Robot Valentine Snack Idea

Looking for a great Valentine’s Day treat? How cute is this robot valentine snack idea! And so easy to make!

Robot Valentine Snack Idea - a simple and easy snack for any valentines party

Today I’m sharing how to make a cute robot valentine snack that’s perfect for a classroom Valentine’s Day party! Not only is it candy-free but it’s also something fun for the kids.

With a few simple supplies you can pick up from the store, and 30 minutes to assemble, these snacks are sure to be a hit. We’ll be pairing them with chocolate covered strawberries and fruit for my son’s class party on Valentine’s Day.

I was able to pick up just about everything at Target and assembled them all within 1/2 an hour. I printed out a simple valentine message and punched out a heart around the message. If you’re passing these out as valentines you can simply add your child’s name to the bottom of the message. The kids are sure to love these treats on Valentine’s Day.

Robot Valentine Snack

What you need:

  • juice boxes
  • mini raisins (I opted for the yogurt covered raisins and regular)
  • fruit rope
  • applesauce
  • glue dots or adhesive roller
  • plastic spoons
  • washi tape
  • sharpie
  • valentines (optional)

What you’ll do:

1. Using the glue dots, secure two raisin boxes to the bottom of the juice box. The raisins will be the feet and the juice box is the body.

2. Place the applesauce cup upside down onto the top of the juice box and secure with glue dots and/or washi tape (whatever allows it to stay on top). This will be the robot’s head.

3. Add a fruit rope to either side to create the arms

3. Add a fruit rope to either side with glue dots to create the arms.

4. Tape a plastic spoon to the back of the robot body with washi tape.

5. Draw a face on the applesauce to add a little character to your robot valentine snack. Or glue on googly eyes and draw on a mouth.

Enjoy!

What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day treat?

This post was originally featured on Keep Kids Busy on February 2, 2015. 

Want to make your own valentines? Design them in PicMonkey by using this tutorial

Pinterest Inspiration

Homemade Microwavable Popcorn in a Bag

Today we’re sharing an awesome and simple homemade microwavable popcorn in a bag with our partners, Nexium 24HR.

Homemade Microwavable Ranch Popcorn in a Bag

 Summertime is near. And that means a lot of outdoor time. This summer I plan on bringing a lot of things outdoors – including our weekly movie night -so that we can fully take advantage of the amazing weather and comfortable SoCal evenings. How do I do it? Well we turn the trampoline into a theater and throw a sheet over the net. But more about that later… 

What does every movie night need? Popcorn! 

We don’t always have microwavable popcorn on hand ready to go but we do always have a good supply of popcorn kernels. My husband prefers to make his on the stovetop. But me? I like to use this shortcut and make homemade microwavable popcorn in a bag. Plus I have an awesome tip to kick it up a notch! You only need 4 ingredients (plus a paper bag)! 

Homemade Microwavable Popcorn in a Bag for movie night

Pro Tip: Add seasoning, like ranch or dried herbs, to add a little kick to your popcorn.

Homemade Microwavable Ranch Popcorn in a Bag ingredients

Homemade Microwavable Popcorn In A Bag

  • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon ranch dip mix (depending on preference)

Add all ingredients together in a bowl and stir to combine and coat the kernels with oil and seasoning.

Put coated kernels in a paper bag and seal well at the top by folding over twice, then folding the top into a triangle (see photo below).

Microwave on high for about 2 minutes or until there’s about 2-3 seconds between kernels popping.

Remove carefully from microwave (bag will be hot!), shake up a bit, then pour popcorn into a bowl to share.

Homemade Microwavable Ranch Popcorn in a Bag pour seasoned kernels in bag

My husband used to joke early into our relationship that anything gave me heartburn… even popcorn. Something as simple and plain as the delicious, light and fluffy goodness of popcorn. And you know what? He was right.

