Vanilla Raisin Oatmeal Squares

This shop featuring a recipe for vanilla raisin oatmeal squares has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #IDSimplyPure #CollectiveBias

Vanilla Raisin Oatmeal Squares

I don’t know about you but Daylight Savings Time is really kicking my butt. I’m pretty sure we’ve been late to school drop off every day this week and for some reason I just can’t adjust as easily this time around as I have in years past. I’ve been putting the kids to bed a little earlier each day to adjust their schedules but the baby still isn’t waking up until right before we have to leave for school. Poor kid!

I haven’t been able to drink enough coffee to get me going in the mornings. And that’s even when I use my new favorite creamer in the mix!

In an effort to make things easier I’ve been using a few tips to streamline our mornings. Sticking with a morning routine has saved us the hassle of forgetting things, being too late, or just feeling rushed in the mornings. And no one wants to feel rushed as you start the day. And having a go-to breakfast that you can make ahead is my #1 tip for making mornings easier. I may have to take my coffee to go but at least the kids are getting fed!

Vanilla Raisin Oatmeal Squares with International Delight Simply Pure Vanilla

Tips for Making Mornings Easier

  1. Make breakfast ahead of time.
  2. Have the kids pick out their clothes the night before.
  3. Pack lunches ahead of time OR create a snack area for easy to grab lunch options.
  4. Hang back packs by the door so they’re ready to go.
  5. 10 minutes before you have to leave the house, make sure the kids are dressed (including socks and shoes!) and lunches in back packs so nothing is forgotten.

Vanilla Raisin Oatmeal Squares with coffee

Vanilla Raisin Oatmeal Squares

  • 1½ cups quick cooking oats
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 cup International Delight Simply Pure Vanilla creamer
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x13 baking dish.

Mix all ingredients in a bowl then spread out evenly in the baking dish.

Bake 20-25 until the edges are golden brown.

International Delight Simply Pure at walmart

I love being able to use products with simple ingredients. And using products that can be used in a variety of ways, not just for one thing. International Delight Simply Pure is made with only 5 including real milk, cream and sugar and tastes great not only in coffee but baked goods as well. If you aren’t a fan of vanilla, International Delight Simply Pure also comes in two other simply delicious flavors: Caramel and Hazelnut. I can’t wait to try the Hazelnut!

You can find all flavors at your local Walmart in the milk aisle. 

How do you make mornings easier? 

Tips for Making Mornings Easier

Apple Granola Muffins in Celebration of Snow White on DVD

Apple Granola Muffins for Snow White

Forever enchanting and inspiring, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs embodies The Walt Disney Signature Collection’s legacy of animation. In this epic story of love and friendship, the kind and beautiful princess Snow White wins the hearts of the Seven Dwarfs and triumphs over the evil plans of a wicked Queen.

For generations, audiences around the globe have been enchanted by the timeless tales brought to life by the artists of Walt Disney Animation Studios. Since the debut of the very first feature-length animated film in 1937, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the visionary studio has generated some of the most beloved films of all time through masterful artistry, epic storytelling, and groundbreaking technology.

 

From the extraordinary team behind the success of Snow White emerged a group of animators who would become legends – Disney’s Nine Old Men. These prolific artists, including Frank Thomas, Marc Davis and Ollie Johnston, were the heart and hands behind the magic of Bambi, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, Pinocchio, Peter Pan, The Jungle Book, Alice in Wonderland and so many more.

After more than 90 years, this rich legacy of innovation and creativity lives on with every animator who passes through the hallowed halls of Walt Disney Animation Studios.

In celebration of the one that started it all, seven Disney artists from different generations have come together to share a modern look at the seven iconic characters who shared the journey of the original Disney Princess.

Now to the recipe!

There are no poisoned apples here, just deliciously good apple muffins that are the perfect treat for breakfast or whenever.

Apple Granola Muffins with cinnamon

Apple Granola Muffins

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 apples, grated
  • 1 cup granola

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together dry ingredients in a large mixer. Add wet ingredients to dry and continue mixing until well combined. 

Using a rubber spatula, fold in apples and granola.

Coat a muffin pan with non-stick spray. Scoop 1/4-1/2 cup of batter into each well of the pan.

Bake for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Enjoying Apple Granola Muffins for breakfast

What do you love to bake with apples?

Share the movie called “The Greatest Animated Film Of All Time,” (American Film Institute) on Blu-ray February 2nd and on Digital HD January 19th, with special features for the entire family!

