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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Cherry Almond Cookies

Bring those gorgeous summer time fresh, sweet red cherries into your dessert with these soft-baked Almond Sugar Cookies that are finished with a divine Cherry Buttercream Frosting!
I do not want summer to end.  Yes, our days get crazy and often downright dramatic with all four kids home, but on average, our time together is blissful.  

I love watching my kids run around together barefoot without a care in the world.  

I love the outdoor BBQ's, the play dates with friends, and listening to my kids laugh while they do the slip 'n slide.  

I love visiting grandpas and grandmas, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  

I love playing tennis in the evenings until the sun sinks low in the sky.  

I love sitting on a big blanket on our grass and star gazing. 

I love the oodles of popsicles and ice cream that we consume in large quantities.  

I love that the kids literally don't take their swimsuits off unless I need to wash them. 

I could go on forever, but suffice it to say we are having some dreamy months away from school! 
I may have set the bar high when we began summer break by baking these Watermelon Slice Cookies.  Now the kids expect homemade cookies every day.  No joke.  

We've baked up our favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cherry Limeade Cookies, Rootbeer Float Cookies, and the list goes on.  

When I saw cherries on the front page of my store ads last week, I got all giddy and stocked up big time because I can never resist a good sale, especially when it comes to delightful in-season fruit.  My husband was out of town, though, so it was just me and the kids trying to eat gobs of cherries before they went bad, so I knew I needed to put them to good use and make them into another to-die-for cookie!
I remember climbing our
big cherry tree, growing up, with legs straddling branches, and just picking them right off and popping them in my mouth one at a time, then spitting the pits in the dirt below. When it was time to harvest them, my dad put all of us kids in the deep scoop of his tractor and lifted us up to the tippy top of the tree so we could grab gigantic handfuls and fill our seemingly bottomless buckets.

I don't remember feeling afraid of being up so high, but now, I know I'd be shaking in my shoes.  Why is it that we seem to get wimpier with age? :)

{CHERRY ALMOND COOKIES}

1 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter, softened
3/4 tsp. almond extract
1 large egg
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt

Frosting:
1/2 c. softened butter
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/4 c. fresh cherry puree

For the cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together sugar, butter, almond extract, and egg.  Add in flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt and mix to combine.  Use a 1 1/2" ice cream scoop to make dough balls.  Place them at least 2" apart on a cookie sheet that's been prepared with nonstick cooking spray or lined with a nonstick baking mat.  Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes.  Set the timer for 8 minutes and check every minute until they're just barely done so they'll be nice and soft.

Let them sit on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, wash, pat dry, and remove the stems and pits on a big handful of sweet red cherries.  Place them in a blender and puree completely.  Measure 1/4 cup of cherry puree.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter, powdered sugar, almond extract and cherry puree until smooth and creamy.  Frost cooled cookies and keep in an airtight container.  Keep them in the fridge if your house is warm.
I can't decide what my favorite part about this cookie is...the almond-flavored soft sugar cookie base or the finger-licking-good Cherry Buttercream Frosting!  Together they are a match made in heaven!

I hope you're making lots of memories this summer!  Let these cookies be one of them.  You won't be sorry!
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

DIY Color Block Bookmark Plus How to Earn Free Scholastic Books!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company, Kellogg Company, J.M. Smucker Company, and The HERSHEY'S Company. All opinions are mine alone. #StartSchoolLikeAChampion #CollectiveBias

Dive into your favorite book and keep your place with this bright and happy color-block bookmark! 
My kids and I have been doing lots of reading this summer, how about you?  We even joined a book club at our local library to keep us on track and to earn some little prizes along the way.

The kids look forward to lunch time every day because it means they each get to select a few treasured children's books from our home library for mom to read while they eat.  It's something that my mother used to do with me and my siblings when we were little and I've continued the tradition with my own kiddos.

We love getting sucked into a good story! 
Even before becoming a mom, I knew one of the things I wanted to do with my kids was to read to them every single day.  So I started building up a library early on in our marriage.  Now, four children later, we've built quite the collection!

