Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Chocolate Crème Brûlée + Giveaway


This post brought to you by TruMoo. All opinions are 100% mine.
If you know me you know how much I love Crème Brûlée.  Give me that and Pie, and I could live a happy life! Add in a vegetable and I will have a balanced meal!

I was excited to receive a challenge from TruMoo milk to come up with a recipe of my own using their milk! We don't buy chocolate milk a lot, but when we do we love TruMoo because it is pure milk, tastes great, doesn't have HFCS and contains no artificial growth hormones.  Woot, Woot!

I came up with this yummy recipe because I love Crème Brûlée so much, I thought I would try to make it with TruMoo's Chocolate Whole Milk, and make it Chocolate Crème Brûlée! Chocolate, and  Crème Brûlée, what could be better?

It was super easy to make and tastes delicious!  All you have to do is mix all these ingredients together.
Fill your remkins along with filling the glass pan half way full of water and bake for 45 minutes on 325ª
And Whala! It's that easy! 
I did half chocolate, half heavy cream, so it wasn't as chocolatey as I wanted it, but it still tasted amazing.  I was worried that by not adding cream it wouldn't ever thicken, but I read that for regular  Crème Brûlée you can use anything from 2% to heavy cream.  The less thick the longer it might take to cook, but it will work! So next time I make this I am using all TruMoo whole chocolate milk! 
Chocolate Crème Brûlée
{Printable Version Here

1 Cup Heavy Whipping Crem
1 Cup Chocolate Milk {Whole}or 2 Cups Chocolate Milk {Whole}
5 Egg Yolks
1 T Vanilla
1/2 Cup Sugar

Preheat Oven to 325º
(This make 5-6 7oz ramekins full.  I always like to double the recipe to use all the cream and feed my whole family)
Put 2 cups cream in large bowl.  In smaller bowl crack your egg yolks and mix until smooth.  Pour Egg Yolks into cream.  Add sugar and vanilla and Walla! So easy.

Place 6 small (or 3 larger or 1 very big) Ramekins in baking pan. {This is the only tricky part that I think people are scared of, but it is so easy.}
Fill Ramekin a quarter of the way full and put in baking pan!
Fill Casserole dish half way up the Ramekins with hot water.  Bake in oven on 275 degrees for 40 mins.  Keep checking after that every 10 mins until a knife comes out clean. 
Cool on counter for 15 mins, and then in fridge for 6-8 hours or overnight. 
When ready to eat, pull them out of the fridge, cover with sugar (I used brown sugar, but I usually use white) Torch them with a Crème Brûlée Chef's Culinary Torch.  This Cameralizes the sugar and makes it melt and then harden.  If you don't have a torch, guess what?  You can put it in the oven on Broil for a couple of minutes.  It is so easy and so delicious.  I will say I like white sugar on top instead of brown.  The brown when torched didn't look as pretty and tasted different, but both are really good! 
 Check out TruMoo for more information or to See more great ways to enjoy TruMoo or follow TruMoo on Facebook.  Their Chocolate Milk is amazing, but they also have Strawberry and Orange!  What flavor do you want to try?  Maybe next time I will make Orange Creme Brûlée!
Giveaway
 I have a packet of 5 $75 cents off TruMoo Milk.  Leave a comment telling me what you would make with your TrueMoo Milk.  For an additional entry, share this recipe on twitter, facebook or pinterest (or all three) and link to this post.  Leave a separate comment!

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Making Feeding Fun with Oogaa Products


When I saw these cutest feeding products by Oogaa I was so excited to try them out on my cute baby.  OK he's not so much a baby anymore, but a toddler that is getting picky when he eats.  He is wanting to only self feed and makes the biggest mess. I knew these would be perfect to get him to eat, and let me feed him the messy food that I'm not quite ready to let him feed himself!  They have divided plates, bowls and the cutest spoons that have either trains, airplanes, or tugboats on them.


They also sell non-slip place mats, which I love!  They stay right on my babies highchair so instead of wiping down the whole highchair I just take the silicone place mat and wash it off in the sink!


You know how much babies love when you act like the spoon is a train or plane.  This is awesome because the spoon IS actually a train or plane and they don't look at you like they think you are a weirdo :)  

My little guy wanted me to feed him with both of them. He would point to the one he wanted next while eating his cottage cheese and applesauce!

