Healthy Summer Kid Snacks + DIY Sun Catcher

Healthy Summer Kid Snacks + DIY Sun Catcher

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SnackStories #SnackSnapShare #CollectiveBias

Summer is here and with it comes summertime crafting! After picking the boys up from camp they always ask what we are up to today. During the school year schedules are tight and there isn’t always time for as much fun as we’d like. During the summer while the days last longer, we try to take advantage of all the extra outdoor time by eating al fresco as much as possible.

One of the ways I keep the kids engaged, is by providing delicious snacks for them to munch on while were outside. With two hungry boys this can be a tough feat, some days it feels like they are never full! I struggle with making sure they get the right nutrition while fueling their busy little boy tanks. I like to create an “invitation to eat” by making snacks individualized, kid-sized, and most of all, fun-looking. Bright foods with different textures are most inviting to kids. Right now the boys are digging anything crunchy, so my options are pretty wide open on the veggie side.

 

Summer Snacks

Late July® Organic Tortilla Chips are the perfect go-to for snacks. They are crunchy, made with high-quality ingredients, and ready for dipping. The new Jalapeno Lime flavor is the perfect kick for some summertime snacking. My oldest likes a little spice, but my youngest son prefers the original tortilla chips, and I love the new recyclable packaging!

Summer Snacks

I make sure to provide a few different options so they don’t get tired of the same flavor. I cut open a few peppers and added Avocado Hummus (our newest favorite), Black Bean Salsa, and traditional salsa. They each pair perfectly with the Late July®Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips. Avocado Hummus is a new twist on hummus, the boys really love the texture and I love how simple it is.

Easy Avocado Hummus

Easy Avocado Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 15oz Can of Chick Peas
  • 1 Ripe Avocado
  • 1 Clove of Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp of EVOO
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 Tsp of Cumin
  • 1/4 Tsp Himalayan Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Parsley for Garnish

Instructions

  1. Add the Avocado, Chick Peas, Garlic, Salt, and Lime Juice to a food processor. Pulse 3-5 times, then slowly add the EVOO on a full blend until creamy. Sprinkle with Cumin and garnish with Parsley to enjoy!
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Just throw a few ingredients into the food processor and voila! You’ve got a fun summertime snack for the kids and yourself. This was an easy recipe perfect for chomping on while making our fun Summertime Sun Catchers. This craft was perfect for outdoor use since it involved melting plastic and I didn’t want those fumes in the house.

Sun Catchers

You start with clear plastic beads you can find in your local craft store. Add a handful to an aluminum muffin pan so the bottom of the pan is covered. You can create patterns if you like or even all one color. The boys thought it would look best if they put in a bunch of multicolored beads to see how they would all melt together.

We put the muffin pan directly on the hot grill and put the top on for 15 minutes. When I took the lid off they were completely melted down (don’t worry these won’t stick onto the muffin pan). I set them aside and let them cool overnight.

Sun Catchers

Once they were cooled, they were ready to be strung. I used my trusty hot glue gun to attach the bakers twine to the back of the sun catcher.

Once the glue dries, they are ready to be hung outside or in front of your favorite sunny window!

DIY Sun Catchers

The boys loved decorating the tree outside, they were impressed with their new creation as we all sat and snacked on our healthy summertime snacks. Bonus!

Enter the #SnackSnapShare Sweepstakes before 7/11/17 or your chance to win a grand prize of $10,000! There will be eight weekly winners eligible to win a year’s worth of snacks so they can continue to share the love all year-long. OR you could be one of 57 daily winners set to receive a $50 prepaid Visa gift card to stock up on snacks at your favorite retailer.Good Luck!

#SnackSnapShare #Sweepstakes (5/30 to 7/25)

Summer Snacks
If I were to enter, I would use this photo!

Essentially yours,

Erika


Summer Snacks

Summer Haircare | DIY Balayage Hair Mask

Summer Haircare | DIY Balayage Hair Mask

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CreateWithOil #CollectiveBias

The summer sun can be brutal on your hair. Especially if you have blonde hair, or highlights. Last summer I began the process of balayage on my hair and loved the results. However, I knew that upon returning to Florida, that the summer sun would wreak havoc on my hair. Bleaching you hair does quite a bit of damage to the follicle, and can cause it to fray. Split ends or dry brittle hair is NOT in for the season, so I knew I’d better get pretty creative with some hair care solutions.

If you know me, like at all, you know I pretty much run on coconut oil. It’s in everything from the food we eat, to some of my favorite skin care recipes. So it’s only natural I incorporate it into my hair care routine as well. The hydrating properties of LouAna Coconut Oil are endless, so it was a no-brainer that it needed to be the main ingredient in this DIY hair mask. I picked some up at my local Publix supermarket and got started making my hair mask.

LouAna was born in Opelousas, Louisiana in 1820, a place where the food is an elemental expression of love, flavor and family. With over 14 different types of cooking oil, LouAna has the perfect oil for all of your cooking needs whether its sautéing, deep-frying or baking, LouAna helps every type of cook put the best dish on the table each and every time.

A surprising factor in this recipe is that bananas also have many great benefits for your hair. Banana is rich in potassium, natural oils, carbohydrates and vitamins which help in softening the hair and protects the hair’s natural elasticity preventing split ends and breakage. Banana in your hair mask can create manageability, shine, growth and controls dandruff. Add that with a little bit of honey and you’ve got yourself a hair mask! Honey helps to smooth and coat dry and damaged hair shafts, sealing in moisture, which is what blonde really needs if it’s going to stay healthy under the sun.