But, one can never have too many books, am I right?  Many of ours are getting pretty worn, so my kids get giddy when I present them with a shiny new one where the pages aren't bent or slightly torn.  :) Plus, each new book represents a fresh chance to go to another exciting, imaginary place! Right?!

So when we heard that HERSHEY'S, Smucker's, Coca-Cola and Kellogg's were teaming up with Scholastic Books to give Walmart shoppers an opportunity to earn up to 90 free books, we were totally on board! 

Since back-to-school will be here very soon, my kids are gearing up for even more reading, just like the U.S. athletes are preparing to compete in the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games!  Are you as excited about it as I am?!

By simply purchasing participating products (there are over 100!) at Walmart, all of which are great back-to-school items, you can earn free Scholastic books!  One item equals one book!  The promotion runs from 6/29/16 – 9/30/16.

It's so easy to do!  It seriously took me about a minute!
 Just select your participating Coca-Cola, HERSHEY'S, Kellogg's, or J.M. Smucker products, available exclusively at Walmart, from THIS list.
Watch for this special "Start School Like a Champion" packaging! 
Then, go HERE within 30 days of purchase to upload your receipt (you can just take a picture of it on your phone, if you'd like).  Once your points are available in your account, you can redeem them for free Scholastic books!  You can either order them for yourself, friends, and family, or donate them to a school of your choice!

Since we have an abundance of books at our house and the kids' school is always looking to bolster its literary resources, we're going to send a few in that direction!

And now, since we're always using random paper scraps to mark our place as we read, I put together this very official, simple geometric color block bookmark!

Here's how to make it:
You'll need some acryllic paint, foam brushes, a hole puncher, scissors, masking tape, heavy cardstock, and baker's twine. 

Begin by cutting a rectangle (mine was about 6"x2").  Using thin strips of masking tape, mask off small and larger areas, creating interesting shapes.  Use a few different coordinating colors of paint to fill in those areas, alternating so it creates a pretty effect.

While the paint is still a little wet, carefully peel off the masking tape.
Allow it to dry completely, then punch a hole in the top center.  Grab your baker's twine and begin looping it through the hole making the tassel thicker with more loops.  Tie it to itself in a knot near the punched hole.  Cut through the center of the loop at the top and then tie it in a knot and trim the ends to make them even.  That's it!

Isn't it cute?!  

Don't forget to take advantage of this amazing promotion while it lasts! Which free Scholastic books will you choose?  Happy reading! 

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Friday, July 15, 2016

Meatball Sub Bake

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

Gather the family around the dinner table and serve up this warm and comforting casserole filled with Italian meatballs, yummy marinara sauce, crusty garlic bread and melty cheese that's perfect for a busy school night!

I can't believe we're already talking back-to-school!  The colorful supplies have already hit the store shelves, which means that new teachers, freshly-sharpened pencils, and a another year of learning are not too far ahead.  

I'm always so sad to see the carefree summer days go, but I do look forward to getting back into a set routine and schedule again.  I feel like my entire day is centered around taking my kids to school and picking them up around 3 PM when that dismissal bell rings.  But, I appreciate that it forces me to stay on task and be productive, because if I slack and blink, the time's gone and nothing on my list has been accomplished!

Being the crazy obsessive planner that I am, once school's back in session, I try to keep our week night menu as simple and low key as possible, knowing that I always feel exhausted by the time evening rolls around and the last thing I want to do is prepare an elaborate meal.  Are you the same way?

But no one ever said that easy can't also be amazingly and unforgettably scrumptious, and today's recipe is proof of that!
I keep a large stock of Prego Italian Sauces in my pantry for simple meal solutions on nights where I don't feel like cooking, and that happens more often than I'd like to admit.  :) 

It's definitely the star player in today's mouthwatering concoction.  Prego Italian Sauces make my life so much easier! They lend that homemade taste and that sweet and savory kick to my recipes with only the pop of a jar lid.  Because I'm all about saving time in the food department when there's loads of homework that is always partly mine and a mountain of class paperwork in the backpacks to go through each evening.
Prego Italian Sauces are super easy to find on the Spaghetti Sauce aisle at Walmart.
I also load our cupboards and drawers with Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup for another meal that's ready in a snap.  Because there can never be too many quick meal options when everyone's hustling and bustling about on a school night.  