So besides these being super cute they are also very practical
  • Oogaa's soft flexible silicone edges are gentle on those teething gums.
  • They are non-toxic, BPA free, PVC and phthalate free.
  • I didn't know this about silicone, but silicone will not corrode or deteriorate like plastic products.
  • Silicone will not promote the growth of fungus, mold or bacteria, it is also odorless, and tasteless.  
  • They are Dishwasher safe, microwave safe and sterilizer safe, freezer safe and heat resistant up to 500º F.  
  • These plates are also slip resistant and sustainable
Check out their website here to find out where to purchase Oogaa products!

Friday, August 29, 2014

An End of Summer Bash to Remember - Guest post by Whitney Hollingshead


I'm excited to have Whitney Hollingshead guest blogging again for me!  Whitney Hollingshead is an optimist, a dreamer, and a professional writer.  She loves learning and sharing tips, tricks, and fun facts with others.  In her spare time she thrives on coming up with fun and creative solutions for everyday opportunities, especially when the solutions enable her to spend more time with family and friends.     

The end of summer is the perfect time to throw a party. Hopefully your summer has already been full of barbecues, days at the swimming pool, and fun family reunions. You can always throw a backyard party and invite friends over for hamburgers and s’mores, but if you are looking for some fresh ideas, check out this list. After all, you really should take advantage of the nice weather needed to pull off these parties:

 Summer Olympics
2014 was a World Cup and Winter Olympics year, but you can capture the magic of the summer Olympic games in your own backyard. Here are the keys to planning a really successful summer games:

  • Think of any summer games event, and make it applicable to your guests. For example, instead of archery, set up a Nerf bow and arrow contest. Instead of synchronized swimming, have synchronized dance offs in side by side wading pools. Instead of softball, play wiffle ball, etc. Get creative!
  • Consider dividing up your guests into several different teams. Designate each team as a foreign country. If you are inviting families, you can notify them of their country ahead of time and encourage them to wear their team colors to the party.
  • Have plastic medals on hand for the winners and build a makeshift podium for handing out awards after each event. Don’t forget to set up a system for judging!


Tea Party
Most of us have a desire, either obvious or deeply hidden, to get a little fancy at times. For this reason, it can be a lot of fun to throw a fancier party. While tea parties may often be reserved for females only, consider inviting the gentleman and little gentleman to join the affair as well. Here are some tips for throwing a backyard tea party:

  • It’s all about the dress code. Make sure your guests know that this is a dress up occasion. If you don’t think your guests will have hats, frilly dresses, and seersucker suits, modify the code a little. For example, encourage summer dresses for the females and polo shirts and slacks for the males.
  • Set up tables and chairs in the shade. Requiring guests to dress up and then sit in the hot sun for a few hours is anything but a party.
  • You don’t need to actually serve tea. Instead of the traditional tea and crumpets, consider serving fresh lemonade (or flavored lemonade) and an assortment of dessert bars or cookies.
  • Give your guests something to do other than sip around the table. Start some fun card games, set up croquet, or even play some great music and encourage guests to slow dance.


Outdoor Movie Night
Everyone loves watching a great movie and watching a movie on a large screen outside in the comfortable evening hours is even more enjoyable. Here are the keys to planning a successful outdoor movie event:

  • According to Performance Audio, if you don’t have a video projector, you can rent one for about $50 a day. Make sure you have a laptop to connect to the projector and some speakers as well. You can hang up an old sheet for the screen or even use the side of your home or garage. Test everything out in advance!
  • Pick a really great film that’s appropriate for your guests. If you narrow it down and can’t decide, ask guests to vote for their top choice by sending a text message to your number.
  • Plan ahead for comfortable seating options. If you want guests to bring their own seating, make sure you list that on the invites.
  • Serve finger foods in easy to carry individual serving dishes (like paper boat trays and small plastic cups).

Cook Off
Plan an event that allows your guests to showcase their skills and be a little competitive. Cook offs are not just for chili. Check out these fun tips for hosting an end of summer cook off:

  • Choose a theme, but don’t be afraid to mix it up. Have guests bring blenders and ingredients to compete in a smoothie contest. Or get inspiration for ideas to spice up your fall lunches by hosting a sandwich making contest. Even a salad or dessert contest can turn out to be very tasty and quite competitive.
  • Make sure your guests are notified of the rules and what they need to bring well in advance. Have a plan in motion for how the judging will work and try to make it as fair and unbiased as possible.
  • Don’t forget to have prizes on hand for the winners!


