A Harvest Birthday Bash!! You won’t believe what brought me to tears!

A special little lady turned 5 back in August, yes, I said August. Haha! Funny, I always thought it would be awesome having a birthday in August mostly because mine is in freezing cold winter, January! Well, it turns out that the week before school starts is a bad time to have a birthday. Our budget was blown on back-to-school clothes and supplies and to be honest I didn’t have it in me to plan a party during that hectic time of year. We seemed to add an afterschool activity as each week progressed. Thus 8 weeks later and we are finally having that party and that is the story of how an August baby celebrated her birthday in October. I suppose it is better late than never!

Total confession, I have always wanted to have a Fall Harvest gathering, it always looks so romantic in the magazines, the colors, the activities, etc. so my wish came true! And let me tell you, it was everything I thought it would be and more!! I could not have asked for a more beautiful day, it was sunny, temps in the mid-70s, and just a nice light breeze, it was perfect!! It should be noted that I was a bit concerned when I was literally wearing my winter coat and gloves while we prepared for the party the week before.

I had inquired what our little Gracie girl would like to do as the craft for her party. Her response was one that while exciting and fun would require some thinking on my part. She requested that we make pumpkins into Cinderella carriages. Let me tell you, those pumpkin carriages were a challenge, one I graciously accepted. 5 trips to Hobby Lobby, 3 returns, 2 trips to the Dollar Store, a lot of trial & error, and 1 quick stop at Jo-Ann Fabrics later and we had all the supplies we needed to make the pumpkin carriages!!

 

 

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I ended up locating the Styrofoam pumpkins at the Dollar Store, SCORE!!! It was a good thing they were only a dollar because I ended up eating away at the Styrofoam of the first few with spray-paint. FYI, when spray-painting Styrofoam do make certain that the can is at least 8 inches away, it will require you purchase more paint because you will have to apply more coats/layers but at least your project will not be destroyed. The doll rods, wheels, and most everything else was purchased at Hobby Lobby, I did have to make a stop in at Jo-Ann Fabrics on a Sunday to get more spray paint after my little mishaps. But it all turned out well in the end, challenge accepted, completed, and I gained some knowledge along the way, total a win-win!

 

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As I stated the day of the party was gorgeous!!! All her friends arrived, we chatted, kids played, and then the festivities began!

The children assembled and decorated their Cinderella carriages……

 

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We played fun games….

 

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And then it was time for the cake!! The birthday girl requested that each child make their own cupcake. I have to admit my first reaction when I heard this was one of disappointment, how could we not have a beautiful cake? I had this glorious image in my head of her in front of a perfectly adorned cake and all her friends gathered around singing. I suggested to her that we have cupcakes to decorate and a cake to blow out the candles. And her response literally brought me to tears!!! She looked up at me with those big baby blue eyes and exclaimed “Mom, it goes God, others, then yourself. God would want me to give everyone their own special cupcake. And can we please get everyone a candle because I am excited for the day they were born too!!” And that sealed the deal, plain cupcakes decorated by a bunch of 4 & 5 year olds it would be!! There isn’t a cake fancy enough in this world that would have meant more to me than those words that came out of her little five year old mouth. So everyone decorated their cupcakes and received a birthday candle!

 

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Then it was time for gifts. I have noticed that gifts have become a sensitive topic. There are those who request a donation instead, and I think that is a wonderful option, and we might do that one day too.

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The reason why I allow gifts now is because I believe it helps the children learn how to politely accept a gift, to truly value the thought behind the gift, and to learn how to graciously respond to receiving a gift they may already own or perhaps do not favor. It is my hope that they learn these qualities when they are young so as adults they can appreciate every person’s gift, no matter the monetary value, because let’s be honest some of the best gifts are the ones that hold no monetary value!! Speaking of gifts, it would be amiss if I did not mention the amazing moms who attended, they helped out so much, taking pics, cleaning, being on piñata duty, etc. they allowed me to enjoy the party too, I am so blessed to have them in my life.

 

 

 

I have to admit, I was a little sad to see the day end. It wasn’t like one of those romantic Fall Harvest gatherings you see in the magazines, with the colors, the activities, etc. it was better!!

 

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?

 

Simple & Jazzy Mason jar Vases

 

I adore a simple, yet elegant, table-scape and the Mason jar vase with a burlap wrap is the perfect inclusion!

