Dairy and Egg Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hi Friends! It has been a while.  SORRY! But I’m back! I just made these cookies, and had to get it to y’all ASAP.  I have been making this recipe for years, and never thought about how it was dairy free.  It is delicious. Tonight, I tried making it using flax eggs and it was delicious! The batter was great, and you could enjoy it without worrying.   Continue Reading →

Healthy Snack Prep

Anyone feeling super crazed between writing kid valentine cards, picking up something for the hubs and getting everything in and done in a day?  Hopefully it isn’t just me.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m hungry and busy, I want to just be able to grab something now! I don’t want to mess around with making a snack. Let’s try planning a little bit, doing a smidge of food prep, and stocking our fridges with snacks that are ready to go. Continue Reading →

Kodiak Recipe Book

PowerFull Fitness Moms share their love for Kodiak protein mix. And let me tell you – these ladies are creative. Click here to get your copy of all the ways (links and recipes included) you can add this to your family life from snacks, desserts, breakfast, and even savory treats!

And let’s just look at how kid friendly this is (and how cute our resident PF chef is!)  Her pancakes look amazing!!!

Lunch Box Packing for the Week – PLAN AHEAD!

Check it out!  PowerFull Instructor and #specialkindofcrazy mom Leah shares with you her time (and sanity) saving strategy for packing lunches for the WHOLE week.

Packing lunches in advance is a great time saver and helps you make health conscious decisions rather than grabbing something as you rush out the door. Below are a few pointers for packing a week’s worth of kid lunches – plus examples of what I packed my kids this week. The pointers are good for packing a family-worth of meals, or one for yourself. Packing a week’s worth at one time saves time, effort, clean up, and perhaps your sanity! Enjoy!

  1.  Have lots of containers on hand. If you are ok with plastic, these are my top choice.   Plastic is ok here because we’re not putting hot things in it or warming up food in it. If you’d like to stay away from plastic I also like this box (it’s just too costly to have as many as I have)
  2. Plan. Plan. Plan. Don’t be scared! It’s easy – and repetition helps! But think it through…if your kid has a field trip on Wednesday and won’t be eating lunch at their regular time. Or you are packing lunches for you and you’ve got a meeting early afternoon Tuesday – maybe you want a heartier lunch that day. Don’t be afraid to repeat meals. Especially week after week. Wednesdays are pasta for lunch day (I plan lunches at the same time I plan dinners…so no pasta for dinner on Wednesday).
  3. Think about what will last. Strawberries need to be earlier in the week. Grapes and oranges are ok later.
  4. Pack while things cook. I spread out all of my containers and then get prepping anything
    that needs to be cooked. For the examples below I first put the pasta water on to come to a
    boil and got the muffins in the oven. While those two things were cooking I got the rest done.

Continue Reading →

Kids’ Snack – Entertain Them and Feed Them!

Sometimes fall and winter mean long afternoons indoors.  Why not use that time to let the kids have a little fun and “prep” their own snacks.

How about an edible necklace?

Set out bowls of cheerios, fruit loop cereal, and pretzels (and any other “circle” thing you can think of!)  Then let kids create patterns of snacks on a string.  Tie them around their necks and they have a fun edible snack on the go.

Now you are rocking it mom. You helped them practice OT coordination skills, you worked on patterns and you created a fun healthy snack.

So take that as a win and pour yourself some afternoon coffee!

(disclaimer:  Yes I realize froot-loops aren’t the healthiest but you gotta have a little fun and color right?!?!  #balance!)

Kitchen Tips and Tricks for the Busy Lady

I’m excited to share this article from friend and fellow #specialkindofcrazy lady Rebecca. She  has some awesome tips on how to save time and energy in the kitchen – something we could all stand to learn right?  Check out her awesome tips and see what you can slowly start to implement in your own daily routine. Remember:  one thing at a time – slow and steady wins the race!