I remember the first time I had heartburn. Because it was the first time I had fried calamari, too. I thought I was dying. I had no idea what it was and didn’t know how to stop it. Luckily after a few tests at the doctor, they figured out pretty quickly what it was. But that didn’t mean that the treatment they put me on stopped the heartburn. Hence the joking from my husband. 

Nexium 24HR

Now with Nexium 24HR, after 7 days of continuous use, I can finally enjoy my popcorn without a side of heartburn. It gives me relief from the stomach acid that causes heartburn. That means being able to sit through an outdoor movie with the kids while eating popcorn and goodies won’t be as painful. And I’ll get to enjoy my time with the family. 

Homemade Microwavable Ranch Popcorn in a Bag ready to enjoy

What’s your favorite movie treat?

Disclaimer: I received product in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own. 

Fight Hanger In Kids: After School Snack Hacks

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We’re chatting about my favorite after school snack hacks so I don’t have to deal with hangry kids thanks to our sponsor, Tree Top.

Fight Hanger After School Snack Hacks

Life is crazy right now. Work, volunteering, kids, life. It’s all just overwhelming sometimes. But this year I’m focusing on being more organized. I update my Google calendar with everything going on, even if it’s just a quick 5 minute meeting before or after school. And I try to plan ahead and stick with a routine.

We’ve gotten mornings down to a science. Wake up, brew coffee, make lunches and breakfast while stealing sips, get kids dressed and fed, and nurse the baby while checking email before heading out the door to drop off. I even call out a 5 minute warning so the kids know they need to get their shoes on.

Fight Hanger After School Snack Hacks homework time

But we’re still struggling with afternoons. Between meetings and soccer practice and everything else in between, I try to keep everything written out so that as we’re driving to school I can give the kids a heads up on what to expect after they get out of school. Most days they come straight home but others are spent at after school care or they’re picked up by a relative.

With all of the craziness that our afternoons bring us, I have to remember to pack snacks for the kids and hide them everywhere. Because if I don’t? This is what I have to deal with:

Fight Hanger After School Snack Hacks to fight hanger

Yup. She’s hangry.

Luckily I’ve experienced enough meltdowns that I can sense when they are going to come on and I can whip out a snack so quickly that all of a sudden that frown turns upside down. Want in on how I do it? Check out my after school snack hacks!

Fight Hanger After School Snack Hacks - Tree Top Apple Sauce Pouches

After School Snack Hacks

1. Bowl Of Fruit –

Now I know this sounds like a duh kind of idea but I’ve found that putting a bowl of fruit out on the table or counter puts the responsibility of eating in my kids hands. They know when they feel hungry that all they have to do is go grab something from the fruit bowl. Plus fruit is portable so I can grab a few pieces before heading over to pick up the kids so they can snack on the drive home.

I keep a variety of fruits on hand to satisfy both of the kids tastes. And if they don’t eat it fast enough,  I turn the fruit into muffins! Another awesome snack choice that doubles as a breakfast food.

2. Snack Drawer or Shelf

In the pantry I have a snack shelf filled with great snacks that the kids can grab on their own as soon as they come home from school. This shelf is also used for my go-to lunch items too so I can quickly go in and grab what I need after I finish making sandwiches and grabbing fruit.

One thing I always have on my snack shelf is Tree Top Apple Sauce Pouches. They’re mess-free, taste great and are made with pure USA-grown fruit and local ingredients. No spoon? No problem! Pouches are squeezable and fun, making them perfect for on-the-go snacking.

We also have a snack drawer in our fridge. We purchased the fridge we have because it had a secondary refridgerated door that would be easily accesible for our kids. I keep yogurts, cheese, and other snacks that I don’t mind the kids eating in there along with some bottled water and juices.

3. Roll Ups

When I know the kids are going to sports practice or I have a meeting after school, I make super quick roll ups out of whatever ingredients I have on hand. Depending on the size, I’ll sometimes cut them into wheels or leave them whole.

