kids backpack this year?
To find out more about Jersey Kids, click here

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Celebrate Coffee Day with Delicious Recipes!

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Powdered creamers really gross me out.  What are they made out of if they are not even dairy!  I found this really cool creamer that not only flavors your coffee, it also keeps you on your health and fitness goals.  They use all natural ingredients like coconut.  Make a cup of coffee for national coffee day and bake some cookies to go with!

Leaner Creamer Coffee Sugar Cookies

One cup of softened room temperature butter
One and one fourth cups of granulated sugar
Two organic eggs
One third of a cup of Coffee
Three teaspoons of Leaner Creamer
One teaspoon of organic vanilla
One teaspoon of salt
Two cups of organic flour (gluten free flour may be substituted)
Half of a teaspoon of baking powder
Half of a teaspoon of cinnamon


In the stand/handheld mixing bowl, mix together butter and sugar. Wait till it gets to a fluffy texture, then stop mixing.
Mix Leaner Creamer mixture into room temperature coffee.

In another smaller bowl, combine eggs, vanilla, coffee, and Leaner Creamer until evenly incorporated.

In separate bowl, combine dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Slowly add egg mixture to butter mixture until it is evenly combined, be careful not to over beat this mixture.

Chill dough for at least one hour, you may save this dough for later usage. For best results, chill overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees when ready to bake.

Roll out dough on floured counter to about a half inch thick. Then, using a circular cookie cutter, cut out circles, line on baking sheet.
Bake for nine minutes, or until golden brown. Enjoy!

September 29, enjoy a $5.00 discount off any purchase on using promo code CoffeeDay

Selfie Queen

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Found some funny things on my phone from Mini and wanted to share

Monday, September 26, 2016

Classroom Management Tools

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I made this little gem to make light of some bad behavior.  Simply give your student this with a pair of scissors and let them laugh or decompress.  The older kids might just laugh and understand, but the little ones can use the time to cool off.  I made this from a teacher's suggestion, and think it is really fun. Link to the Printable .  

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

5 Easy Prep Healthy Snacks

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Healthy snacking is always a concern with picky eaters. Guiding Stars has given me 5 Healthy Snacks that are easy prep for busy families!

Fruit Leather Rolls
Number of Servings: 20 (46 G)
Prep Time: 5 Minutes Cook Time: 3 Hours

  • Clean and sliced fruit of your choice to make 2 c. puree (for example: 2 apples, 2 pears, and 1 c. raspberries will mash down to about 2 c.)
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon

1. Puree sliced fruit. Add cinnamon and lemon juice to blender. Blend again.
2. Spread mixture evenly in a 10x15 pan. Place in a 175-degree oven (leave door ajar) for 3 hours. If bottom is still wet, turn the fruit over and dry longer.
3. Cut into 20 strips and cover each with plastic wrap. Roll up (with plastic layers). Store in an airtight container.

Chocolate Date Snack Bars
Number of Servings: 20 (33 G)
Prep Time: 15 Minutes

  • 2 cups dates, pureed
  • 2 cups whole almonds
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 5 tablespoons flax seeds
  • Pinch salt

1. Line a 9″ square baking pan with wax paper.
2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
3. Blend thoroughly, stopping occasionally to scraped down the sides.
4. When the mix comes together to form a dough, use wet fingers to press it into your pan.
5. Refrigerate until firm enough to cut.

Fruit Kebabs with Lemon Lime Dip
Number of Servings: 2 (239 G)
Prep: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes

  • 4 oz. sugar-free, low-fat lemon yogurt
  • 1 t. lime juice
  • 1 t. lime zest
  • 6 pineapple chunks
  • 6 strawberries
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 banana, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 6 grapes
  • wooden skewers

1. In wooden small bowl, whisk together yogurt, lime juice, and zest. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
2. Thread 1 of each fruit onto the skewer. Repeat with other skewers until fruit is gone. Serve with lemon lime dip.

Quinoa Granola

Number of Servings: 4 (36 G)
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons whole flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon chia seed
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash cardamom

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine all the ingredients and mix well.
2. Spread on a non-stick baking sheet and bake 10-15 minutes.