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It is so simply to make these! All you need is:

  • Mason Jars (I like varying heights; it adds more depth and dimension to the table-scape)
  • Glue Dots
  • Ribbon and/or Burlap (I like to add some layers to a few)

 

When deciding on the mason jars I recommend varying the heights and always have an odd number…thus, 3, 5, or 7 jars…depends on the size of table.

 

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Simply wrap burlap around jar, allow overlapping slightly, just under ½ an inch so there is space for the glue dot. Cut the burlap. Place glue dot on jar. Wrap cut burlap piece around jar and add a second glue dot to adhere the burlap.

 

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Repeat step with ribbon and overlap ribbon on burlap. I only overlap half the jars to allow for a bit of color, pattern, and texture. 

 

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And then add water, plant food, and flowers to jars.  If you are adding roses like I am you might want to prepare them a day or two before the event so they are open and gorgeous the day of your gathering.

 

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Also feel free to add fun beads, fake pearls, etc. to the jar, jazz it up as you please. Have fun with it!

 

5 Reasons Why you need to Book the Easter Bunny (Discount included)

5 Reasons Why you need to Book the Easter Bunny

In the past most parents would take their children to the mall to wait in a long line for a very long time to visit the Easter bunny. Then pay way too much for a photograph of their child either screaming or looking in the wrong direction with a Bunny who looks as though he has seen better days. And then half the time the darn photo would fall out of the cardboard frame on the way back to the car! Ahh, the memories!! Haha! But that was the 80’s now we have options. This is the day and age when information comes to you and why should the Easter Bunny be any different?

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Here are the top 5 reasons why you should have the Easter Bunny come to you this Easter:

5. Hygiene! This Bunny isn’t the Mall Bunny! God bless the Mall Bunny but who knows what kind of germs may be lurking on his furry coat…we are talking snot, boogers, spit up, etc. (I am reminded of a funny line from Baby’s Mama, “is that chocolate or poop?” Haha!) No thank you!

4. Convenience! No more having to work around the Mall hours. Schedule a visit around your family’s Easter gathering…around your family’s schedule.

3. You can be Lazy! Or not! So you don’t feel like going out and getting the kiddos candies & treats, no worries, the bunny can bring it, no joke!! The Easter Bunny can bring treats for all the kiddos for only $2 a child!! Just make certain you count accordingly…and even if you don’t that Bunny is so on top of things he will probably have extras (true story! I miscounted and didn’t have enough baskets but the Easter Bunny saved the day by bringing extra treats!). Or, if you do have everything ready to go you can make arrangements with the bunny to deliver it to your child!!!

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2. Economical! Instead of the single pic from the mall you can get as many as you would like!! In fact they encourage you to get as many as you would like! Also, there is something absolutely magical about allowing your child time to warm up to the bunny (like my daughter needed) and even engage in a conversation. One of the little girls at our gathering told the bunny she was sorry she didn’t have carrots for her, it was priceless. And all us adults thoroughly enjoyed watching the 2 year old take it all in…it takes time to make memories, they can’t be rushed and this Bunny understands that it is more than just a photograph. The price can’t be beat, $75 for a half hour and if you split it with other guest it can be even less! (Also if you mention Mom on the go in Holy Toledo you will receive a 10% discount!!!)

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1. Memories! Memories to cherish for a lifetime! It is not only the expression on the toddler’s face, or the preschooler’s screech of excitement when the Easter bunny walks through the door but it is the expression of pure joy on the grandparents face knowing they were able to witness such a treasured moment. The Easter Bunny isn’t just for the kids but an experience for all!

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I am so thankful for our memories of our visit with the bunny, I shall treasure them for always. thank you so much Fairytale Memory. Schedule your visit today!! Click here and be sure to mention Mom on the go in Holy Toledo to receive 10% off!!!

 

Also, why not think outside the Easter basket….the Easter bunny is also fun for Baby showers around this time of year, Church events, work events, playgroup events, possible proposal (what girl could resist an engagement ring for the Easter bunny?), etc.