Here’s a few great ideas for flavors to get you started:

  • PB&J Roll Up – tortilla, peanut butter, jelly | Add some bananas or apples
  • Ham & Swiss Roll Up – pita, sliced ham, sliced swiss cheese | Add some spinach leaves and a spread of ranch dressing or hummus
  • Tuna Roll Up – bread, tuna, mayo | Add some diced celery and dill pickles

4. Cheese Platter

Now don’t laugh but sometimes I just cut up some cheese and open up a package of crackers and call it a day. We even turn to that as a dinner option on crazy busy nights with the addition of some salame or pepperonis. Cheese platters are very versatile. From delicious brie and gouda with fancy crackers to string cheese and gold fish, the possibilities are endless. And when you’re having a bad day, both pair nicely with a glass of wine. For the parents… not the kids.

After School Snack Hacks - Tree Top Apple Sauce Pouches

All of these options can easily be put into a bag and taken with us wherever we go. I have an easy way to keep snacks on hand and the kids don’t get hangry. Win win!

Tree Top knows that avoiding those hangry moments require a quick and reliable solution. We want to see how you help your kids overcome those stressful times! Share a photo of your child’s “hangry2happy” moment on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Make sure to use the #Hangry2Happy hashtag and tag @TreeTopInc in your post, so we can check it out.

You’ll be entered to win one of eight survival kit backpacks full of Tree Top apple sauce Pouches, so you’ll be ready when your kids reach their limit and desperately need a snack. We’ve all been there, and Tree Top wants to help you take your kids from hangry to happy! Official sweepstakes rules can be found here:on.fb.me/1kTw5b5

Fight Hanger After School Snack Hacks on the go

What are your go-to snack hacks to avoid hangry children?

I will be giving away one kids backpack and filled with Tree Top applesauce pouches. Approximate Retail Value of $50.

View Rafflecopter to see the ways in which to enter and show Tree Top your child’s Hangry2Happy Moments!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tree Top.

Easy Snack Ideas plus Green Juice Recipes

This shop featuring green juice recipes has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FreshOnTheGo #CollectiveBias

Easy Snack Ideas plus Green Juice Recipes

Do you ever have a day where you are just starving? Didn’t have time to grab a snack because the baby has been sleeping on you all day and opening or making anything would wake her up? Or you’re running around doing errands with the kids in tow and didn’t have time to individually bag their favorite snacks before you left and need something quick because they’re whining and complaining about the fact that you’re starving them?

Many a day I find myself getting to the afternoon and realizing I hadn’t even had breakfast. And I wondered why I was so irritable and moody by the time I picked up the kids. So I’m changing things up. Prepping meals, having snacks on hand, and making sure I take the time to enjoy snacks and meals even when I’m busy. Working from home means that I have to fit things in. Schedule them. So I’ve started to schedule snack and meal times too.

Easy Snack Ideas plus Green Juice Recipes and Ready SnaxEasy Snack Ideas with Ready Pac ready Snax

Easy Snack Ideas

I love snacks. Especially ones I don’t have to prep. With limited time, as I mentioned, I need easy. When I was at Costco I saw these awesome Ready Snax filled with some of mine and my kids favorite snacks already packaged together. Carrots, grapes, cheese, and pretzels. All awesome snacks I normally spend time preparing in baggies individually only to have 1/2 wasted or forgotten somewhere. And, lets face it, I’m eating their snacks too so I want something I enjoy.

Now I can grab a few Ready Snax and everyone’s happy. At least until lunchtime. 

The kids both love the green juice I prep ahead since I mask the kale and spinach taste with apples and cucumber. Even I wouldn’t like just kale or spinach juice. The fresh juice is much better than the sodas and processed juices I could buy for them elsewhere. I simply juice everything in the juicer on Sunday and put in a large pitcher in the fridge to use throughout the week. It lasts 2-3 days and is a great way to get veggies into me and my kids in addition to our snacks. Plus, they know what they are drinking. I don’t really hide anything. 

