101 Kid- Approved Boredom Busters!

“I’m bored!” Said no mom, ever! Lol! 😂Meanwhile the kiddos have already blown through their Summer Busy Bag & are dropping the “b” word like it’s hot! Here’s 101 kid approved ideas to help bust their boredom. (Pics have links too, simply click on them)

1. Build a fort

2. Have a Rainbow Loom Marathon

3. Build a Lego world!

4. Get out the Slip N Slide

5. Make sidewalk fizzy paint

6. Have a puppet show with homemade sock puppets



7.  Make edible play dough

8.   Edible finger paint

9. Sign up and participate in the Summer Reading program at your local library


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10. Make your own art

11. Host an Art Show displaying said art

12. Have a lemonade stand

13. Make bathtub paint

14. Tactile tubs

15. Go on a Scavenger Hunt

16. Have fun with Science Experiments

17. Have a spa day

18. Have a Super Hero Day

19. Host a Movie Night…Make a treat wagon! Make cool tickets to pass out to friends

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20. Declare it a Minecraft Day

21. Host your own Cupcake Wars with play dough or real cupcakes!

22. Make your own obstacle course

23. Host a fashion show

24. Invade the recycling bin and create sweet sculptures!

25. Make some yummy summer treats


26. Write and illustrate a book

27. Host a dance party

28. Have a game day!

29. Make a card for a neighbor to brighten their day.

30. Learn about the solar system….


31. Make your own matching/memory game

32.   Make your own puzzle

33.  Put on a play

34. Record your own movie

35. Decorate bikes and wagons and have a parade!

36. Make a bird feeder

37. Go through pictures & souvenirs and make a scrapbook

38. Host a neighborhood bake sale

39. Make super hero capes and face masks!


40. Have a day at the beach inside! Build a sand castle inside with this Watermelon Moon Sand!

41.  Make instruments & have a performance on the lawn

42. Have a ball! Get a bunch of beach balls and have a blast….have kiddos each decorate their own balls with faces, etc.

43. Bubbles! Get the bubbles out and have a blast!

44. Run through the sprinkler

45. Have a water balloon fight!

46.  Paint with food!

47. Empty out your piggy bank and hit up the local candy store…Boyd’s!



48.  Paint Rocks

49. Make Rainbow bubble Snacks

50. Play Hot/cold- hide an object then other need to find it, person who hide says cold as they move away from the object and warm/hot the closer they get to the object

51.  Host a Chess tournament.

52.  Host a book club…have kiddos read book or have parents read to them then discuss the book. Imagine you were the characters in the book, what would you do? How would you feel? Have each child come up with a different question.

53.  Play charades!

54. Make pet treats and visit a local animal shelter to drop them off (call first to make certain they will accept them…if not, simply drop off donations, i.e. newspaper, paper towels, etc.)



55. Make Washi Tape bracelets

56. Get your hands on some cardboard boxes…don’t have any? Call local appliance store, big box store, etc. – here are 31 wild ideas!!

57.  Make silly putty

58.  Make slime

59. Make a Volcano!!

60. Freeze things in ice…always fun!

61.  Make snow, even in the middle of summer!

62.Invite friends over for a special treat, a Banana Bar!


63. Make a masterpiece out of items found in nature…sticks, twigs, grass, weeds, flowers, etc.

64. Visit local FREE establishments like Museums/Library

65. Have kiddos play archeologist…have parent burry objects in a sandbox, backyard, etc.  Help kiddos set up an archeological dig.

66. Make a Mason Jar aquarium….plus 15 additional fun things to do with a Mason Jar

67. Make your own soap! – Soap cupcakes with whipped frosting

68.  Chemical Free Jelly Soap

69. Go on Safari….place stuffed animals around the house & make this sweet Safari Vest!

70.  Walk on Coffee Can stilts

71. Host a carnival in your backyard!



72. Have fun with crossword puzzles, brain teasers, word search, etc.

73.  Make scented play dough! WHAT!? –

74. Let’s Talk Food! Have kiddos grab old magazines and make a poster board with all the food groups.

75. Grab your crayons and get coloring!! –

76.  Make Map Magnets, learn about geography-

77. Folding Fun- Make sweet Origami figures

78.  Make your own stamps & Stamp pads!



79. Make a self-portrait with magazine cutouts

80.  Make your own Magnet dolls

81. Play a game of good old fashioned Win, Lose, or Draw!

82.  Make Salt Dough– imprint cool objects, your feet, hands, etc.

83.  Glitter tattoo FUN

84.  What could you make with pennies?

85. Make a floor plan of your bedroom….make a couple more with different furniture layouts, find one you like and rearrange your room (with help from an adult)

86. Organize your books- non-fiction, fiction, etc.

87. Engineering & Architecture fun! Make a geodesic dome, bridge, and other fun structures with gumdrops and tooth picks!!