Disney Side: The Adventures of the SAHM Princess: Part II

(In case you missed it here is Part I) It was the night before the big Party!! The Sofia the first Valentines bash!! And the SAHM Princess was busy at work, cleaning up the house, rearranging furniture, preparing food, etc. Just then her dashing Prince arrived home from working out of town. The Princess was torn, does she continue preparing for the bash the next day or does she sit down with her Prince?  It should be noted that little ones also needed to get to bed and Valentine’s Day treats needed to be baked, so you see the SAHM Princess had quite the dilemma.  At that moment she wished she had little mice friends to help complete the chores, bake treats, and get the kiddos ready for bed, and a Fairy Godmother to make her look like a well-rested beautiful SAHM Princess as opposed to her current state which included  yoga pants, disheveled hair, and tired face! She contemplated singing a lovely song to really capture the moment but she was just too darn tired. Instead she put kiddos to bed, baked treats, burnt treats, chatted with her Prince, and managed to get all the preparations completed before the guest arrived….come to think of it, there might have been a little Pixie Dust involved! Oh, and those burnt treats, no worries, the SAHM Princess realized it didn’t matter if the treats were homemade, the guest weren’t coming because of the treats they were coming to have fun! So she served store bought cupcakes and no one was the wiser. Look at all the fun had….

 

 

 

And she enjoyed a lovely afternoon with other SAHM Princesses and their little Princesses and Prince…she realized the true value of friendship has nothing to do with the size of your castle, what kind of carriage you arrive in, what kind of Ball gown you wear, or if your food is homemade or store bought. The true value of friendship is being there for the good and the bad, for having compassion for all living creatures (yes, even our little mice friends), and a heart filled with joy. The SAHM Princess was truly thankful for all her friends, family, dashing Prince, and the opportunity to host such a magical event!!

 

The SAHM Princess wishes to send out a huge thank you to all the amazing sponsors who helped make this bash absolutely memorable!!

  • Thanks to all the guest
  • HP CMYK Promotion (Create Memories You Keep)
  • All
  • Snuggle
  • Wisk
  • MomSelect

Special thank you to Disney, Maria Bailey, BSM Media and everyone who helped make this possible!!! I don’t know how you did it!! There was obviously a lot of time, effort, energy, & perhaps some magic (in the form of Pixie Dust?!) that went into making this such a huge success! Thank you a million times over!!

Disclosure: I received free products in order to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own.

 

Homegating: Mocktails, Fazoli’s Snacks, Coupons & More!!

 

The Super Bowl is coming up and I don’t care if you are a Seahawks fan or Patriots fan, any football game is a great reason to get together with friends & family for fabulous food & fun!! It’s Homegating time baby!!  And in order to do up your homegating party right be sure to include these 3 steps:

1-Team colors are a must! Use table décor, foods, & drinks that are the same color as the teams.

2-Have fun with it! Use foods as serving dishes…I am such a sucker for food that doubles as a serving dish for more food! Haha! Melons, peppers, and bread are my go to foods for serving dips/sauces/other food.

3-Keep it simple! Don’t stress-out! There is nothing that kills a party faster than a crazy stressed-out host. Don’t over work yourself.  Repeat after me, “the frozen food section is your friend” visit your locale Wal-Mart’s frozen food section for some yummy Fazoli’s snacks to complete your snack table spread.

Team Colors….

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Mocktails are a fun way to show team colors and enjoy a flavorful drink.  It is fun to include the kiddos in Homegating parties when possible. (If you are having an adult only party feel free to add vodka or flavored vodka to your drink and make it a cocktail).

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So how did we get the colors to separate? The liquid with the highest sugar content goes on the bottom and ice is a must! We used Cran-Apple juice, Watermelon juice drink, and various flavors of Gatorade but you can hit up the juice and flavored drink isle to make any colors you wish.

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Foods as serving dishes…..

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Pepper Pot Dip Dishes

 

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Keep it simple….

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 Click here to get Fazoli’s Snack coupon

Lastly, here is  a video clip from our segment on WTOL in case you missed it…..…

 

 

Who will you be rooting for Sunday? Are you hosting a Super Bowl party? Have any suggestions for additional simple, go-to recipes that should be added to our Homegating menu?

 

The Happy’s (vlog)

What’s better than a house full of 9 children? A house with children and The Happy’s!! What are the Happy’s?

 

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Amazingly Adorable, remarkably real pets that really play with you!

They scamper, they pounce and they sit up and beg! The Happy’s are the only line of interactive puppy and kitty special feature plush pets that play, can be trained to perform tricks and make 25+ silly sounds.

The Happy’s love to play keep away or chase their ball in a puppy pile up!

Hold the Happy treat and they’ll come running to show off a trick!