The kids can't resist this stuff!  And then we like to dress it up with our favorite toppings and add-ins to make it extra special.

Don't forget to grab your coupon for Prego Italian Sauce and Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup, along with Pace Salsa and V8+Energy drink too!
Casseroles tend to have a bad rap amongst the youngsters (I know because I used to be a child once), but this one will certainly bust those preconceived notions and have everyone licking their platters clean!  So be prepared to give those taste buds an awakening experience they won't soon forget!  

Have you ever had a meatball sub?  This is that sandwich, but in a ready-to-feed-the-crowds form! So let the friends stay for dinner, 'cause there's plenty for all!

This is definitely best the first day while the bread is freshly-baked and toasty.

{MEATBALL SUB BAKE}

36 fully cooked, frozen Italian Style Meatballs
1 Jar Prego Traditional Italian Sauce, or your favorite variety (24 oz.)
14 oz. frozen garlic bread
About 4 oz. fresh spinach
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Start by separating your frozen garlic bread pieces and laying them out on a prepared baking sheet.  Warm according to package directions, or until nice and toasty.  While that's baking, add your frozen meatballs to a large skillet over low heat on the stove top.  Pour your Prego Italian Sauce over and stir to coat all the meatballs.  Place a lid over the top and allow the meatballs to simmer in the sauce until they're nice and tender and warmed completely through.
Arrange your baked garlic bread pieces in a 9x13" baking dish that's been coated with nonstick cooking spray.  Arrange and layer the spinach over the top of the bread, ensuring that it's completely covered.  No one likes soggy bread!  

Spoon the sauce and meatball mixture evenly over the top of the spinach.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes, then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is nice and melty. Serve and enjoy immediately.
Just five ingredients, people!  I think we can handle this, and the tummies certainly won't complain either!

I love to sit down to a warm, satisfying dinner after a hectic day, don't you?!  It just makes everything better!

What are your favorite ways to use Prego Italian Sauces?  I'd love some new ideas!

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

DIY Box Tops Storage Container

Keep those Box Tops organized with this fun and colorful upcycled soup can container!
Even though the kids are on summer break, we continue to collect Box Tops religiously, just like we did when school was in session.  We've built up quite the collection that the kids will be happy to turn over to their teachers when the new school year starts in not too long.

I'm a firm believer that every penny counts!  Especially when each Box Top is worth .10 cents.  And it really adds up quick if every student chips in a bunch!  I know most schools can use the extra cash, my kids' school very much included.  
In fact, my son, who was in kindergarten last year, told me how his class was able to purchase two new tablets, thanks in large part due to funds earned from Box Tops.  His teacher used these tablets during "Breakout Sessions" for the kids to play learning games.

It was so fulfilling for me to hear a first-hand account of how those Box Tops proceeds are being put to good use to aid in my kids' education and to think that we played a small part in it.

In the past, I'd just been throwing all of our clipped Box Tops in a kitchen drawer.  But they were getting lost in the mix of randoms and it was always a chore to find all of them in a hurry before sending the kids out the door to school.  I've been trying to be more organized, so this is another project in the books!  Plus, it only took about 10 minutes, so I call that a major win!  You know I'm all about simple, cute and functional!
My kids take it as a personal challenge to spot Box Tops on various products that we purchase.  It's a little game they like to play.  :) 

Look for Box Tops on your favorite Reynolds Consumer Products, including Reynolds® Bakeware Pans, Reynolds® Oven Bags, Hefty® Easy Grip® Cups, Hefty® Easy Flaps® Tall Kitchen Bags and Large Trash Bags, Hefty® Style Plates and more! 

If you'd like the chance to earn extra cash for your kids' school, be sure to play the Hefty and Reynolds Box Tops for Education “School Supplied” sweepstakes and daily instant win game. They're giving away thousands of product prizes PLUS 10,000 eBoxTops to 5 lucky schools!!    