88.  Play some fun paper cup games!

89. I Spy

90. 20 Questions

91. Brain Quest!

92. Learn all about Teeth! Make some cool molars!!

93. Race remote controlled cars/helicopters.

94. Pool noodle games & crafts (pool not required)



95. Make homemade beads

96. Learn all the Presidents Names/terms 

97. Make Pom Pom Bunnies!! (My daughters loved this one!)

98. Crafts & Activities with Popsicle Sticks


99. Make Catapults  

100. Make Star Wars Toilet Roll Characters


101. Make a Bow & Arrows

Please add to the list….what are some of your kiddos favorite boredom busters?









Gluten FREE Pizza, that tastes good!? It DOES Exist!!

It has been a LONG difficult week. A trip with the gals to Columbus proved to be a bit more tempting than I had anticipated. Mind you, I did pack healthy food and snacks, which worked at first.  We stopped at Starbucks (I had a cup of dark coffee), The Thurman Café (I had a side salad and boneless chicken wings with no sauce and tried my best to remove the breading), at the concert they had bar type drinks and food (I had water), after the concert I caved a bit, we had munchies back in the room (I had a few M&Ms & Pringles), and then this girl REALLY caved at McDonald’s for breakfast. I ordered the egg white delight and yes, I ate ALL of it, muffin too!! I felt horrible afterward. I had come so far!! The worst part was after I got home I found myself craving carbs!! I NEEDED a pizza, NEEDED!! Crazy, right!? I have found that it is moments like these that we have a very difficult decision. We can either say screw it, and go back to old habits, or forgive ourselves and get back on the healthy eating plan. I decided on the latter but I STILL wanted Pizza!! So I made cauliflower pizza crust! It tasted amazing…like an artisan pizza. But I will tell you truthfully that it took a lot of work & time…at least when compared to a “Hot & Ready” or frozen pizza. If you When you make this I would suggest doubling the recipe so you have some “cauliflower dough” for a future pizza.

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2 pounds cauliflower

¼ cup feta cheese

1 egg

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

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Clean and cut up cauliflower. Place in food processor and pulse till it is the consistency of rice. Fill large put with roughly 1-1/2 inches water and bring to a boil. Place cauliflower in pot, cover with lid, and cook for 5 minutes. Get a strainer, place cheesecloth over strainer, and drain the cauliflower into the cheesecloth.  (Don’t have cheesecloth, improvise…I found this bag that contained limes to be quite useful).  Twist and squeeze out all the water. Place cauliflower in bowl; add 1 beaten egg, cheese, & Italian Seasoning. Mix everything together.  Place parchment paper over cookie sheet. Pour “dough” onto parchment paper, spread dough out and create a crust for the pizza. “Dough” should be 1/3 inch thick. Bake at 400 for 35 minutes or until golden brown around crust. Remove from oven and add toppings.


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And now I will answer what I know I was wondering…doesn’t it make you feel WAY gassy? I can confirm that after eating half this pizza (yep, no shame! Haha!) I was not gassy. And no, I did not have to go #2 quickly or a lot. It was damn good though!! Bacon & Feta, nothing better!! What is you favorite pizza topping? Any strange/weird toppings you like?

Clean underwear NEED not apply!

As I stand here in my kitchen I find myself becoming overwhelmed with emotion; gratitude, appreciation, and love.  Yesterday everything broke, our garbage disposal, dryer, and food processor (mid-preparations for Father’s Day!), it was frustrating, inconvenient, and financially stressful. Today is our son’s b-day, 8 years old!! We really didn’t plan anything big( not even a cake, which I feel really bad about, especially considering we have ALWAYS done something in the past, DARN MOMMY GUILT!!) and with having to replace a few big ticket items getting his b-day gift and Father’s Day gifts put us over our budget. Thus, our plans today consisted of attending our son’s field day for baseball and participating in Relay for Life. Rather uneventful. Then I started blending!