The Happy’s will even dance to their favorite Samba tune, drive a car and ride a skateboard!

The Happy’s are a pet-palooza of pure magic! Source

 

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The children absolutely adored these cute cuddly little critters. Here the video that captures the fun had during our playdate, enjoy!

 

My children have had such a wonderful time getting to know the Happy’s they are saving up their money in order to collect the remaining 4. If you are looking for the perfect pet…that doesn’t require food, vet bills, training, etc. be sure to visit your local Toys-R-us, Wal-Mart, Radio Shack, or Justice today and bring home a cut cuddly new family member, one of the Happy’s (or collect all 8!). In the meantime have the kiddos checkout The Happy’s website for fun online games and activities.

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“Disclosure: I received free products in order to host the Cepia, LLC sponsored MommyParty. The opinions expressed here are my own.”

Blog Link Up Parties!

Okay, so who doesn’t love a party, right!? I know I love parties but unfortunately these days my party attendance seems to be limited to children’s birthday parties. And the rare occasion of one of our friends hitting a huge milestone b-day like the big 3-0 or, dare I type it, 4-0!!   Thus, every decade or so I am at least guaranteed a few adult parties, so what gets me through the other remaining years?  I mean besides Ford’s firefighter 5th birthday on Friday and Sally’s 6th birthday party on Saturday, link up parties!!

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Link up parties are my guilty pleasure. There, I said it! I have confessed.  I know some people think they are just a cop-out to get more followers and to those people I say…you might be right? Hmm…clever! They are so darn addicting.  Having all those blog post at your fingertips is awesome, it is truly hard to stop…I always want to click just one more! I so enjoy having the opportunity to read another mom’s perspective on a topic, read about their awesome tip, learn a new cool recipe, and get to know them, like at a party. So grab yourself a coffee, glass of wine, what-have-you, and let’s get this party started!

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I have narrowed down a few of my favs by categories…ENJOY! And remember, type responsibly…do not drink and type! (Or at least don’t drink a lot and type…that is never good, ever!)

Children/Homeschooling

Hip Homeschool Hop

Tactile Tuesday

Collage Friday

Works for me Wednesday

Story + Art (stART)

Preschool and Kindergarten Community

Homeschool Mother’s Journal

Weekly Wrap-up

What my Child is Reading

Link & Learn weekly kids crafts

 

Go green

Tuesday Greens

Nifty Thrifty

Eco-Kids

Waste Not Want Not  

Whole Food Wednesdays’

Natural Living Linkup

Your Green Resource Thursday

Small Footprint Friday

 

Foodies

Tempt my Tummy

Melt in your Mouth Mondays   

On the Menu Monday

My Meatless Mondays

Recipe Sharing Monday

Homemade Mondays

Made with Love Linkup

The Weekly Creative Linky Party

Ridemakerz Extreme Customz party!

soccer_cars 008We started off the fun with each child receiving their very own Xtreme Customz starter kit! There were so many awesome cars to choose from including, Dodge Viper, Chevy corvettes, and “Hero” Ridez like Spider-Man and Batman, Extreme Customz clearly has a favorite for everyone!

The boys had so much fun putting their cars together, the moms on the other hand, not as much. But thankfully we did have a dad in the crowd to help out. I personally feel that the Xtreme Customz Cars are the perfect bonding experience for Dads and Sons; dads simply seem to speak the “car language” better than most moms.

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Seconds after the boys assembled their Ridez they had them on the hardwood floor racing. As they raced the children started to take note of each other’s cars and the cool features each car had.  To add to the fun the kiddos then had the opportunity to make Xtreme Scenez!

Each child created their very own scene for their Ride. It was adorable watching these little boys let their imaginations run wild. Each was given a shoe box, construction paper, glue stick, markers, etc. and what they created from those components included a speedway track, a city scene, a couple of junk yards, and more. After working so hard on creating their Xtreme Scenez the boys were parched so we ended the evening with a sweet treat, Xtreme Punch and Off-road Dirt cups, tasty!

I thought about having the snacks ready to go but where is the fun in that? So, instead the boys used their cars to help mash-up the dirt to place in their pudding, they had a blast! Here is a clip from the evening….

 

 

 

We had such a wonderful time. A special thank you to MommyParties for presenting this fun opportunity and to Ridemakerz Extreme Customz for sponsoring the fun!