{SUPPLIES}

Patterned paper in various colors
Chalkboard sticker label
Chalk or Chalk Marker
Empty Soup Can (cleaned thoroughly and dried completely)
Mod Podge
Foam Brush
Plastic lid from a chip canister
Box Cutter
Begin by cutting strips of patterned paper (I just used scraps) to fit all the way around the can with a little overlap.  How wide your strips are will depend on how many you want.  You'll want to leave enough space to overlap the strips on each other.  

Apply a little (not too much or the paper will bubble) Mod Podge to each strip, working one at a time and adhere it to the can, running your fingers along it to ensure a nice bond with the can.  Do the same for the remaining strips, ensuring that they all meet in one place.

Label your chalk board sticker, place it on the can, then cut a slit in the top of your plastic lid using the box cutter.  Make sure the slit is big enough to fit the largest of Box Tops. The lid will not fit really snuggly, so if you'd like it to, just place a few pieces of double sided tape on the inner rim to hold it in place. That way, it'll be easily removeable as well.
Collecting Box Tops is even more fun with this happy-looking container!  I love that the colors are so scholastic too..they remind me of fresh-out-of-the box supplies at the beginning of the year...not much is better!  It sits on our counter where we'll always be reminded to clip and save those important little rectangles!

Now my kids can hardly wait for school to start again so they can turn over their spoils and watch their teachers smile!  Well, they might not be that excited to see their summer break end, but it will be a good day when they get to proudly hand in their filled-to-the-brim can!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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Monday, July 11, 2016

DIY Ombre Twine Vases

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

Enjoy some quiet craft time alone while making these cute color-blocked upcycled glass bottle vases and snacking on OREO Thins!

This blog has been a little quiet lately.  We just got back from a trip to visit my kids' grandparents out-of-state.  We soaked up some sun, went on outings galore with cousins, had BBQs, late nights, and loads of memories were made.  I've got a full camera roll of pictures to prove it.  Ahhh...the joys of summer time!

It's rejuvenating to let the kids run wild and free outdoors while I catch up with the adults.  My mom is always so good to let me have a "break" from the norm while I am visiting.  She knows how it is being a busy mom and all the rigors that come with the "job", so she refuses to let me do dishes or clean while there.  No matter how much I beg or plead to help maintain the mess around the house or to join her in preparing the next meal, she urges me to sit down and relax on the couch.  

Now that's what I call a vacation!  She bustles about making our meals and reading books to the grand kids, all so I can have a breather.  Have I mentioned how much I love my mom?  :)
One afternoon, she took the kids off to play for a few hours so I could have some quiet time to myself to craft! "Me time" plus crafting equals heaven!

At home, a typical "crafting session"looks like this: me sitting with a sweet baby tugging at my pant leg while the older kids call for snacks or to come help them find that missing toy. :)  I totally and thoroughly love this phase of life, but every now and then, a mom just needs some alone time, am I right?
So I took full advantage of the silent house while the kids were away having a good time with Grandma.  I pulled out the OREO Thins and my project supplies and set to work! 

 Crafting and snacking on sweets at the same time?  That's my happy place!

From start to finish, these vases were done in less than an hour!
You'll need some jute or twine, acrylic paint in graduating colors for the ombre effect, foam brushes, masking tape, some Tacky Glue, and some empty, clean glass drink bottles.

Begin by applying some Tacky glue all around the bottom section of the bottle.  Grab your twine and begin wrapping it tightly around while turning the bottle in your hand, ensuring that the rows stay close together.  
I figured at this point, I'd more than earned a refreshment, so I munched on some delicious OREO Thins.  They're perfectly thin and crisp with a delightful pop of filling. The Mint and new Lemon varieties are my favorite!  
I nibbled without interruption on a stack of OREO Thins while gluing and wrapping.  