As I mentioned, our food processor broke mid-Father’s Day preparations. So I asked my neighbor if his late wife, who died from lung cancer a few years after we moved in (roughly 8 years ago), had a food processor. I even slipped when I asked. I said, “Does Emmy have a food processor?” Then I quickly corrected myself and declared, “Did, Emmy have a food processor?” I have to be honest a part of me knew he did have one, I don’t know how or why, but I knew to ask him. And sure enough, he did have one! And with our busy day I am just now getting around to blending ingredients at 8pm. So as I stand here blending nuts and dates for Father’s Day treats I find my mind wondering. The same thing happens when I iron so I gave it up. Haha! I found myself overjoyed with gratitude and appreciation.

My son’s coaches were amazing this year (and last year). I am so grateful that they volunteered their time, shared their skill, talent, and were so patient with the boys.  And, get this, they even remember that today, their last game, was Max’s b-day and they had a balloon and candy for him. Tell me that wasn’t the sweetest!! So after his game he received a trophy, ribbon, balloon with treats, AND, the cherry on his birthday sundae, Muddy & Mudonna (Our Toledo Mud Hens Mascots) showed up just in time & right next to the field he was playing on to sign his baseball cap and get a pic! PRICELESS!! I couldn’t have planned that any more perfect if I tried!!


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Fast forward a few hours and my daughter and I attended Rely for Life for the American Cancer Society.  Mind you there was a lot of planning that went into the event.

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Our team organizer and team mates did a fabulous job organizing everything, making our t-shirts, putting together raffle items, schedules, signs, etc. 

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My daughter and I enjoyed going around the track and seeing what everyone had in their tents, seeing all the fun things people were dressed up in, getting a pic with the University of Toledo’s Mascot….

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and most importantly, simply enjoying each other’s company (which is a true gift).   I couldn’t help become a little sad when I saw pic of ALL those loved ones who have died from cancer….the littlest really tugged at my heart strings. So, what have I learned from today? Why all the emotion? Why all the gratitude and appreciation?

Simple- I. AM. ALIVE!! My Children are ALIVE!! My son celebrated his 8th birthday today!! And I am so thankful for that! There are so many who have lost the battle to cancer. We never know what tomorrow holds. So maybe I DID wear DIRTY underwear today because my dryer is broken and maybe I didn’t bake my son that cake, but guess what, he was here & I was here! I am so thankful for today. I am so grateful for ALL the amazing people (coaches, teachers, friends, family) in my life, my community, my neighborhood!! I am so thankful for all the souls that I have had the pleasure of meeting before they left this earth. I am thankful for Emmy and her food processor. Back when her son turned 8 years old and she purchased her food processor I know she had no idea that in her 50s she would lose a battle with lung cancer. So, what is my message? LIVE!! Live BIG! Don’t masks your emotions with drugs and alcohol, live it all, good and bad!! Feel the pain. Feel the joy. FEEL it ALL!! Tomorrow is not promised. We never know when our lifetime is up. Don’t not show up because you have to wear dirty underwear! Thank those who should be thanked. Forgive those who need forgiveness, including yourself (including not baking your child a birthday cake…perhaps being together is celebration enough?). Don’t live with regret. Don’t live with grudges. Say yes to adventure!! Simply LIVE!! We owe it to all those who have been lost FAR before we would have liked to live our lives to our fullest. May we all be so blessed to live life in a state of gratitude, appreciation, and love!  (Note, this doesn’t mean perfection….and clean underwear need not always apply. Lol!)


5 moms & NO Kids for 24 Hours!