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If you are in search of the perfect gift for a boy age 5-8 I highly recommend these, you can check out Xtreme Customz line website and also sold in Target and Toys R Us stores, Xtreme Customz is only $9.99!

Also, moms make certain you take a second to sign up at MomSelect to host rad MommyParties like this one!

Disclosure: We were given 10 Ridemakerz Extreme Custmz cars to share with our party guests.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Brunch Play Date sampling Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Blue Agave

A couple of weeks ago we hosted our first EVER Brunch play date. But it wasn’t just any play date Brunch. This play date Brunch was made extra special because we were sampling Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Blue Agave and all the amazing flavors of agave they offer, including, strawberry, vanilla, maple, and cinnamon!

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I was a little apprehensive at first just because I have never hosted a Brunch play date; I mean what kind of toddler does brunch? Then, after contemplating the concept for a while I had a classic Oprah ‘aha moment’, every toddler loves brunch! I mean, let’s face it what do you typically eat at brunch? French toast, waffles, breakfast casseroles, eggs, etc. we’re talking about breakfast food that you can eat with your fingers, who wouldn’t like that?

So the night before our brunch I prepared the French toast bake and breakfast casserole.  The kiddos and I sanitized the toys (vinegar, lemon, and water spray) and we cleaned out the couch, removed the cushions from the couch and vacuumed (I prefer to be traumatized by the random things located, lost, and growing under my cushions and not have my guest endure such a sight to memory).  The morning of the play date we set up the tables, put the food in the oven, and then threw all the crap that I didn’t want anyone to see in the bedrooms and shut the doors (though a clever move, make certain you set the ground rules before doing this…there is nothing worse than just having received numerous complements on the neatness of your home only to have the children expose your dirty secret when they flood the rooms to play).

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As our guests arrived the toddlers and kiddos played while the casserole and French toast bake cooled on the stove top. Then Brunch was served, or rather they served themselves but you get the gist. I had substituted the Wholesome organic blue agave in place of the sugar in the French toast bake so I was quite eager to bite into it and see if you can actually substitute agave in place of sugar. 

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In hindsight it probably would have been wise to test this method prior to the Brunch but I had so much faith in Wholesome sweeteners that I just knew it was going to be amazing, is what I would love to say but it is rubbish. Truth is I had no idea. So I did what any good host would do, I let my guest take a bite first and then carefully watched their reactions. There were no grim expressions on their faces, perhaps Wholesome sweeteners delivered on taste? But like any control freak I was going to be the judge of that one.

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So I took a bite and booyah went the agave on my taste buds! It tasted just as good, no, better than with the regular sugar. I kid you not. Cooking with agave instead of sugar is easy, it taste as good, if not better, and is low on the glycemic index (it is slowly absorbed into the body thus reducing spikes in blood sugar). Onto the next test, the packets of flavored agave, which the children clearly loved based upon the packets left behind.

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The maple that I drizzled over a waffle tasted just like maple syrup, the strawberry flavor was the perfect pairing with strawberries and Greek yogurt, and the cinnamon tasted superb over the breakfast casserole. Oh, and the best part, they came in little convenient packets that you can place in your car, purse, diaper bag, etc. I asked the other moms to share their thoughts and they also thought the flavors tasted delicious. The only thing myself and another mom detected was a slight after taste but that might just be because we added too much agave. Each individual’s taste buds are different so I suppose a case of trial and error is in order in order to receive the preferred amount of sweetness. Talking about sweet, isn’t he just the sweetest…he is clearly a fan.

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Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you the best part, Wholesome sweetener organic blue agave is the World’s first Fairtrade agave! Wholesome sweeteners have helped bring clean water, health clinics, and schools to villages in Brazil, Mexico, and Africa. How awesome is that!

Just to review, Wholesome Sweeteners organic blue agave is awesome because:

  • Low on the glycemic index
  • Worlds’ first Fairtrade Agave
  • Convenient, especially in those individually wrapped packet, genius!
  • Can easily be substituted in place of sugar, and use less
  • Flavors taste amazing

But don’t let me be the judge, grab your purse, buy a bottle, and you be the judge!  Or maybe you have tried it, what did you think? Got any great recipes to share?

I would like to send out a special thank you to all the moms that attended the Brunch as well as Moms Meet and Wholesome Sweeteners for allowing us to sample their products.

Disclosure: I was supplied with the package of items illustrated in the photo for sampling purposes. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.