Mural Madness
Give your guests a chance to get artistic and a little messy, without making a huge mess. This party theme is great for kids and adults alike! Here are the keys to planning a mural making art party:

  • Get large rolls of paper and spread long mural size pieces all over your lawn or driveway. Have finger paint in an assortment of colors available. Set your guests loose and let them create their own mural size masterpieces.
  • Notify your guests ahead of time to come in clothes that can be stained, etc. Have hoses available to rinse everyone off and set out a stack of old towels for use too.
  • If you want to make things extra crazy, give your guests foods to use as paint instead of using finger paint. For example, put out chocolate pudding, ketchup, mustard, and mix various food coloring shades with vanilla pudding. Although you won’t want to keep these somewhat edible masterpieces, your guests will have a blast. Be prepared for the impending food fight!


Any one of these five ideas can be adapted for your guest list. Pick your favorite party theme, follow the tips above, and get ready to host the best event of the summer.

 Thank you for your great ideas Whitney! If you end up doing the Summer Movie Night.  Whitney wrote a guest post here for us last month that had some great ideas for that.  I think I am going to be doing the End of Summer Olympics idea for National Fit Made Fun Day next week on the 6th!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Back to School - Our 2014-2015 Curriculum

Yesterday was our first official day back to school!  My 6th year of homeschooling! Wow, that has gone by really really fast.  We don't really stress grade levels, but if I get technical I have a 5th, 3rd, and 1st grader.  First year really homeschooling 3.

Man, I love these cute kiddos, and I am excited to teach them all year long.  Really I am.  A few of my friends ask me how I keep them home with me all day and stay sane.  I'm going to tell you my little secret about this. Lots of people think "oh you had summer and now your kids are staying home and you have to entertain them all day, that must be really hard".  Well the truth of it is, my summer is just like your summer.  It's crazy and busy, and the kids get bored, and at times drive me crazy. We only really take a full, no school at all break, July and August.  That is actually when my kids are the hardest, they don't have  as much structure, they get bored, they beg to do this and that. We have our two family trips, and then it is time to get back to a structured day.  By mid August, I can't wait.  So my secret to being okay with having my kids home all day is STRUCTURE!  Yup, it's as easy as that.  If I structure my day, by the time we are done with school they are off and running and don't need me to entertain them anymore.  We stay busy, have fun, read, play lots of games and do a few extracurricular activities. We also get done with school around one, and by that time I think they are sick of me and they go and play for a few hours outside or play legos or games inside!

I thought I would share with you the curriculum that I chose this year.  I used to do Language Arts through K12, but really didn't like it. This year I am dong my own thing and I am so excited!

For Math for all my kids we use RightStart Mathematics and play a lot of fun Math games.
We are going to learn a little Latin through Song School Latin.
I also found some fun songs to help us memorize facts though Singin Smart.
For Spelling we using Writing Road to Reading.

Jack Jack (age 6, Technical grade 1)
Explode the Code
Handwriting Without Tears - Grade 1
Wordly Wise 3000: Book 1
The Complete Writer: Level 1 Workbook for Writing with Ease (The Complete Writer)
First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 1 (Second Edition) (First Language Lessons)

Cowboy - age 8 (Technical Grade 3)
Explode the Code 
Handwriting Without Tears - Grade 3 Cursive
Wordly Wise 3000 Grade 3
The Complete Writer: Level Three Workbook for Writing with Ease (The Complete Writer)
First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 3 Student Workbook (First Language Lessons)

LaLa - age 11 (Technical Grade 5)
Learning Language Arts Through Literature: The Purple Book (5th Grade)
Wordly Wise 3000 Book 5:
Easy Grammar: Grade 5, Teacher Edition
Cursive Handwriting By Handwriting Without Tears (2013)

This year I will have my baby E, who is now 17 months, that will play and nap and eat all day!

I have my 3 year old Little Mister who will play with toys, listen to stories, play games, color, play outside and other preschool like stuff.

For our Core Subjects; Science, History and Geography, Literature, Music and Art we are using  Latterday Leaning, The Family School. We have really loved this program a lot, and are excited to continue onto year 3.
  • Art - we will be studying Renaissance and Baroque art, and the rebirth of individual expression in art. Lessons will include the lives and works of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Bernini and Donatello.
  • Geography- will be an in depth study of the continent of Australia, Antactica and islands of the sea!
  • Science - we will study cytology and biology.
  • History- We will study the Reformation (Bible in English), the Renaissance, and the exploration and settling of America.
  • Literature
    • Stories from the Bible, teaching the value of faith: Peter Walking on Water
    • Poetry by Christina Rosetti and Longfellow
    • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
    • Peter the Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
    • Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan
    • The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
My kids are also taking some Technology Classes -
Drawing, Sculpting, and Animation  & Electricity and Circuitry 

Once a week we will attend a group homeschool Co-op which my kids have loved.  There are about 15 other families and each kid takes two fun classes and then we have PE after.  