Every generation has that “boy band” that all the adolescent girls swoon over.   In 1950 it was, The Clovers, Ames Brothers, Drifters, Four Freshmen, ect.  1960/70, The Beatles, The Jackson 5, The Monkees, The Osmonds, etc.  1980s it was New Edition and New Kids on the Block, 1990s welcomed, Boyz II Men, All-4-One, Backstreet Boys, ‘NSync,  98 Degree, etc.  And the legacy continues with One Direction & Big Time Rush.  Though I enjoy and appreciate the talent found in all these boy bands my adolescent heart belongs exclusively to New Kids on the Block. I can recall a many lunchroom conversations in 5th grade that were dedicated to New Kids on the Block. We would discuss who was the cutest (Jordon & Joey were always the top 2, mind you, my favorite was always Donnie), their latest song, dance moves, etc.  So, when a friend contacted me back in January about seeing NKOTB in concert in Columbus on June 16th that little adolescent girl inside me was jumping up and down screaming YES!!!

A LONG winter and wet Spring later and the day has finally arrived! After much planning, between the 5 moms who attended the concert we have 13 kiddos who needed to have babysitting arrangements made, bags needed to be packed, pets watched, etc. The money, time, planning, etc. was ALL worth it for 24 hours KID FREE with my BFFs to see not only NKOTB but also, Nelly & TLC!!! Eeee!! It was amazing!

Hour 1……

Our first stop was Starbucks for a caffeine fix….there would be no going to bed on a kid free night!!!

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Hour 3….We arrived at the Sheraton Suites where we busted into our suitcases, changed our clothes, added jewelry, freshened makeup, and ditched the mom persona and manage to become reacquainted with our pre-momma selves!! There we are, our light-hearted, fun-loving, kid free selves!! Looking good ladies!! Lookout Columbus here we come!!


Hour 5….Before we headed to the concert we hit a local famous eatery, The Thurman Café! It was featured on the Food Network’s, Man vs. Food for its immense, impossible to eat, grandiose Thurmanator Burger! FYI- the burger won!



It is such a cool burger joint. While we waited for our table we jammed out to some NKOTB tunes. We were totally Hangin Tough. Haha!  


I had to get a pic of this….I can’t remember the last time I saw cigarettes in a vending machine!


The atmosphere was fun and the décor was, well, full of singles signed by patrons forever commemorating their moment in history. I LOVE it! Genius!



To forever commemorate the event we all signed a dollar and taped that sucker to the wall. So, maybe I will never get a Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame but at least I can say I have a dollar on The Thurman Café wall!!



Here is a pick of a burger that is a “baby” in comparison to the Thurmanator!



Hour 7….And finally, the moment we had been waiting months, years, and decades for, the NKOTB concert!!! Nelly & TLC opened for them and they were amazing!! The crowd was so much fun; everyone was up on their feet, dancing and singing. The majority of the peeps in attendances were female age 25-50, allowing their inner teenage self out for a few hours; some of those ladies were getting down. Lol!

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As NKOTB made their grand appearance I have to admit my heart was beating a bit faster in anticipation.

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And then they started singing….and for a brief moment I thought, thank goodness my 9 year old self no longer selects the music I listen to because her taste is questionable. But then they sang some of their old school classics like, Step by Step, Hangin Tough, Please don’t go Girl, etc. and I could practically feel my braces on my teeth again. Haha! Donnie had a blast with us OSU fans!! There was a lot of OH-IO and buckeye paraphernalia that he wore, it was awesome!! 




I honestly don’t know if it was the music, the nostalgic effect the music brought on, the peeps I was with, or a combination of all three that made it a night to remember. I had the best time!!

Hours 11-24 shall remain in our memory….what happens in Columbus stays in Columbus. Truth be told, around 1:30am we crashed, we were so tired. You can take the mom away from the kids but you can’t remove the exhaustion of having kids from the mom. LOL!

Huge thank you and shout out to all you amazing peeps who made this evening possible, including the 4 amazing ladies who made it a night to remember, my magnificent parents for watching the kiddos, and my hubby for encouraging me to go see my adolescent heartthrob…now that’s a secure man! Lol! And a special thank you to you for allowing me to share this memory with you….who was your adolescent crush?  Were you a NKOTB fan? If so, who was your favorite?

Road trip + convenience food = THE WORST temptation!