Be Aware – Saving Time and Energy in the Kitchen

If your goal is less time cooking and more time at the table with your loved ones, then this article may be just what you need to reach that goal.  Some of you are great meal planners, but to take that meal plan to the next level to save time, BE AWARE of these tips and tricks:

-Chop up onions, green peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and any other go-to veggies and store separately in glass (see-through) bowls.  Keep these in the refrigerator and use throughout the week for omelets, taco night, salads, spaghetti meat, etc.

-Clean and prep strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc and store separately in glass see-through bowls.  Keep in the refrigerator and use throughout the week for yogurt toppings, smoothies, or a quick snack.

-Lunch prep can be done at the beginning of each week.  Set aside a shelf in the refrigerator and load it up with already packaged snack sized bags of your favorite lunch items.  I do this each week with carrots, cherry tomatoes, yogurt, cheese sticks, etc.  Each morning, I just grab from my pre-packaged snacks and add a sandwich

-Not everyone likes bread crust, but it’s so annoying to trim the crust off of each slice of bread.  Laura’s favorite go-to sandwich trick is a Cut-N-Seal from Pampered Chef.  It makes a perfectly round sandwich and no crust to deal with.  This is a quick way to make a peanut butter and banana sandwich OR even a homemade hot-pocket.

(side note:  Laura here – this is ALL Jackson wants in his lunch so I make them in bulk. I make about 4-5 sandwiches at a time, freeze them, and then each morning throw one in his lunch box. Seriously his favorite way to enjoy pb&j…never thought of a hot pocket…)

-My favorite snack are apple slices, but I’m not real fast at cutting the apple into cute slices.  My go-to time saver for getting a great sliced apple is an apple wedger.  And then, you can make really cute race cars for the little ones too.

The see-through glass storage containers will allow you to see everything you have in the refrigerator without having to open up the containers and sneak a peak—and that’s definitely a time saver!  As you read through these tips, think of all the ways you can save time in the kitchen—and then use that time to be with your loved ones, memorize an inspirational phrase, OR, do a few burpees!  If any of you are interested in products that can help save time in the kitchen, feel free to contact me or go to my website, pamperedchef.biz/rebeccavia

Thanks so much Rebecca. I never thought about preprepping some single serving stuff for kids so lunches can be grab a bag and go! I’m totally trying that next week. Packing individual bags of grapes, peppers and tomatoes can get time consuming for sure.

If you are interested in any of the products that can help save time in the kitchen, feel free to contact Rebecca at her website here!


Kid Snack! Energy Bites!

Ok there are definitely some pinterest ideas that my kids just turn their noses up at.  #reallife. But then they decide to love something I thought would be a fail. I can’t ever figure it out!

Enter: Date Balls. I was sure my hubs and I would be the only ones eating these but go figure JACKSON inhales them.

I love popping these in lunches or using them as a grab and go snack after school.  Packed with nutritious ingredients – I don’t feel worried when they ask for more than one. Continue Reading →

Fast and Healthy Lunch Ideas for Packing Days

Fast and Healthy Lunch Ideas From Hannah

My girls are not yet old enough for me to pack them school lunches. In fact, my oldest is just starting preschool this Fall! She’s very excited, and has been playing “school” ever since I showed her the calendar and we counted 3 weeks to school. However, packing school lunches is intimidating to me since I have a somewhat picky eater, so I’ve been brainstorming what I will pack for the past couple of years!

I have listed below some easy and healthy suggestions that will hopefully be helpful to you as we begin another school year. One thing that could fit into—and help—your routine is by doing some lunch prep on the weekends so that on your busy morning when you’re trying to get everyone out the door to catch the bus, packing lunch will not be stressful. Making lunches ahead will allow you to more thoughtfully prepare healthy choices instead of just tossing in an extra bag of Cheetos to keep them full. Lunch prep = healthier, less stressful, faster mornings = win, win, win!

Continue Reading →