Thursday, April 16, 2015

Banana Croissant French Toast

    I've said it before, and I will gladly say it again...breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! I'm typically not happy with just a bowl of cereal, I prefer to save that for a late night snack ;-) To get my day started I want a nice hot meal.

A few weeks ago I picked up some croissants from Costco as a special treat. I love to make sandwiches with them, they are great for french toast and the kids love snacking on them. The morning that I decided to make french toast with the croissants, I realized that I had some pretty ripe bananas...usually I would make pancakes or muffins with them, but I had to use the croissants for fear that they too may go bad. So I decided to try the two together. What I ended up with was a perfect breakfast treat!

 Banana Croissant French Toast

1 very ripe banana
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
splash of vanilla
dash of cinnamon
**I find a pie dish to be perfect for soaking the bread in**

1- Mash your banana
2- Add all of the other ingredients to the mashed banana, stir until combined
3- Heat skillet over medium-low heat
4- melt butter in skillet
5- soak croissant in the egg mixture
6- cook croissant on each side until brown

Once complete you can top with maple syrup...or for an extra special treat use nutella and whipped topping.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Gymboree Clothing Review & Giveaway

  With every change of season comes the need for new clothes for the kiddos. With four little one's , style and comfort are just a few of the things I look for in clothing. I also love items that are made well enough to make it through more than one kid; especially the boys! With three lil guys, durability is a must.

  Gymboree is one of my favorite places to shop for the kids. I'll be honest, it can be a little pricey for our family, but they are known for having good deals. If I can catch it at just the right time, and even pile a coupon on top I can score some great pieces for our kids. The best part about this brand is I know the items will last.  I have baby clothes from Gymboree that are 7 years old now & I'm using them again with our newest little guy!

   My kids are going non-stop and during these warmer months they love playing outside. Gymboree has recently launched a new playwear line called Hop 'N Roll.  Gymboree has seen the desire that mom's have for cute, comfortable & coordinated style at a great everyday price and they have created just that with Hop N' Roll.

   We received a gift card to do some shopping of our own at Gymboree & I quickly fell in love with some of the outfits from this line. I love the chevron and geo print items for little girls, so I was very excited to get some of these pieces for Sweet Pea. I also chose one outfit for Lil Stinker from this line, what you must know about this kid is he would wear shorts and a t-shirt all year long. I just knew he would love the striped tee and pull on shorts, I couldn't believe just how incredibly soft these items were. 

   My kids fell in love with these items, they are perfect for playing indoors and out. I think they look incredibly adorable & they are comfortable so the kids get great play in them.

  I also chose some clothing from a few of the other lines that Gymboree has right now, for Buddy & Sweet Pea; I even snagged an adorable hoodie for our littlest guy. All of these items are made so well and look great on my kids. I fall in love with Gymboree everytime I shop there. I chose to do my shopping online and I was incredibly impressed with how quickly the items arrived. I shopped on Monday and everything was on my doorstep by Thursday afternoon. 

  Not only does Gymboree offer great clothing for kids, they also do great things for the community. Right now they are partnering with Kaboom!, a national non-profit organization that works to ensure that all kids have a childhood filled with active play, especially those in undeserved communities. Through May 31st , Gymboree will be supporting Kaboom! through a series of programs and activities, with the goal of raising enough money to build a place to play for 10,000 deserving kids. A percentage of all proceeds from sales of the Hop N' Roll line, in-store or online will benefit Kaboom!

  One of you will win a $75 gift card to do some shopping of your own at Gymboree. Please fill out the entry form below for your chance to win. This giveaway will end on Tuesday April 28th, Good Luck!

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Korean Beef Recipe

I love being a mom and I love being in the kitchen, but the two don't always go hand in hand. My kids keep me so busy that spending a lengthy amount of time in the kitchen isn't always possible. In fact most nights I really need something quick to prepare for my family.

  If I can get a meal on the table in under 30 minutes that is filling and delicious I am one happy momma. About 2 years ago I found a recipe over at Lizzy Write's that just happens to meet all of the criteria! Minimal ingredients with delicious flavors, this meal will please almost everyone. We've served this when we have guests over and it's always a success & my family, even my picky eaters, love it so much that we have it at least twice a month.

Korean Beef

- 1 lb grass fed beef
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (or coconut palm sugar)
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1 Tbls sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- salt & pepper
- green onions, diced

1- Heat a large skillet over medium heat & brown your hamburger with the garlic and sesame oil. 
2- Drain most of the fat; then add your brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, salt, pepper and red pepper.
3- Simmer for a few minutes and serve over rice, top with green onions.

     This recipe couldn't be any easier, and I always have the ingredients on hand. If I am missing anything its the green onions & ginger, easy enough for Hubs to pick up on his ride home from work.  I omit the red pepper every time I make this dish, but the ginger, green onions and sesame oil are the star players! Do not make this and leave those out, you'll be missing out for sure.

    ***Tip: I used to always waste ginger, because I'd pick up a huge piece from the grocery store and every recipe only calls for a little. So two things I've learned:
  1- you can snap a piece off in the grocery store, ginger is sold by weight, so just snap off the amount you want.
  2- go ahead and buy a large piece, then peel it and cut it into small pieces. Toss it in a freezer bag and pop it in the freezer, pull out a small piece when you need it.

    Not only does the ginger add some great flavor, it also has some great health benefits! Everything from curing morning sickness to reducing inflammation can be a result of eating ginger. Its also said to possibly prevent colon cancer and treat ovarian cancer! Well thats good news! So don't skip the ginger.**  

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Pacific Play Tents - Review & Giveaway

  We are so thankful that Spring is finally here! It has been an incredibly long & cold winter, and my kids and I are beyond ready to be back outside. They have some fabulous imaginations, which definitely comes in handy whether they are playing indoors or out, they can go from being a knight or princess, to a lion or tiger in minutes! 

   As a mom I definitely appreciate toys that help develop their imaginations. For a long while Pacific Play Tents has been a favorite company of ours. We own a tunnel that the kids love to crawl through and we own a a tent & tunnel combo that they love to play in. Both of these items can be used indoors or out, so my kids get year round use from them.

   What I didn't know is Pacific Play Tents offers a variety of other great everyday items. You'll definitely want to check out their New Item Catalog to see great items like jumping sacks, tatami mats and more. I was really excited when one of their new Teacher Chair's  ($39.99) showed up on our doorstep. 

   During the warmer months, we really limit screen time; but I'll be honest and say that during the months where it's too cold to be outside I can easily run out of ideas of how to keep the kids busy and happy. So they enjoy their share of tv shows and video games. The biggest problem is my oldest guy (7) loves to stand in front of the TV; blocking everyone's view & probably hurting his eyes. The Teacher Chair is just what we have needed to keep him where he needs to be & comfy!

  This chair is perfect for each of our older children, ages 7,4 and 2, they all love sitting in it. Whether they are playing video games or enjoying a movie, the Teacher's Chair is perfect for them! The seat easily reclines to several different positions making it the perfect seat for anyone.  

   Living in a small home I also love that when not in use the chair lies perfectly flat. The kids easily slide this beside the couch so its easily accessible when they want it, but its out of the way when not in use. It also features a carrying strap making it perfect for on the go! I know our kids, or Hubs and I will love using it at our local Drive In theater this summer. 

  Pacific Play Tents has an amazing variety of products that will be perfect for your family, whether you're looking for something to make everyday life a little easier or something to add a little more fun to your kids playtime. One of you will win a $50 gift card to use on the any item you'd like from the companies website. Please fill out the entry form below for your chance to win. This giveaway will end on Friday April 24th, Good Luck.

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