As many of you know, I “killed” cereal, as my 7 year old so eloquently expresses, about 11 weeks ago. It hasn’t been the easiest road but the results have sure made it worth it! Since limiting consumption of grains in our diet I have lost 8 pounds and 4 inches around my waste but more importantly I feel SO much better! The foggy feeling has lifted, I have more energy, I feel like I have SO much more patience, peace, I feel more even keeled.  I believe it has something to do with my blood sugar levels, granted, I am not a doctor, but, I can tell you from personal experience that I do not feel that rush of energy & then immediate crash and tiredness that I used to feel when consuming cereal, bread, bagels, basically any grain. They say it takes on average 66 days to develop a new routine.  I fully agree. This path has been a difficult one. It requires SO MUCH SELF CONTROL!!! It is SO hard to pass on pizza when gathered around with friends. To order the salad when all your friends order the gourmet grilled cheese.  To take a delicious Boston Crème pie over to the in-laws and then declared that you will pass on dessert! Oh the despair!! I have successfully gotten over those hurtles. Next hurtle, Road Trip!!


When I think road trip I think pit stops, iced lattés, cheese burgers, French fries, Twizzles, yum!!   Just the words, road trip, to me are synonymous with convenience food.   Stopping to use the restroom should be simple but the aroma of Starbucks coffee, those greasy delicious fries, oh the temptations!! In the past we would simply grab a latté, a burger, fries, etc. when we were on the road. It was a pretty simple concept, we wanted something and they provided it. Now that we are grain free and eating healthier the convenience factor is removed. The truth is, if you want to eat healthier more time, energy, effort, and planning needs to go into your nutrition plan.  And yes, it can be a pain, but it is worth it.  So how does one plan for a road trip filled with temptations?

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So, here is what I have packed for a 3-4 hours road trip with kiddos. Mind you, we all get bored in the car and our first inclination to fulfill that boredom is food, is eating! When you pair that with the temptations of the delicious greasy aromas you WILL smell when you make a pit stop to use the restroom, a snack IS necessary! Here are some yummy snacks that I prepared before we hit the road…..

 Strawberries (good source of fiber)

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Celery & cucumbers (mostly water)

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Mixed Nuts (protein)

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Mind you, those first couple road trips ARE hard. Our brains need to be rewired. We still have those feel good hormones that are released when we smell the grease. It isn’t easy. If you do slip up that is okay. Forgive yourself. Start fresh the next day. Thank goodness God gives us a new 24 hours each day. IT IS HARD but TRUST me, if you stick with it you WILL see results & they are amazing!! You can persevere though the most tempting road trips! You are stronger than you know!

Make it a great one! Drive safely (It isn’t how fast it’s how safe 😉 ) Cheers!!

Traveling with kids? Here are some fun activity ideas to keep them occupied.




Playtime Exhibition Celebration: Harnessing your inner child at TMA

I knew we were in for a great time when I opened my car door and was greeted by the base….because let’s be honest, it is all about the base (sorry, couldn’t resist, haha!).  The evening was officially declared as a girls’ night out. The men folk in our family decide not to accompany us. See, I made the mistake of saying Art Museum and they instantly replied, “No, thank you”, okay, so maybe they didn’t phrase it quite that eloquently. But, hey, this is my memory and I am choosing to remember a “more polite” version.  So me and my girls ventured out onto Monroe Street to get our girls night out started!

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They each thought it was so awesome that the road was closed to traffic and they were walking where cars are supposed to drive…I suppose, in a way, the Toledo Museum of Art had the girls’ hearts at the “road closed” sign.  I don’t want to say that we have low expectations but, if the sign fits, which is why what followed totally BLEW our MINDS!

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BUBBLES!!! This awesome bubble machine contraption became my 4 year olds obsession! All the kids were chasing after it. Props to the woman maneuvering the bubble machine, I have no idea how you didn’t run over a child or 20!! It was awesome! I wish we could rent that sucker for parties. Then we ventured across the street to see & partake in….

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Then the BEST thing in the WORLD happened to me. Well, technically the 5th best thing in the world, (to clarify, when I say world I mean my world) happened, FINALLY!! I have been so busy getting married, getting degrees, and birthing babies that I have NEVER been in the Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art, which, if I may add, is literally 5 miles from my house. Why!? Well because, Toddlers and glass are quite possibly the worst combination on earth, you just don’t mix them, EVER!  

So FINALLY, the moment arrived!  I walked through those Glass Pavilion doors with my 9 year old and 4 year old daughters, yet I was the one bursting with such excitement, as if I was the child, and it was Christmas morning! It was breathtaking!