Trying to get your own little dwarfs to do their chores? Start the week off with a fun Chore Chart that will help them Whistle While They Work!

Download Activities

Fueling Up To Play: Microwavable Egg Scramble

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We’re keeping our kids active and continuing to learn how we can Fuel Up To Play with help from our sponsor, California Milk Advisory Board. With this easy microwavable egg scramble we can start our day right with some calcium and protein so that we have the energy to play and learn. 

Fueling Up To Play Microwavable Egg Scramble

Whether it’s a week day or the weekend, my kids cannot wait to get out of the house and play. In an effort to keep them fueled through the morning, I’ve tried to come up with a few easy breakfasts I can make ahead. But when I run out, I always opt for an easy microwavable egg scramble. Not only is it filled with protein to keep them fueled up, it is a great source of dairy with Real California milk and cheese scrambled inside. Another option to add inside? Some leftover veggies from last night’s dinner!

I’m not the only one trying to keep the kids fueled up for a day of play and learning. With the help of the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, more kids will be encouraged to fuel up and get outside to play. Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council (NDC) and National Football League, in collaboration with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). As a result of the program, 38 million students are eating healthier by adding nutritious foods like low-fat and fat-free milk and milk products, fruits, vegetables and whole grains to their meals. How awesome is that? 

I love that this program is helping so many kids. As a parent I know that I’m not the only influence in my kids lives. When they see others eating healthy and getting out to exercise and play, they’re more apt to get out and make the right decisions too. My son is very much a homebody but when his friends are out playing soccer or throwing a football, he has no problem heading out to join them. 

Fueling up to play - finding fun games for the whole family

Since having a third child, our family has come even more active than a year ago. We’ve continued to encourage play as a family for at least 60 seconds a day in addition to the play the kids get at school during the day. Even if that means pulling my son from his game of Minecraft to jump on the trampoline with us or go on a family walk after dinner. Family walks are a great way for us to reconnect at the end of the day after we enjoy a meal together. And it gets the wiggles out before we start our bedtime routine.

We are also starting to cook together as well so that we can not only lead by example but teach by example as well. By showing our children how to prepare delicious, healthy meals for themselves, we can instill great life skills they can use as they grow. My daughter helped make the egg scramble recipe (shared below) with me this morning and last night my son helped clean and cut the cauliflower for our dinner. I love that they’re so interested in helping prepare our meals and learn more about becoming more self sufficient.

Fueling Up To Play Microwavable Egg Scramble - easy to make on a busy morning

Microwavable Egg Scramble

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/8 cup Real California milk
  • 1/4 cup Real California cheese, split
  • 1 pre-cooked sausage patty OR 2 pre-cooked sausage links, crumbled
  • salt and pepper

Grab an 8oz ramekin and spray with nonstick cooking spray or coat in butter. Add eggs, milk and salt and pepper to greased ramekin. Whisk with fork until combined. Crumble sausage patty or sausage links into egg mixture and sprinkle with 1/2 the cheese. Using the fork, combine sausage and cheese in egg mixture. Top with other 1/2 of cheese.

Microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave for an additional 45 seconds to 1 minute or until egg is cooked. Carefully remove ramekin from microwave – it will be hot – and turn upside down onto a plate. Serve hot with a side of fruit, some toast, and a large glass of Real California milk.

Fueling Up To Play Microwavable Egg Scramble - playing football

What’s awesome about this program, in addition to educating kids and encouraging healthy living, you can encourage your school to apply for this program! Qualifying California schools participating in Fuel Up to Play 60 are eligible for up to $4,000 during the school year and funding eligibility for the 2015-2016 school year is held through a competitive program designed to support schools that implement plays from the 2015-2016 edition of the Fuel Up to Play 60 Playbook.

For schools that would like to apply to receive funding, Fall 2015 Fuel Up To Play 60 grant applications are open to California K-12 schools interested in supporting health and wellness initiatives through November 4, 2015. For more information on Fuel Up to Play 60 and to sign up an eligible school, visit here: http://bit.ly/1Mij4OW

How do you encourage healthy eating and play in your home?

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of California Milk Advisory Board.

Tips For Serving The Rainbow: Healthy Breakfast Options For Picky Eaters

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Today we’re talking about delicious and healthy ways to help our kids taste the rainbow. I include a few healthy breakfast options for picky eaters that are easy to change up depending on your child’s tastes and pair perfectly with our sponsor, 100% Florida Orange Juice.

