Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Spinach & Strawberry Salad

This is one of my favorite salads to make for special occasions. Today I am taking it into school for the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon. It is very simple, very tasty and screams Spring!

Spinach Strawberry Salad

  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Candied Walnuts (I LOVE this recipe and it's super easy!)
  • Goat Cheese
  • Starkey's House Creamy Balsamic Dressing (I think this is the best creamy balsamic with a hint of sweetness for salad's like this!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Jam Packed Weekend!

We had a very crazy weekend! One thing to the next to the next…Basketball, Cookie Selling, Going to the Theatre and Spending the night at the Cincinnati Museum Center! Needless to say by Sunday afternoon, while Michael was busy at work with his employee awards banquet, I was napping! And I am so glad yesterday was Presidents Day…another day to catch up.

Selling Girl Scout Cookies at a Booth for the First Time

Isn't She cute? Who could resist this? Not many….

The Little Prince

Before seeing The Little Prince at the Victoria Theatre, we attended a family workshop.
Everyone made sock puppets and then we learned how to puppeteer!
Practicing in the mirror with our puppets!
We even performed for the rest of the workshop. The kids really got into it!

After the show we got to see a bit of backstage and the set up close.

And we got to meet the cast of the show and ask them questions!!

Overnight at the Cincinnati Museum Center 

The evening started at 7pm with a "bat show"

The boys favorite part was going down to explore the cave!

In the cave, learning about stalagmites and stalactites  

Making Cave Art

Learning about the Ice Age

Wolf Cub Scout Buddies!

The boys also learned about mummies, which was a favorite too, and got to see and touch some animals. We also saw an Omnimax movie about caving before going him on Sunday morning. It was fun time and memorable experience for Logan!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Here is what my kids are going to school with today. We have been working on Valentine's for about 2 weeks now. Each of them picked what they wanted and then I found a way to make to happen for them. All of them, were super cheep and pretty easy too!

For all the Awesome Teachers!

The kids made chocolate covered pretzels. 
My kids were Sprinkle happy!
See what I mean?

And then we packed them all up in these cute little boxes that they had picked out at Michael's


Of course, Dora was her first choice!

She decided she wanted bubble necklaces.
So I bought a package of  25 bubble for about $4 at Target and I already had the string.
I got this picture off the internet and just pasted it on word. The I printed them out and glued them to card stock…purple of course, since that's her favorite color!

For her class, we had to bring in sandwiches.
 So, since Peanut Butter is not allowed, of course we went with Cookie Butter!!
I made the red hearts with a food coloring pen that I already had on hand.


Melina is into Cootie Catchers these days.
I found this printable on the internet here.

It is too cute! It will be perfect for the Kindergardeners!
We bagged them all up, tied them with this tag, and she wrote her to and from's on the back.


And last but not least, Logan wanted Lego Guys again!
We printed these cards on card stock and embellished with crayon.

And the Lego guys are made from colored melting chocolate which I put in an ice cube tray in the shape of the guy.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Mix

Last week at Mom's Day Out they told the kids they needed to bring Valentine's for next week and a treat if they wanted. We had already made, or at least started everyone's Valentine's and I was not going to make more. I procrastinated until yesterday and finally decided I better get my act together. So the girls and I rummaged around in the pantry and we made a Valentine's snack mix. Put it in little bugs and wrote From: Meeka / Melina on it. We killed two bids with 1 stone. Snack and Valentine's all in 1.

Here's what we mixed up:
Air Popped Popcorn
Mini Marshmallows
M & M's

Then we melted some white, pink and red bark and pureed it over top and topped with Sprinkles!

Yummy Deliciousness!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Cookie Butter Granola Bars

I L.O.V.E Cookie Butter…it's an addiction…and 1 by 1 all of my friends are becoming addicted too. In fact, I once gave a friend the jar and a spatula (because I hardly had any left) just so she could try it! 

Yesterday I decided to make Cookie Butter Granola Bars. On Valentine’s week, what could be sweeter? Check it out…if your not addicted already, these just might be the thing to have you hooked!

Cookie Butter Granola Bars
adapted from this recipe from Allrecipes


  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cookie butter
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 13 x 9 baking pan
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and then pat mixture down in baking pan.
  3. Bake for 25-30 min. or until they begin to turn golden.
  4. Let cool for 5 min and then cute into bars.
  5. Cool completely before removing from the pan. Store in an airtight container.

Cookie Butter is available in both creamy and chunky
and sold at all Trader Joe's Stores.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Motivating My Reader

I know I have mentioned before that teaching Logan to read was so very frustrating…for all parties involved. Now that was some time ago and he reads well now, but he is not a bookworm. Not that he has to be a bookworm, but both Michael and I really want him to have a love for reading and to enjoy it. And when each month this Book It form gets sent home and it is still sitting empty on the 20th of the month, I am beyond frustrated. So without harping constantly, what can I do to get him to read because he has to and read because he enjoys it?

My solution…the book box. 

I used his box from last year and I filled it with some chapter books, some small fun books, some non-fiction, a poetry book and the two magazines he gets each month. This way he has a choice of what to read, but it is not overwhelming for him staring at the tons of books on his shelf and trying to decide what looks good. 

Also, as he reads them, he writes them down and puts them back on his shelf. This way the box gets less full and he can see his progress in more than 1 way. So far this seems to be working. He has read a couple books so far this month and right now he is very into the chapter book he is reading….so much so that he stayed up until he fell asleep with the book on his chest last night. And he wants to take to to school with him to read when he has extra reading time.

The other thing that will make him a successful reader is choosing right fit books. If I make him read books that he is not enjoying he will not love to read. If let him just read easy level 1 or 2 books to get through them, that gives him no sense of self confidence and pride that he has done it. And some of it has to do with personal taste and preference too. If he enjoys the subject matter he is more likely to read more. Just because I think he would like to read about helicopters, doesn't mean he really wants to read about helicopters right now. And it will take him forever to finish a book if he's not into it….but isn't that the same for us? So it may be trial and error and we may change our books, but thats OK.

I am hoping too by showing him how much I love to read and making time to sit down and have family reading time, that will help him develop a love for reading that will last a lifetime.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Candy Land

Candy Land has been the first game of each kid in our household. They have all enjoyed it. I remember playing on the coffee table with Logan before Melina could even pull herself up. But none have been so obsessed as Meeka! Not sure if it is because she has the biggest sweet tooth of the family or because she likes beautiful things, but we play Candy Land many, many times, EVERY day!!

And she is so funny when she plays. She LOVES Lolly; she calls her pretty girl. So at every turn she says, "What if I get pretty girl?" And then when its your turn, she says softly, "What is you get Gingerbread Man?" It is so funny!!!! She does sometimes try to stack the deck, especially when playing with sibling, but most of the time she plays by the rules, and although she loves to win, she is not a sore looser. Which makes the game even more fun, when you know that win or loose she is honestly happy to play! 

These are the memories that I want to remember, or at least when I am old and senile look back and remember,…"What if I get Pretty Girl?"