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We enjoyed not only admiring all the gorgeous glass everywhere but also the demonstrations.  The girls nearly lost their minds when they entered the room filled with furnaces and sat on the edge of their seats while a beautiful glistening glass horse was created out of nothing but a blob of glass. It was magnificent! And when the artist tossed it into the scrap bucket you could literally hear everyone’s hearts sink in disappointment.

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Sadly the next demonstration required much explanation from me to the girls. The artist was working on a Glass version of the Mouse Trapped game, sweet, right!? Well, if you were born before 2005 it might be but the girls had no idea what it was, and, unfortunately, I think I spent more time explaining the game than admiring the art.

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Then we ventured outside for more fun!!! Let me tell you, the Toledo Museum of Art knows FUN!! And they know how to throw one heck of a party!!

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There was food trucks, delicious dogs, fries, etc. oh, and spirits.  But I didn’t need any spirits, my spirit was bursting when I took the girls over to the swing that my father placed me on when I was a child & where I have the BEST Wedding party pics (yes, the photographer thought I was nuts getting up there in my wedding dress, but those are my favorite pics!!). And the world renowned architect, Frank Gehry’s building is in the background, yep, Toledo is a pretty cool place to live!

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How blessed am I to have grown up in the city that is also home to my favorite Art Museum, and yes, I have been to the Louvre, (it is too big, it puts too much pressure on the viewer to “move it along” and FYI, the Mona Lisa is one of the smallest paintings I have ever seen, it is too tiny to view in such a big room) and will NEVER be as close to my heart as The Toledo Museum of Art.  Sniffle, sniffle, this is getting too emotional, back to the fun!

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The piece de résistance, the live spectacle of Redmoon Theater of Chicago, featuring their Drum Crane Tower, a 30-foot tall musical structure with three performance tiers & mounted drums for 8 percussionists!

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AHHHHH-MAZING!!! Here is a clip…..


We had an absolute BLAST on our FIRST EVER girls’ night out!! And the best part, when we showed my son all the pics and shared all our fun he did politely ask that he please be included in ALL future visits to the Toledo Museum of Art . I suppose they could tag along next time. We have a visit to the Playtime exhibition on our calendar for next week! Speaking of next time be sure to click here for some amazing & FREE opportunities coming up at the awesome, Toledo Museum of Art (including Glass blowing demonstrations, FREE activities for kids, and more!)

Also, for all you locals, I would highly recommend becoming a member…the discounts in kiddo’s classes & parking are worth it alone!! Speaking of kiddos & classes, mine can’t wait to star Art Summer Camp at TMA!!

HUGE thank you to all those who put their time, energy, blood, sweat, tears, etc. into the evening it was absolutely amazing and so enjoyable, Toledo says THANK YOU!!!

Bacon Meatloaf with Dei Fratelli tomatoes! (Gluten Free)

There is something comforting, nostalgic, even welcoming about the aroma of bacon coming from the kitchen. I don’t know if it simply reminds me of my childhood & visits to my grandmother’s house or perhaps it is the anticipation of tasting the crispy goodness?  Either way, it stirs up nothing but pleasant and delicious memories for me. And since we have been sans cereal and I have been cutting back on grains it sure is nice to know that bacon can still be on the menu. So, I have to be honest, I totally worked backwards on this recipe. I knew I wanted bacon for dinner and I had a pound of organic ground beef that needed to be used and that was about it. Haha! My first thought was bacon wrapped meatballs but I wasn’t sure how that would go down with my fam. So I went with my second thought, Bacon Meatloaf! YUM!


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Since we are going towards a grain-free gluten-free diet I made a few adjustments to my “usual” recipe.  And it turned out AH-mazingly delicious!!  The bacon helped keep the meatloaf moist and the flavors from the crushed tomatoes, red onions, and seasonings not only satisfied all the taste buds but it left my home smelling just like grandmas!


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Bacon Meatloaf with Dei Fratelli



¼ cup-Cocunut Flour

½ -Red onion diced

½ -tablespoon Italian Seasoning

Dash of salt

1 pound organic ground beef

½ cup Dei Fratelli crushed tomatoes

½ package of bacon



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  1. Mix everything except the bacon in a bowl…I often use my hands to mix it up well…and yes, I wash my hand thoroughly first. 😉 Then place in a 9X9 oven safe dish (I used a glass one).
  2. Slice bacon in half and place over meat so that it is entirely covered bacon. Have fun with it…basket weave it, crisscross, etc.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes
  4. Enjoy!