Tips For Serving The Rainbow Healthy Breakfast Options For Picky Eaters

Since my kids started school and we found ourselves rushing around during the mornings just trying to get everything ready to start the day, I’ve found that it gets harder and harder to make sure the kids leave the house with a healthy breakfast. So I’ve been trying out different ideas and asking others what they do to keep healthy foods in front of their kids.

I’ve found that having a balance of make ahead recipes and some quick grab-and-go options have helped us full when we head out the door to start our day. Plus the kids aren’t as hungry when snack time rolls around at school. By planning ahead a little and prepping a few things, I’ve been able to offer the full rainbow to the kids and can battle the “I don’t like that” phrase I hear often from the two of them.

Research reports that many children fall short of meeting their daily fruit intake recommendations. One quick way to start the day off is to drink 8 ounces of 100% Florida Orange Juice (it counts as 1 cup of fruit!). Based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate, citrus fruits and 100% fruit juices (including 100% Florida Orange Juice) are considered a fruit serving. Serve it alongside these delicious breakfast options for a great start to your child’s morning! 

Blueberry Granola Muffins with Chex

In the morning I love being able to have a variety of foods for the kids. But sometimes there’s just not enough time. So I’ve started to prep breakfasts on the weekends and in the evenings before I go to bed. What I try and do is include at least one food the kids love. For example, my daughter loves strawberries and blueberries, so when I make muffins I tend to include those in the mix. My son is more of an egg fan so I choose some veggies to add to egg cups or a quiche and he’s a happy camper.

By giving them one thing they love at breakfast, they usually tend to try other things I offer. It’s the same trick I use at dinner when we enjoy family meals at the dinner table. I always have at least one side, or entree, that they love so they can eat one thing for dinner. If they don’t try anything else, that’s ok. As long as it’s offered.

Quick and Easy Egg Bake Recipe with Bacon perfect for brunch

Planning Ahead: Recipes To Make On The Weekend For Weekday Breakfasts

Egg Cups – 

Egg cups are an awesome way to get some protein and veggies into the kids. Plus when you make them ahead on the weekend, all you have to do is heat them up in the toaster oven or microwave in the morning.

Egg Bake/Quiche –

Quiche is just a larger version of the egg cup. But sometimes it’s easier if you have a larger family to just make a quiche (with crust or without) ahead of time to heat up individual portions throughout the week. Plus you can throw just about any veggies or cheeses inside.

Muffins – 

Muffins are an awesome way to sneak in fruit. These blueberry muffins are one of my kids favorites but I’ve also been known to add strawberries, mangos, apples, and more fruit to muffins. I’ve even thrown in a few veggies.

Quick Bread – 

Just like with eggs, instead of muffins, you can also make a quick bread too and incorporate fruit or veggies into the batter. This zucchini bread is super tasty and tastes great on its own or toasted up with a little butter.

Apple Carrot Beet JuiceOatmeal Recipes Quick and Delicious Apple Crisp - cut and core apples

Planning Ahead: Preparing Breakfast The Night Before

Smoothies – 

My son’s favorite breakfast is a smoothie. We use a base of 100% Florida Orange Juice and then I let him choose the fruits he wants to add in. Finish off with either some ice, or some ice and yogurt, and you have a delicious drink that you can take on the go. Plus? Sometimes you can sneak in some spinach.

Parfaits – 

Parfaits are another favorite in our home. We grab some berries or bananans, layer them with yogurt and granola, and can put them in various reusable containers to eat quickly as we make our way to schoool. 

Overnight Oats – 

Now I love cereal for breakfast but this year I’ve been a little obsessed with overnight oats. They’re so quick to make the night before AND are already in a jar ready to go for hte monring. Plus they’re very versatile. 

Weight Watchers Simple Start anytime snack

In addition to these great make-ahead ideas for breakfast and learning more about healthy breakfast options, I was also able to sit down with Dr. Jen Arnold and ask her a few questions about life, kids, and how to stay healthy and active while balancing life and kids.

You can probably tell I was completely nervous in the beginning because… hello! I’m talking to Dr. Arnold of The Little Couple! I may or may not have had a small fan-girl moment and freaked out a little. She was fabulous to talk and I appreciated that i could get a pediatrician’s opinion as well as her own personal experirence as a mom. You can watch our interview below: 

Amazing-5-Glass-Hero Blend-TEXT

For more information on how you can start your day off right with 100% Florida Orange Juice, visit here!