Dessert sometimes just tastes better when enjoyed in secret, am I right? Because I'm not always in the mood to share, especially when it's this good. :)
I can't wait to try the new Chocolate OREO Thins! I'm all about snacks that aren't heavy feeling (because I want to leave room for my next meal), but also fulfill that sweet tooth craving in a big way!  These yummy treasures do just that!
These scrumptious treats are easy to find on the cookies aisle at your local Kroger store.  I picked mine up at Smith's Food & Drug while grabbing some other necessities during our trip.  I love shopping at Smith's because everything is easy to find and the experience is always low key. Plus, I can get in and out in a hurry, which perfectly fits my "busy mom" lifestyle.  

Find a local Kroger store near you with this handy store locator.

Now let's get back to our fun project.

Once you've had that snacking break, continue applying the Tacky Glue in small sections and wrapping, until you get to the top of the bottle.  Trim your twine and press the end flush against the bottle.  Allow it to dry completely while you make your other vase, following the same steps.

Lastly, we'll paint the vases.  Mask off a section of your vase, then paint with the darkest color.  Remove the tape, move it up, leaving another open section of twine, then paint with the second darkest color.  Finish by moving the tape up one last time and painting the open section with the lightest color.  
 Now display those vibrantly-colored flowers from the floral section of the grocery store or go on a hike and pick some wildflowers! 

Aren't these fun?  I love DIY-ing my home decor!  It makes for great conversation pieces and the results are much more sentimental!

I'd say this was a successful afternoon! Happy crafting and snacking!
OREO Thins at Kroger (July 2016)


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Banana Poppyseed Bundt Cake

If you are a banana bread lover, you need to try this delicious cake-ified version with poppy seeds, decadent cream cheese frosting, and chopped pecans!
When I eat cake, most of the time, I prefer it not to be super light and airy.  Which may be why I've never been a huge fan of angel food cake and boxed cake mixes.  I just crave substance in my desserts.  I want to feel like I've eaten something when I'm done.  It's got to be worth the calories full tummy and satisfaction-wise.  :)
Which is why I set out to make a dense, not crumbly, and make-you-content cake that resembles a favorite banana loaf treat.

The results are mind-blowingly amazing!  I took this to a baby shower where it received rave reviews from all the ladies!  I had to send the meager leftovers home with a friend before I ate them all by myself in the car on the way home! :)

{BANANA POPPYSEED BUNDT CAKE}
Adapted from Allrecipes

1/2 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. canola oil
2 c. white sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. mashed bananas
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
3 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Frosting:
1/2 c. butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 c. chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (the low temperature helps keep the cake from getting dry).  Grease and flour a 10" bundt cake pan.  Mash bananas and stir in lemon juice and poppy seeds.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter, canola oil and sugar. Add eggs, mix, then add vanilla. Mix just until combined.  In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt.  Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately while mixing.  Scrape sides to make sure everything is well incorporated.  Stir in banana mixture by hand just until incorporated.

**If you don't have buttermilk, you can make your own sour milk for this recipe by stirring together 1 1/2 Tbsp. white vinegar with 1 1/2 c. milk and letting it sit for at least 5 minutes.  I like to do this step first.

Pour about 3/4 of the mixture into the prepared 10" bundt cake pan.  Save the rest and make cupcakes! Bake for about 1 hour and 5 minutes, or just until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Don't over bake or it'll be dry! Let cool in the bunt pan for about 20 minutes (it should start pulling away from the sides), then carefully remove it and place it on a cooling rack.  I ran a knife around the edges to loosen it.  Let cool completely, then make frosting by creaming together butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Frost the cake (saving enough icing for the cupcakes), then sprinkle with chopped pecans.

**I was able to make 12 cupcakes with the remaining batter and baked them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 17 minutes.
My sister's been taunting me with texts of her banana cupcakes with cream cheese icing over the past few weeks.  It's been a favored confection at her house as of late. So I've of course had a hankering for it ever since that first message (thanks a lot, Melissa!).  

But it urged me to put together this beauty, so I really am appreciative.  I take back all the sarcasm. 