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I was talking to a friend the other day about this recipe and she asked if I included a hardboiled egg and I was shocked. My immediate answer was no!? Has anyone ever had meatloaf with boiled eggs down the center? If so, is it good?

Will you accept the Summer Reading Challenge?

It is officially day 1 of summer break! Bring on the long days at the pool, meeting up with friends at the park, roasting marshmallows & making s’mores, catching fireflies, watching fireworks, lazy days at the lake, and so much more.  Eeee!! Parents we have the POWER to make it a SUPER FUN summer!! But let’s be honest, WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY.  It is important that parents take the necessary precautions so that their children don’t fall prey to VILLIANS such as ticks, sunburns, dehydrations, and brain drain!!  

Did you know…

The statistics on summer “brain drain” are grim. According to Dr. Harris Cooper, professor of psychology at the University of Missouri- Columbia, students returning to school after a lengthy summer break will have lost one to three months’ worth of learning. Studies show that on average, teachers end up spending four to six weeks re-teaching things their students learned during the previous school year. That means that if students come back to school on August 1, they will spend all their time until September, at the earliest, reviewing. They might be reviewing until Halloween comes around.



Don’t let your child fall into the hands of the evil VILLIAN, brain drain.  Be their SUPERHERO; DEFEND them against brain drain by signing them up for the SUMMER READING CHALLENGE today!

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Books to the RESCUE!! But that’s not all! This year’s Summer Reading Program is the best one yet! It will have your little one contemplating awesome SUPERHERO POWERS, writing a note to their favorite SUPERHERO, reading aloud with a friend; allow their imaginations to soar and loss track of both time & space in a book, and so much more! Click here to learn more about the Kids Program.

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This year’s program comes with an awesome activity book filled with coloring options, crossword, word search, etc. perfect boredom buster!!

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The Library also has fun FREE activities going on throughout the summer that coincide with this year’s Summer reading program theme….click here for summer events guide.


And I almost forgot the best part, PRIZES!! Your SUPERHERO will win prizes with each challenge they complete!! Including, Chipotle coupon, finger puppet, pick from the treasure box, stickers, etc.



GRAND Prizes…once your SUPERHERO completes Challenges 1-4 they are entered in the grand prize giveaway to win one of the following….

An iPad Air or Kindle Fire HDX

A 4-pack of tickets or a membership to The Toledo Zoo or Imagination Station

A $30 gift card for Barnes & Noble, Toys R Us or the Toledo Mud Hens

*Scouts can earn a badge if they complete challenges 1-4


The best part, the SUMMER READING CHALLENGE is open to Teens & Adults too!! And yes, you could also win prizes!!

So what are you waiting for? Use your SUPERHERO POWERS and ZOOM on over to your local library & accept the CHALLENGE TODAY!!!


5 Trends that’ll make your Kiddos Summer Party Sizzle!!!!

1.  BIG SUMMER BASH in lieu of birthday parties: There seems to be a big trend forming, parents are opting to spend more on one HUGE summer bash for their kiddos as opposed to hosting big birthday parties for each child. I must admit, I am 100% onboard!! Don’t get me wrong we will still do something small for each child on their birthday but we won’t be doing the ridiculously complicated Pinterest worthy celebrations like we did in the past. We just hosted our BIG Schools out for SUMMER Bash yesterday & it was an absolute blast!! We will totally do it again next summer! In fact some of the kiddos were begging us to have another one next week! Yep, it was that much fun! LOL!

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2. Bounce House: When I think back to my own childhood, and the parties my kiddos have attended all the really awesome ones always had a bounce house/ inflatables.  Those were the parties we would talk about for weeks, months, even years to come! The Bounce House/ Inflatable is still ALL the rage! The kids love the bounce houses! And it is nice on the parents, it gives us a break, we can literally just sit and watch instead of having to occupy their attention with a ½ dozen other activities. And I will be the first to tell you there is no competing with the bounce house; it is in a class of its own! Yes, I speak from experience. During our Summer bash I made an attempt at getting the kiddos off the giant inflatable waterslide to participate in water balloon & water gun activities and they could care less…the only way they were getting off that waterslide was if GOD told them to, via lightning. LOL! IT WAS A BLAST!! The kiddos loved it! Huge thank you to FUN FACTORY for bringing the FUN!!