Do you find it difficult to get in a good breakfast?

The Importance of Routines + A Blueberry Granola Muffin Recipe

This post is brought to you by CafeMom and Chex TM

Blueberry Granola Muffins

As I’ve mentioned before, my kids need to know what’s going on each day. Whether it’s going over the days of the week and where they’ll be, or letting them know that they have some free time, they do better knowing what their routine is. Now that summer is here, they’ve been a bit out of whack, moody, and overall different. And I know it’s because of their lack of routine.

When school is in session we know what’s going on. Monday through Friday we wake up at a certain time, eat breakfast, brush our teeth, get dressed, and head out the door to start our day. We get home at a certain time and my kids know when daddy will be home so we can all enjoy dinner together. However with our summer schedule a bit everywhere, we’ve gotten bad about sticking with routine.

Blueberry Granola Muffins with Chex Clusters

The Importance of Routines

In an effort to keep the kids on track and make them a little healthier, I’ve created a new summer routine and have printed out a calendar for each month of summer. That way they can look at the calendar whenever they’d like and can see what they’re doing. When they see their child care provider’s name on one day, they know they’re going to her house. When they see a wave, they know they’re going to the beach or a swim suit for the pool. I’ve kept it simple but it works for them. And we always make sure to start our day with a healthy breakfast as part of our routine.

This weekend as I was shopping for our weekly groceries, I picked up some of the kids’ favorite cereal from the store. A variety of Chex TM flavors filled my cart. VanillaTM Chex cereal for my daughter, Honey NutTM Chex cereal for my son, and ChexTM Clusters cereal for me. That way if I don’t have much time in the morning, we can grab our favorites, pour on some milk (or sprinkle over some yogurt), serve with a side of berries or fruit and enjoy a delicious breakfast so we’re ready to start our day. Plus our favorite Chex TM flavors are Gluten Free, have no artificial flavors, and include no colors from artificial sources while still tasting great with a variety of flavors.

Sometimes we don’t have time for a bowl of cereal or a yogurt parfait, so I made some delicious blueberry granola muffins on the weekend for us to grab and go during the week. Not only are they super tasty and full of what we love, but they include our favorite breakfast flavors! And we stick with our routine. Please note that these muffins are not Gluten Free.

Blueberry Granola Muffins batter

 

Blueberry Granola Muffin Recipe

For the muffins

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour + 1 tablespoon for blueberries
  • 1 cup Chex TM Clusters Cereal, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar*
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup yogurt, plain or vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

For the topping

  • 1 cup Chex TM Clusters Cereal

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners or coat with butter; set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together flour,Chex TM Clusters Cereal, brown sugar, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, yogurt, coconut oil, eggs and vanilla. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and combine using a rubber spatula just until moist. Don’t over mix.

In a small bowl, add 1 tablespoon flour and coat blueberries in flour (just like I do with my blueberry coffee cake). Add blueberries and gently fold in.

Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin tray using a muffin scoop or measuring cup. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with granola. Place into oven and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

* you can also use white granulated sugar or vegetable oil if you don’t have coconut sugar and coconut oil on hand.

Blueberry Granola Muffins with Chex

Since starting our summer routine and using a calendar to let the kids know what’s going on, we’ve started to see much happier kids. I never understood the importance of a good routine until I had kids. Now I know just how much we need routines in our life. Routines are just as important as breakfast in my book.

What’s your favorite on-the-go breakfast to keep your kids on their routine?

Chex Blueberry Granola Muffins

Quick and Easy Egg Bake Recipe with Bacon

This post featuring a quick and easy egg bake recipe with bacon is sponsored by Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese.

Quick and Easy Egg Bake Recipe with Bacon

Over the years I’ve found myself hosting a lot of get togethers around breakfast time. And that means I’ve had time to perfect my favorite brunch dishes (like my ever so popular overnight french toast bake).

One thing I love to make for brunch are egg dishes. From quiche to egg cups to this egg bake, egg dishes are so easy to throw together and are almost always the one dish that’s completely devoured by the end of our events.

And I have a secret ingredient I add to each of these dishes – Daisy cottage cheese[Read more…]

Mocha Peanut Butter Banana Shake

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Mocha Peanut Butter Banana Shake with Baby Booster

I haven’t written much about my pregnancy… I guess it’s just flying by so quickly I haven’t gotten a chance. But I do have to say that this pregnancy is, by far, harder than the others.