Hair Mask

Simply mix all of the ingredients into a bowl. Then, part your hair down the middle and work it through all of your hair. Once its incorporated on one half of your head, braid that section and begin to spread it along the other half of your scalp working your way down to the ends (or you can only treat the ends and save the rest in a container in the fridge for up to five days).

Balayage Hair Mask

Coconut Oil

DIY Hair Mask

Leave this mixture in your hair for thirty minutes. For added shine, you can don a shower cap to really lock in that moisture! Wash in the shower with a hydrating shampoo and get ready to rock that blonde all summer long! LouAna is the only brand of cooking oils with a full range of high quality products that deliver the performance worthy of being the foundation of any recipe. LouAna is always the start of something good!

Hair Mask

You can find Lou Ana Coconut Oil at your local Publix. You can search for Lou Ana Coconut Oil at any of these local retailers. You can click here to save $1.00 on any Lou Ana Coconut Oil.

Essentially yours,

Erika

Art In The Park Birthday Celebration

Art In The Park Birthday Celebration

Planning parties can be a lot of work, and a lot of stress. Since making the decision to only throw parties for our kids milestone birthdays, it keeps the stress low and allows us to spend more time making memories together on fun birthday trips. This year was a milestone year for our little guy, but he expressed zero interest in a party. That is, up until five days before the date we had in mind. So, off to the dollar store I went! I had to pull off a party in just under five days, a piece of cake..right?

Luckily we kept it simple and let him come up with the guest list. Short and sweet, that was the name of our game. His closest buds from school and a few family members. Deal! Now to find a theme…

I delight in the fact that limited screen time with our boys has meant that our costumes and birthday celebrations haven’t been overrun by commercial products. We still have plenty of time before we are forced to throw a Paw Patrol party. I like to think outside the box and really tailor the party to fit our kids personalities. Our youngest is an artist like his dad, and can spend hours sitting with my husband painting. He’s held a pencil / crayon properly since he was eighteen months old. He definitely gets that from dad!

So we decided to throw him an Art Party in his favorite park. He loved it, and it was perfect. We keep plenty of art supplies on hand, so mostly everything we needed was already located right in their playroom. Bonus!

Art Party

I’m working on practicing some conscious party etiquette, making some small changes that have been general practice over the years. This time around I eliminated balloons from our party decor. Aside from the production of plastic that only lends to our environmental troubles, balloons are often released and wind up in the bellies of defenseless sea turtles and birds. So I purchased these adorable paper lanterns. They are reusable, so I can only buy them once. I chose primary colors so they will go with all of my other basic party supplies. I also picked up a felt Happy Birthday banner a few years ago that I have been able to reuse time and time again. It saves on having to buy one every year, and cuts back on waste.

I was able to get some canvas’ on sale for each of the kids to create their own masterpiece. We set up an artist’s studio table with a few invitations to create. We had crayons, markers, and paint. As well as these quick and easy popsicle easels we made as favors.

Art Party

 

To add to the favors, I found small notebooks and used some washi tape to attach a few crayons and add to the goody bags with their very own water-color paint set and a painter’s smock. It was a hit with most of the kids.. Four year olds are known for their candor and we enjoyed listening as someone proclaimed to dislike art. However, the moms couldn’t have been happier. Bonus!

Art Party

Art Party

Art Party

I was convinced that these moms were either going to love me, for opening a space for their kids to let loose and get creative. Or hate me because of the mess they would have to deal with. Luckily I was surrounded by some art loving mamas! To be fair, I did include instructions to dress in messy play clothes on the invitation.

Art Party

I set up a few different stations in addition to the main painting table. I wanted the kids to get a fun sensory experience out of it all, so we added some cool elements. We set up canvases throughout the park where kids could experience different ways to use paint.

Squirt Paint

Water color paint was added to bins where they could use “paint squirters” to create a splatter effect on a blank canvas. In hindsight, it may have worked better on paper, the water-color seemed to roll off the canvas. Nevertheless, the kids had fun!

Art Party

Finger Painting

Art Party

Three trays were laid out with paint so the kids could dump their hands in it and go to town. I originally wanted them to all leave hand prints on this canvas so we could hang it in their play room. The kids ended up drawing images with their hands instead, it’s adorable!

Hot Wheels Art

This was a major hit with most of the boys. Creating tracks with paint has a therapeutic effect, and the boys just gravitate towards it.

Art Party

Spin Art

Art Party

A long time favorite for us, Spin Art is loads of fun for everyone (including adults). You simply pour different paint colors (the kids love choosing and squeezing) into an old salad spinner, and spin away. The end result is a beautiful piece of splatter art suitable for framing. It’s a good time!

Art Party

Marble Paint

This was a fun surprise. We set up a few marbles in one tray, and paint in another. We let the kids choose a color, dip their marbles and then roll the marble around the tray to create fun patterns.

Art Party

I also set up an area for sidewalk chalk, and a spool of blank white paper. Having all of the different stations left the kids with plenty to keep them busy throughout the party. But nothing screams party like cake and presents.

It’s tough to find a good cake with only a few days notice. Every baker I reached out to was already booked solid. So I went to my local grocer and ordered a custom double layer quarter sheet cake with multicolored icing dripping down the sides to resemble paint. It came out great actually, it was a big hit.

Art Party

In the end I think everyone was just grateful for the outdoor space where the kids could work off their sugar rush!

Art Party

Happy Birthday to my little guy, may all your artsy wishes come true!

Art Party

 

Art Party

Art Party

Art Party

Art Party

In the end we were very happy with the turnout. It was a great party, the kids and moms had a great afternoon and it was stress-free. Once the sugar wore off..

Essentially yours,

Erika

 

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