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3. Decorate Your Own (DYO): No need to purchase that already decorated cake or cookies, the latest trend is having the kiddos decorate their own!! WHAT!?! You heard right. Bake your cupcakes, cakes, and/ or cookies and then set up a frosting and decoration station/table. Or better yet, do what I did and outsource, have someone do it for you. Sweet Cheeks Treats made/baked all the cookies and supplied the frosting in these awesome easy to use frosting bottles.

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It was the coolest! The kiddos had fun coming up with their own designs for their fish, ball, and dolphin cookies! Not only did Sweet Cheeks Treats supply the cookies she also saved me time, energy, and patience, huge thank you!!! Tip of the day: Whenever possible, outsource, save your sanity!

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4. Photo-booth:  How often do you get to wear a sombrero and fake mustache? And then be a beautiful princess two minutes later? Not often enough, right!?! The photo-booth is the perfect opportunity for the kiddos to use their imaginations and mix & match various props in order to produce the silliest photo. Most party stores (Wal-Mart, Target, Hobby Lobby) often stock a small photo-booth kit. Simply set up the backdrop (a shower curtain and/or tablecloth works well), layout the props, and have an adult designated as the photo-booth photographer…to add to the fun you could upload photos  to the computer and have everyone vote on their favorite and then give the winners a prize!


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5. Piñata- I know what you’re thinking, really, that is so old-school, right!?! Well, old school is cool now days. We picked out this beauty at Wal-Mart but practically all stores seem to have them these days. But I will advise that you take into consideration how many kiddos you have and purchase one that will hold enough goodies for everyone. This guy offered slim pickings for our guests so we will have to go for a larger size next time. Also, get creative with what you stuff your piñata with, it doesn’t need to be candy…Chuck-e-cheese tokens, coupons, tattoos, stickers, etc.


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Summer Parties are the BEST! Whether you have yours in the beginning, mid, or late summer, there is nothing better than getting together with family and friends. Remember, it is the people in your life that matter most! So, in the midst of all the chaos and fun be sure to pull up a towel, chair, cooler, etc.. just grab a seat and make time for those that matter most. Cheers!! BRING ON SUMMER!!

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So, what are your thoughts on having a big party in lieu of a birthday party for each child?


Avocado Willpower Pudding!

When trying to establish healthier eating habits the most difficult part, at least for me, is coming in contact with SO MANY temptations! I had a run-in with one last weekend and it was a doozy!

We were at a graduation party and they were serving one of those AH-mazing Costco cakes.  You know the chocolate cake with the chocolate mousse in the center & chocolate frosting on top!! SO. GOOD.  I actually caught myself drooling as I walked past it, inhaling all that sugary chocolate goodness! I was heartbroken. I felt as though I had just seen a long lost friend and then I gave them the cold shoulder….how could I!?! But I was also very impressed with my willpower. But I will be the first to tell you that willpower doesn’t satisfy the sweet tooth. Willpower doesn’t have the perfectly smooth frosting texture and airy chocolate mousse filling that I so desperately longed for! Oh the despair!!

After eating a bunch of healthy crap I found myself still dreaming of that smooth, rich, chocolate, decadent Costco cake. And I would have run to Costco if it wasn’t already closed for the day. So I hit up the fridge, I was in the zone! Here is what I came up with….

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1 large banana

 1-1/2 avocado (great BRAIN food!)

½ cup honey

½ cup cocoa powder

½ cup almond butter

1/3 cup almond milk

Optional: walnuts to top pudding with

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Instructions: Blend everything together. I started with the avocados and bananas then slowly added the rest of the ingredients. If you have time to refrigerate it tastes so much better cold, but, if you NEED that chocolate fix right away, grab a spoon! Then refrigerate the rest.

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Do tell, have you ever been caught off guard by a delicious dessert? How do you maintain your willpower? Do you have a healthier go-to version of the dessert? Please share.