The first few months were filled with nausea and than once that dissipated I was left with horrible heartburn after I ate anything. No, not just acidic foods or specific things. I got heartburn after every.single.piece of food I put in my mouth.

And now that the heartburn has finally subsided I’m left with the smallest stomach ever. Like seriously… baby girl grew enough that now she’s not giving me any room for food. So that leads me to alternatives to stay full and still eat nutritious meals that are tasty.

Mocha Peanut Butter Banana Shake with Baby Booster - ingredients

That’s when this delicious shake comes into play. I headed online to find a healthy alternative to my favorite meal replacement shake used pre-pregnancy and stumbled upon Baby Booster.

After a little reading and a few clicks, I had a package of their Kona Mocha flavor ordered and sent to me to try out. When it arrived they not only included the product I ordered but a few samples of their other flavors and a cool shaker bottle to use. Talk about a quick and easy way to get a nutritious meal!

Mocha Peanut Butter Banana Shake with Baby Booster - blend in magic bullet

I’m not one for just drinking something straight from the package instructions so I decided to add a few of my favorite flavors and create a whole meal that i could easily make in the mornings as I pack my son’s lunch.

No more waiting till 9am when I head back home from morning drop off to have a proper breakfast!

By adding 1/2 of a frozen banana, 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter, and some 1% milk to the Kona Mocha Baby Booster mix I had a delicious meal filled with 20g of Protein, ONLY 2g of Sugar, and all of my daily vitamins.

Mocha Peanut Butter Banana Shake with Baby Booster - blended

5.0 from 2 reviews

Mocha Peanut Butter Banana Shake
 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup 1% milk (or unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1-2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • ½ frozen banana, sliced
  • 1 scoop Kona Mocha Baby Booster

Instructions
  1. Pour 1 cup of milk into your blender or Magic Bullet. Add peanut butter and sliced banana. Top with a scoop of Kona Mocha Baby Booster and blend.
  2. Pour into a cup, add a straw, and enjoy!

Mocha Peanut Butter Banana Shake with Kona Mocha Baby Booster

Now I not only can enjoy a delicious meal as we head out for drop off in the mornings, I’m also comfortably full for the morning until lunch.

Oh, and did I mention that Baby Booster is safe for pregnant moms (obviously), and nursing mothers as well as diabetics and those who are gluten free?

I can’t wait to be able to actually eat more once baby moves but for now I’ll stick with this quick and easy meal in the mornings!

What’s your go-to shake recipe for when you’re on-the-go?

On-The-Go Breakfast Ideas for Busy Mornings

I participated in a Blogger Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Stonyfield. I received coupons to facilitate my shopping trip and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

On-The-Go Breakfast Ideas for Busy Mornings stonyfield organic yotoddler yogurt pouches

Mornings can be pretty hectic in our home but with a good routine in place I’ve come to learn how to make things smoother. By planning ahead and utilizing some great on the go breakfast ideas for busy mornings, the hassle of figuring out what to prepare in the mornings has lessened.

Recently I was asked to check out Stonyfield’s new products – YoBaby, YoToddler, and YoKid yogurt pouches. These are the first refrigerated organic yogurt pouch available in stores and come in a variety of flavors.

[Read more…]

Sausage Pancake Bites Featured on Someday I’ll Learn

Sausage Pancake Bites - kid-friendly breakfast ideas

We love quick and kid-friendly breakfast ideas in this house. So these sausage pancake bites featured on Someday I’ll Learn are the perfect solution as a bake-ahead breakfast option that we can just pop in the toaster oven, heat up, and go.

If you’re looking for more easy-to-make or make-ahead breakfast ideas, here are a few great options:

Pinterest Inspiration

 

Heart Healthy Breakfast Ideas with Naked Juice

Disclaimer - Review Posts
heart healthy breakfast ideas

Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the US. And heart disease runs in my family. Knowing this means that I need to stay proactive and make sure I’m doing everything I can to ensure that I keep my heart healthy. And that means waking up to heart healthy breakfast ideas whenever I can.

In addition to my addiction to delicious oatmeal combinations (like the banana nut oatmeal recipe below), I’ve also found the ease and convenience of adding Naked Juice to my morning routine a heart healthy way to keep me full in the morning and pack in the daily fruits and veggies I need! [Read more…]



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