Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bells Will Be Ringing

Do you hear that?
It's the sound of school bells and early alarm clocks.

My son started kindergarten last week and it has been a wonderful experience so far. He was so excited the first day he got up and was dressed before I got in his room in the morning.......let's see how long that lasts!
I have never been a morning person (and in general never really feel fully awake before 10am) so this early morning having to be at school on time every day thing is very new to me. Kindergarten is a whole new world compared to the relaxed schedule of the two day a week pre-school down the street that we are used to.

One of the things I'm most passionate about is what my kids eat
and being on a new (up before the sun comes up) schedule is really challenging the way I feed my kids breakfast. I no longer have a lot of time to cook something right before running out of the door but that doesn't mean that they can't get a great nutritional start to their day. Going from a half day program to a week long full day schedule is exhausting for little ones which makes it even more important that they get a great breakfast before that bell rings.

 I grabbed one of these containers from the Target dollar section to help with those mornings that we are running a little slower than normal and fill it with healthy delicious breakfast treats the kids can munch on in the car. One of the newest bars I made are a chocolate peanut butter banana protein bar. I filled it with some of the kids' favorite flavors and, once they were baked, wrapped them individually. All I need to do is grab them on the way out of the door!
Chocolate Banana Breakfast Bars
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup chocolate protein powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon Plus Spice Blend
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp flax seed

  • 1. Preheat oven to 350F.
    2. In a medium-sized bowl combine oats, flour, protein powder, cinnamon, and salt.
    3. In a separate bowl, combine mashed banana, almond butter, honey, and vanilla.
    4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well.
    5. Spread evenly onto a medium bar pan and bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges start to turn brown
    6. Allow to cool 10 minutes before slicing.
    7. Store in an air-tight container for up to a week or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze.

    What are your favorite grab and go treats?



    Tuesday, August 7, 2012

    Star Wars 6th Birthday

     Every year I look forward to this moment. The "first glance at the cake" moment. 
    The one second that makes all my pre-party stress totally worth it.
    I am like almost every other mother I know; we put tremendous pressure on ourselves to make our children's parties "perfect"....whatever that means. 
    And as I was decorating his cake this year I was realizing that I'm not going to be able to do my little tradition much longer. Every year I have completely hidden the cake from Marshall until right before his party, had him walk in when it's completely finished and gotten a picture of his face when he first sees it. It is something that I adore, seeing the excitement and joy in his face when getting the first glance at something that I have poured my heart into especially for him. 
     The older he gets the harder it is to pull this off. It takes hours to make his cakes and he needs to be gone or asleep for me to work on it. And keeping him away from the fridge where I am hiding it is a job itself. But I am so grateful for one more year of cake surprises and he was just as enthusiastic as I hoped he would be.
      Marshall is completely and utterly obsessed with Star Wars, so there was really no other choice for the theme of this party. For the cake I did a Millennium Falcon out of chocolate cake and vanilla icing.
     The party was at the Austin Children's Museum and I think everyone had a great time! I got the idea for the lightsaber utensil/napkins on pintrest and filled Yoda cups with bounce balls, candy, glow sticks, stickers and chalk for the favors
     The cake was chocolate and the cupcakes were vanilla
    I got the idea for the chocolate covered lightsaber pretzel rods here
     I went a lot simpler this year with the food than I have in previous years. Han Solo Roll Ups for the adults (whole wheat wraps with ham, havarti cheese, spring mix greens and a spread I made out of sun dried tomatoes, mayo, garlic and a Pampered Chef Parmesan Garlic seasoning) and Jar Jar Links (crescent wrapped turkey little smokies) for the kids
     PB&J bombers that I cut out with these sandwich cutters and the cupcake decorating set from here. Luckily for me I live very close to a Williams-Sonoma outlet and was able to get all of these items on clearance!
     Droid Dip and Vader Veggies
    Yoda Melon, Trooper Scoopers and Jawa Juice

     The birthday Jedi ready for some cake and Princess Brianna with her Leia buns
     Make a wish!!
     
     I love random pictures when you see all of your guests having fun!
     As we were cleaning up Brianna had to put herself at the head of the table and pretend it was her day, even if ti was only for 5 minutes
    Once we got home Marshall got to open his gifts and I got to relax with a glass of wine. We were both happy!
    I have always found it stressful to open gifts in front of people. You never know what potentially embarrassing things kids will say, like "I didn't want this" or "that's it?" or when you receive three of the same item.  Do you open gifts at parties or do you wait till you get home?


    " Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is"
    -Yoda