I'd say 80% of our communication subject matters involve food (specifically treats) in some way.  We've obviously inherited the genetic sweet tooth. Sometimes I wish I wasn't tempted so much by sugar, but then I wouldn't get to enjoy things like this, so I revoke that wish immediately. :)
What gives me more reason to love this recipe is that it makes enough for a bundt cake plus about a dozen cupcakes to boot!  So you can take the impressive-looking cake to an event plus let the kids enjoy some individually-wrapped, frosted delights at home so they don't feel left out.  :)

It's slow baked in a low temperature oven to lock in moisture and for irresistible flavor! Trust me, this cake is worth the wait!

The tantalizing banana flavor combined with the over-the-top wickedly good icing and crunchy chopped nuts will leave you wanting for more!  I dare you to be able to eat just one piece!  If you can, you've got lots more self control than I do!

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Saturday, July 2, 2016

Edible Checkers Game

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

Enjoy a Disney Pixar’s Finding Dory themed meal while playing this Goldfish® crackers Edible Checkers Game!
How's your summer going?  Are your kids enjoying their time away from school?


I don't know about you, but I'm always on the lookout for boredom busters, especially with the kids at home 24/7.  Don't get me wrong...I LOVE the days of no homework, because somehow their assignments always turn into a shared responsibility with mom, :) no set schedule, and lots of playtime!  But sometimes we all go a little stir crazy when it's too hot to be outdoors and I've limited their television/tablet time.


But I know the way to my kids' hearts.  They go crazy for games, so I put together a super simple checkers activity that they can play during snack time or while they're enjoying their lunch or dinner!
Who says it's not ok to play with your food?


There are times when I encourage my kids to do just that, and this was one of them.
Do you believe that my kiddos had never played checkers before this particular day?  I know, I'm totally failing as a mother!  They've been living in a cave.  Ha ha!
This game was an entertainment staple around my house growing up.  I switched things up a little with a homemade board and some Goldfish® crackers playing pieces, but the rules remain the same.  Simply add an extra Goldfish® cracker to the square of the object that has become King and move them together from then on out.


Then, when a piece gets jumped, it can be promptly gobbled.  My kids didn't have any complaints about that one.


Now this is what I call mealtime fun!
It certainly helped that we had a super fun lunch to enjoy while playing it!  The kids couldn't resist this yummy spread!


These Goldfish® Special Edition! Cheddar Disney Pixar’s Finding Dory Crackers were the perfect companion to our Campbell's Dory Healthy Kid's soup and grilled cheese sandwich triangles!  


I'm all about finding simple ways to help kids (especially picky kiddos like mine) look forward to eating!

I don't know about you, but when I serve the same old lunch over and over, my kids grumble and groan, so it's fun to occasionally mix things up with meals like this and just watch their eyes grow to the size of saucers. :)
Enjoy 20% off Goldfish® crackers featuring Disney-Pixar Finding Dory with THIS Target offer and 10% off Campbell's Dory Healthy Kid's soup with THIS Target offer!


I love the special edition colors of the Goldfish® crackers and the fact that their colors are sourced from plants!


The soup features fun new pasta shapes of kids’ favorite characters and have no MSG added, so you can rest easy.  Look for all 3 unique labels featuring Dory, Nemo and Hank!


Here's how to put together the simple checkers board for a fun game with Goldfish® crackers!


{SUPPLIES}


A piece of 12"x12" heavy Cardstock
Craft Paint
Foam Brush
Ruler
Pencil
Plastic page cover
I started with a colored piece of cardstock so I only had to paint one set of squares.  


Start by making tick marks every 1 1/2" on all sides of the sheet.  Use a ruler to connect the marks.  You should end up with an 8x8 board.


Using your foam brush, carefully paint in every other square.  Allow it to dry completely and then place the page in a sheet protector or go ahead and laminate it for prolonged use.


That's it!  Easy peasy, right?!
Now let the kids place Goldfish® crackers on the board, using two different colors to denote whose is whose.

When you provide dinner and entertainment simultaneously, that's when the real memories are made.  And that's what you call winning at being a mom. :)

This is such a great way to make meal time even more fun and to "break the rules" a little by playing with food!
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