Kids Crunch Trail Mix
Number of Servings: 8 (109 G) Servings (109 G)
Prep Time: 5 Minutes

  • 4 c. Kashi Go Lean Crunch
  • 1/2 c. roasted, salted soy nuts
  • 1/2 c. dark chocolate chips
  • 1 c. raisins
  • 1 c. dried cranberries
  • 1/2 c. dry roasted pumpkin seeds

Combine ingredients and store in air-tight container.

Thanks to Guiding Stars... An organization that helps people make healthy choices! Find out more here

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Healthy Snacks for School

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Moms are always looking for great snack options.  Zing sent me some samples to try.  Baby Bear is REALLY picky.  She also gets hangry (hungry + angry) if she doesn't eat.  I try and try, but she just wants the basics.  This kid used to eat fish, seaweed, and was a fruit monster.  Now...nada. 

She is BEGGING me for Zing bars in her lunch for dessert.  I didn't tell her what they were, she just loves them.  There are a few favorite flavors: Chocolate Mint and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip.  The Chocolate Mint taste like thin mints.  Seriously people, they are amaZing! 

Can't find a shop to buy them in?  Go to Amazon here

"The Zing Bar was founded by a group of Seattle dietitians and is deeply rooted in ‘nutrition science’ around blood sugar--- by turning the calories we eat into useable energy to support metabolism and sustenance throughout the day without the spikes and crashes, the low energy, the cravings, and the buildup of body fat.  Each bar contains a ‘smart’ balance of high quality proteins, slow burning carbs, and good fats to support metabolism and brain function, and dietary fiber for digestive system health and long-lasting hunger satisfaction.  
Zing Bars have a creamy nut or seed butter base; pea, rice or whey protein and wholesome ingredients like quinoa, gluten-free oats and nuts. The chocolate flavors contain real dark chocolate from Peru, as opposed to the more commonly used waxy and tasteless compound chocolates.  There is no dairy or soy in the chocolate, making Zing the only soy and dairy-free dark chocolate in the country. The peanuts (and peanut butter) are sourced from Argentina.  They’re also non-GMO, free of soy, additives, artificial colors and flavors.  Zing offers gluten-free and vegan varieties."

Monday, September 19, 2016

Baby Bear is in 1st Grade

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Can you believe how big she has gotten?!!
First Day of 1st grade 2016

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Impromtu Games

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I am trying my best to not play with my phone around my kids.  I see that they develop the habit that they want to play with the phone now when they are idle for a few minutes and I don't like that.  I want them to be able to entertain themselves and find things to do.  In the summer they don't have any devices because we are away at camp and I want those habits of mind to stay. 

Mini and I waited for Baby Bear at the bus stop and created our own tic tac toe game out of rocks and sticks. Mini learns that games have rules and she also practices taking turns in this game. She know how to play, but I am not sure she understands how to win, so I let her win a few times so we could talk about how a 'win' looks. 

You can also see our dog's shadow as we sit and play. Tried something similar? Let us hear in the comments!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Setting Up My Art Room

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I have an amazing classroom to set up! 

It needs a little bit of TLC to whip it into shape. This room was the art room, then used as a classroom, and now needs to be made into an art room. 



  I had to organize a lot of supplies that were left. I had amazing help from a friend to do this as well as Mr. BBH, Mini and Baby. 

I wanted to share some of the secrets that I learned from other teachers to help you set up your own room.  The teacher that I taught for during a guest teaching position had a great organization to help reuse paper.  I have so many carts because unfortunately this school was an "art on a cart" school in years before.  I used the cart as my sorting station, and it can be moved around the classroom for students to use or put large scraps in.  

If you want to use this idea, here are the simple labels that I made an laminated.  What are your art room secrets?!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Back to School Crafting-Duct Tape Pencil Case

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Today I am featuring a really fun back to school craft that you can do with your children this weekend for a fun project to take with on the first day of school.  This Pencil case is from  Richela Fabian Morgan's Book Duct Tape Bags. You can even get some cool colored duct tape at the dollar store to do this craft! 