Easy Snack Ideas - pretzels, cheese, carrots, and grapesEasy Snack Ideas - Easy Green Juice Recipes

Green Juice Recipes

Basic Green Juice

  • 2 handfuls spinach, rinsed and dried
  • 2 handfuls kale, rinsed and dried
  • 3 celery ribs
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 green apples
  • 1 lemon, peeled

Add all ingredients to your juicer alternating the greens with the fruit and cucumber.  Enjoy as is or chill in the fridge! If storing, make sure to shake well before drinking.

Alternatives

In addition to green apples and/or cucumbers you can add pineapple, mint, pears, ginger root, other types of apples, etc. The awesome thing about green juices is the variety in what you can create! There are many benefits to juicing.

Easy Snack Ideas plus Green Juice Recipes with spinach and kale

Ready Pac Ready Snax at Costco

As I mentioned before, you can find Ready Pac Ready Snax at Costco. I found mine in the refridgerated section on an end cap with the pre-packaged salads.

Great After Workout Snacks - Carrot Tangerine Juice Recipe

Looking to go beyond the green juices? Try this delicious carrot tangerine juice or green monster juice as well!

What do you grab from the fridge at snacktime?

Tips for Hosting A Playdate

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Quaker Oats. All opinions are 100% mine.

Tips for Hosting A Playdate

Over the past 5 years I’ve been the organizer of a large local playgroup. With over 250 members, we meet weekly at various locations and events around town.

As the organizer I’ve found it easier for new members to meet at someone’s home instead of meeting at a public space for their first event so I host a playdate at my house once a month. Needless to say we’ve gotten really good at hosting playdates.

I’ve put together a few tips on hosting playdates so that the next time you decide to invite a new friend over you’ll be prepared to sit back, relax, and enjoy some adult time while the kids play and entertain each other. Tips for Hosting A Playdate - imaginative play

Tips for Hosting A Playdate

1. Keep it simple

Playdates do not need to be complicated. Simplicity is key. As is prepping ahead of time so you don’t have to run around the whole time. Don’t overdo the toys and games. Keep a handful of things out but close the bedrooms and keep certain areas off limit.

Or keep everyone outside in the backyard so the adults can keep an eye on everyone easier. My friends and I like to grab some chairs, sit back with our smoothies, and chat while the kids run around and burn off some energy.

Tips for Hosting A Playdate - snack time

2. Have snacks on hand

If you want to make something for the kids to enjoy, do it ahead of time so you can serve when everyone gets there. I like to have one homemade goody on hand, like smoothies, oatmeal squares, or this delicious apple crisp.

Then we add some Quaker® Chewy® Granola Bars and some fruit and veggies that we have stored on hand for snacktime in between playtime. Quaker Chewy Granola Bars contain 8 grams of whole grains in every bar and come in delectably fun flavors like Chocolate Chip, S’mores and Oatmeal Raisin.

Tips for Hosting A Playdate - bubbles and other activites

3. Bust out the bubbles

One thing that seems to bring all of the kids together for a fun time are bubbles. Something about the joy of spinning, jumping, and twirling around to catch them just brings out the best in kids. So stock up on the sales and keep some on hand for playdates.

I prefer to have a bubble machine going instead of blowing them myself because they machines blow bubbles a lot faster AND we don’t have little ones trying to blow bubbles themself and getting bubble liquid all over the place.

Tips for Hosting A Playdate - fun for all ages

4. Fun for all ages

Have a few toys or activities on hand for all ages. I like to keep a small box of soft toys on hand in case any of the moms bring their babies along with the older kids. It makes everyone feel welcome and encourages the moms to relax a bit knowing there are toys for the little ones to play with.