I have my boys in Karate this semester and they will participate in Soccer and Basketball in Winter and Spring
My daughter is doing Ballet and a Musical Theater Company class. She also plays the Violin with an after school Orchestra. 

We are using Hoffman Academy for piano (which I will have a blog post about next week)

So that's our year!  It might look a little crazy, or too much, or to some, too little, but I feel good about it, and yesterday went really really well.  We started schooling around 9 and were done by 1!!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sense and Sensibility: A Latter-day Tale by Rebecca H. Jamison - Book Review


This was a very fun read!  I love good, clean, and quick reads.  Especially if they are a little bit romantic!  This book was actually my first e-book that I have read.  I know, call me crazy, but I love paper books.  Mostly because I don't like feeling like I am looking at electronic devices during the day when I am with my kids, but I love to have my kids see me read.  When I am staring at my Kindle, the kid think I am online, or on Facebook or something and I don't want my kids to think I never read.  So I actually read this at night which is a great time to read ebooks for me.  My husband goes to bed way faster than I can shut my mind of, so reading has been what I do to shut my mind off, but he hates that I have to turn a lamp on. With ebooks I don't have to turn a lamp on!  It's been great, and I think my eyes get tired faster looking at a screen.  And I don't have to turn any pages!

Anyway, back to telling you about this book.  Rebecca Jamison and Cedar Fort Publishing & Media are pleased to announce this great new book “Sense and Sensibility: A Latter-day Tale”.  I absolutely love the book.  The characters were fun, the story was parallel to Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen, but in modern times.  The love story was just enough romantic, it kept me wanting to read to find out what would happen. Lots of times these books are pretty predictable, but this one actually wan't as predictable as I thought it would be.  The chapters go back and forth between both sisters, and the things that are going on in their own minds and their lives! The story also brought about some important aspects of life that we all deal with regarding, physical disabilities, depression, struggling to find love, and even grieving, along with finding joy, love and happiness even when life is hard.  I totally recommend this book. It is excellent! 

About the book:Which is the key to love—passion or sensibility? Sensible Elly and romantic Maren are sisters trying to hold their family together in the wake of their father’s bankruptcy and death. As each unexpectedly encounters the madness and misadventures of love, will they ever find the true happiness they dream of? This modern reimagination of the Jane Austen favorite will capture your heart all over again.Sense and Sensibility blog tourAbout the author:Rebecca H. Jamison has lived on a live volcano, excavated the bones of a prehistoric mammal, and won first prize at a rigged chili cook-off. She wrote novels just for fun until she made a New Year’s resolution in 2011 to submit a manuscript to publishers. Her first two published works are Persuasion: A Latter-day Tale and Emma: A Latter-day Tale. Rebecca grew up in Virginia. She attended Brigham Young University, where she earned a BA and MA in English. In between college and graduate school, she served a mission to Portugal and the Cape Verde islands. Her job titles have included special education teacher’s aide, technical writer, English teacher, and stay-at-home mom. Rebecca enjoys running, dancing, reading, and watching detective shows. She lives with her husband and children in Utah. You can learn more about her at www.rebeccahjamison.comSense and Sensibility 2x3 WEBRebecca H. Jamison’s latest Jane Austen retelling is “Sense and Sensibility: A Latter-day Tale,” which was released on Aug. 12. 
This book is the third Austen re-imagining Jamison has written. “Persuasion: A Latter-day Tale” and “Emma: A Latter-day Tale” preceded in 2012 and 2013, respectively. You can purchase it here at Goodreads or Amazon

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Personalized Story Books from Meon Book



When I was a little girl one of my most favorite books I received was a book from my dad that he personalized.  I still have it, and read it to my kids all the time!  It had a sweet message in the back and he had all of my bothers and sister's names in it.  I have always wanted to make one of these personal story books for my own kids.  

I just heard about this company called Meon Book Personalized Books, that make personalized children's books!  The books come with various scenarios, such as books for birthdays, weddings, Christmas, farewells or having a new baby! They present all sorts of stories to correspond to your occasion. They currently have 4 excellent artists who have been illustrating various pictures for Meonbook.  One of the great things about these books is that you don't just replace the name with your child's, friends or relatives names, they are all personalizable. You can rewrite your own unique story. You can replace, switch, or add your favorite page.  You can also write it in another language if you want to!

Meon Books would like to offer my readers 10% off of their first order by using coupon code ALLPERSONALIZED when you check out at https://www.meonbook.net

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