Duct Tape Pencil Case
Materials: white, blue, yellow,  light blue, gold, orange, green, red, and fuchsia duct tape; 2 round neodyne magnets, key chain ring
Tools: self-healing cutting matt, corked back metal ruler, craft knife, parchment paper, 1/8" hole puncher

1. Place a parchment paper measuring 10" wide x 15" high on top of your worktable. Starting from the bottom, place 9 strips of white duct tape across the parchment paper. Be sure the strips overlap along the long edges by at least 1/8". Flip over and place the duct tape/parchment paper on your worktable in the landscape position. Peel off parchment paper. Starting at the bottom of the half-made fabric, place 6 strips of blue duct tape across it. Be sure the strips overlap along the long edges by at least 1/8". Trim down the fabric to 10" x 15". (See my instructional video

2. Place the fabric on your worktable in the portrait position, white side facing up.

3. Cut two strips of 6" white duct tape. Measure and mark 6" from the bottom left and right corners of the fabric. Starting at the two marks, vertically place each strip along the left and right edges. Be sure the strips are halfway on the fabric.

4. Fold back the vertical tape strips and pull up the bottom portion of the fabric. Push down along the outer edges to form the main pocket.

5. Trim the corners of the flap in a curved line.

6. Cut 12" strips of various colored tape. Trim the width of each trip to 1/4". Use these strips to decorate the front of the pencil case. Trim edges of strips that extend past the edges of the pencil case.

7. Flip bag over so the opening is face up. Place a magnet on the inside of the flap, centered and approximately 1/2" from the top edge. Cover with a piece of white duct tape.

8. Place a magnet inside the pocket, centered and approximately 1/2" from the bottom edge. Push it agains the top fabric of the pocket and cover from the inside with a piece of white duct tape.

9. Using the hole puncher, make a hole on the upper left corner of the pencil case near the top of the pocket.

10. Loop the key ring through the hole.

11. Close the flap and flip the bag over.

Did you try it?  Post a picture on our facebook page!

Richela Fabian Morgan began her duct tape odyssey 8 years ago with a simple bi-fold wallet, before writing the best-selling crafting books Tape It & Make It, Tape It & Make More, and Tape It & Wear It. She is an indie crafter specializing in paper, adhesives, and found materials. Her newest duct tape crafting book, Duct Tape Bags, is available nationwide. For more information, please visit, and connect with her on Facebook,, Pinterest, and Instagram, @richelafm. For more fun duct tape projects, make sure to check out Fabian Morgan's YouTube Channel,

Fabian Morgan is the author of the Duct Tape Series Books: Tape It & Make It, Tape It & Make More, Tape It & Wear It and her newly released book, Duct Tape Bags.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Natural Solutions for Bug Bites

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I am always looking for natural remedies for kids that I can easily bring with me.  We are outside at camp all summer and have lots of bug bites on both Baby Bear and Mini.  They LOVE to apply anti-itch things themselves and found some easy and natural solutions for them.  Not matter what kind of bug repellent we put on, there are always a few critters that still bite. Carrington Farms sent me a list of great things to try:

Coconut Oil: When coconut oil is applied to bites or stings, it forms a thin layer that protects the cut from dust and bacteria, especially effective given its anti-bacterial properties. Coconut oil also has anti-inflammatory properties so it can provide quick relief for those itchy bites. Carrington Farms has some unrefined packs of coconut oil that you can bring with you on-the-go.  

Lavender Oil: Known as a natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent for soothing and preventing bites, lavender oil is also unique for mosquito bites as it's known to stop bleeding. A few drops diluted in a carrier oil can be applied directly to the offending bite.

Basil: Believe it or not, basil doesn't just taste good in your pasta, it also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. If you don't possess a basil essential oil, then do it the good-ole fashioned way and rub basil leaves directly on the bug bite to relieve the itch.
Honey: Like the remedies above, honey has many anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and is a common pick among home remedy enthusiasts. Not to mention, it has hundreds of years of medicinal history that supports its everyday use for various ailments and bites. A small drop on an itchy bite may be just the relief you need.

Chamomile Tea: Not only is chamomile tea soothing, but it's also healing with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cleansing properties for your next bite. Steep a few teabags in boiling water for ten minutes, allow to cool and then apply the sting. Cool tea bags draw fluid out of a bite to reduce itching and swelling.

Have you tried any of these remedies?  Leave a comment! 
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