And on the other side of the spectrum, grab a few Nerf balls and let the older kids play and have fun without worrying about hurting the younger ones. Or bust out the sidewalk chalk and let the kids use their imagination and creativity to make a beautiful picture or create another play area. A few simple things will go a long way!

Tips for Hosting A Playdates - sibling love

What are your tips for hosting a playdate?

Visit Sponsors Site

Making Snacktime Fun with Butterfly Crackers

This shop featuring Butterfly Crackers and after school snack ideas has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PutItOnARitz #CollectiveBias

Making Snacktime Fun with Butterfly Crackers

When I pick up my kids from school the one thing on their minds as we head home is, “What’s for snack?” All of the learning and activities they did between lunch and the end of their school day has left them starving and it’s up to me to help satiate their hunger.

Finding snacks they both like can be difficult but when I put a little effort into it I can usually please both of them. All it takes is 5 minutes and a little scrounging in the fridge and pantry to create a fun and simple snack for them to enjoy while they work on homework or play a game. [Read more…]

Easy Snack Ideas On-The-Go with Jif To Go

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Jif To Go Dippers. I received a sample to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating.

With two kids in school and involved in various activities around town, I feel as if we’re always going somewhere. Whether it’s on fun adventures with friends, a family outing, or heading out to swim lessons, the kids always seem to be hungry with the amount of things they’re doing these days.

It’s good to have quick and easy snacks to grab on-the-go while we’re heading out to one activity or another.

Easy Snack Ideas On-The-Go with Jif To Go [Read more…]

Great High Protein Snacks for After Workouts + A Carrot Tangerine Juice Recipe

This shop featuring great high protein snacks with #BarNutrition and a carrot tangerine juice recipe has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser.

Great High Protein Snacks for After Workouts + A Carrot Tangerine Juice Recipe

As someone who tries to stay active, I was thrilled when I learned that the house we were buying was right around the corner from the dreaded stairs. Before moving, these stairs were what I would run to with my teammates during our team challenge at the YMCA. We’d run a mile and a half to get to them, then do the stairs 8-10 times, then run a mile and a half back to the gym. Talk about a workout!

Now I’m about 1/4 of a mile away from the stairs and can walk or jog over whenever I need to get some cardio in. No need to drive to the gym!

When I’m done with the stairs and my knees are shaking and my legs are weak, I need something to pick me up and keep me going for the walk home. Luckily I have great high protein snacks in my back pocket to pull out and keep my body fueled.  [Read more…]

Mandarin Orange Cream Pops

This mandarin orange cream pops recipe is brought to you by Halos.

Mandarin Orange Cream Pops

One of my kids favorite snacks are Halo mandarin oranges. There’s something about the small size, how easy they are to peel, and the amazingly sweet taste that those little oranges pack that make my kids go nuts over them. But sometimes I’m a little zealous in purchasing and we can find ourselves with too many. That’s when these delicious mandarin orange cream pops come into play.

As a sweet treat to reward the kids for good behavior after their naps last week, I made these naturally sweet, protein packed mandarin orange cream pops from a few Halos that the kids hadn’t gotten to yet.

I love how easy this treat is to make and how quickly it comes together. And since getting our new Zoku pop maker, making these pops are so much quicker than the alternative (which we also did with the leftover pop mix). [Read more…]

Vanilla Chex Cranberry Pecan Bars

Vanilla Chex Cranberry Pecan Bars

I love cereal. Like LURVE cereal. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Too bad the husband doesn’t do breakfast for dinner. But that’s another story…

So when I received a few boxes of Vanilla Chex to try out in the mail I didn’t hesitate to jump in and indulge in a bowl (or two). And when my daughter saw what I was doing she demanded that I share. I almost didn’t.

I told her I was going to make something for our playgroup’s halloween party with them and her eyes got big. She was so excited to see what I was going to make. And I’m pretty sure I made her day when I showed her these Vanilla Chex Cranberry Pecan bars I threw together.

They were pretty darn good!

[Read more…]



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