June 29, 2016

Cape Cod Children's Museum (Again!)

This year, we spent Tyler's birthday at the Cape Cod Children's Museum. I love the Cape Cod Children's Museum and we've been a few times already.  It's a roughly 40 minute drive but it's so worth it; we're always there for a few hours!

It's one of the smaller children museums and I love that because it's one big space and I can keep an eye on both kids even if they run to opposite centers. Emmalee loves the kitchen center and spent over a half hour pretending she was a chef, taking our orders, and then "making" us food.  Tyler loves the farm area and the boat is a new favorite!

Additionally, there is a huge pirate ship in the middle of the room, plus a puppet area, a submarine area, smaller "houses" that house public service costumes, musical instruments and a post office! There's also a tree house set up, a green screen and lots of little puzzles set up! It's one of those great places that I feel comfortable bringing my kids and letting them run around.

I was able to grab tickets on Groupon but it's super affordable even if you can't find the tickets at a discount.

Ages 1-59, $8
Seniors, 60+ $7
EBT Card Holders,  $2  (limit 4 people)  
Free admissions for individual with Military ID

During the summer, it's open Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday noon to 5 pm. They have a couple vending machines but be sure to pack a lunch to eat in the car or down the street at the beach. 

They have some really great events going on all summer and if you follow them on Facebook you can get updates about what is happening when!

Ps. Be sure to leave your name and address and you might be lucky like us and when 2 passes to use at a later date!

xo Heather

Emmalee and Tyler's Birthday Party

Oh man, you know how you get a caught in all the new things and you forget to blog about the things that happened already?

I have wanted to write about the kids' birthday party for a couple weeks and just kept getting pulled in 32 other directions and never did!

Honestly, I think this was the last year of the two for one, double party.  Emma, being the social butterfly she isn't, wasn't understanding why she only had a couple friends over.  And honestly, that was on me.  Their birthdays kind of crept up on me, and with a joint party, it's always weird to invite friends who are only friends with one, I don't really know her friends since David does drop off and pick up, we have a small house, and with Tyler so young, we figured an easy cookout with family would work.  But then Emma was really sad that she didn't have friends coming so a week before her party, I backtracked and invited the 3 girls she talks about most at school and dance, and since I already know the girls and their moms from dance, it was less intimidating asking them to come!

We did a very low key cookout in the backyard but Emma did ask for a moonwalk, a pool, a pinata, bubbles, and tattoos so we made it all happen!

Thanks to my mom for so many great pictures!

 If you're local to New Bedford, check out Bouncing Time! They were the only company we could find that had a My Little Pony bounce house and it was only $115 for a full day with delivery, set up, take down, and removal! The guys were prompt and even did a big reveal, having Emma close her eyes to surprise her with the My Little Pony banner! It was the best money we spent all day!

Emmalee was also very specific about her cake, err, cupcakes.  She wanted "My Little POny cupcakes that look like Ponyville with flowers and ponies on them". So I whipped up some cupcakes, dyed some green frosting and used a Wilton tip to create "grass" that I topped off with a few sugar flowers and My Little Pony candles (they can be bought here and here through my Amazon affiliate links).

Tyler's cake was a bit trickier. I used a tutorial off of PBS for a Daniel Tiger cake and then completely changed it! Ha! I round cake and two cupcakes formed the face and ears and then I tinted frosting and just free handed frosting, rather than using the extras PBS suggested. I think it turned out great!

Emmalee also asked for rainbow krispie treats and tiger tail pretzels.  I tell you, when she has something pictured in her mind, there's no telling her otherwise.

I pulled off rainbow krispie treats making rice krispie treats and substituting in Fruity Pebbles instead of Rice Krispies.  They were a hit! And the first thing to disappear...

We also used our super cool Chocolate Pen to make Tiger Tail Pretzels! We were sent the Chocolate Pen last month (but you can order it here through an Amazon affiliate link!) and used it to make some really great little candies so I knew it would be perfect for this project too!

Instead of using the included molds, we warmed up the included chocolate candy and loaded up the Chocolate Pen.  We dipped pretzel rods that we broke in half into some orange Wilton Candy Melts then laid them on a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet.  Emmalee used the Chocolate Pen to draw the tiger stripes!

I think they turned out completely adorable! I love the Chocolate Pen because it made it so easy for Emmalee to be involved in the party set up! We've already ordered extra chocolate sets so we can make more soon!

We had such an amazing day! I loved that we were able to make all the food ourselves, have a fun and almost relaxing day with our family and friends, and both kids slept like rocks that night!

Tomorrow I'll be sharing what we did on Tyler's actual birthday so be sure to check out where we went!

xo Heather

June 27, 2016

Summer Vegetable Salad and 149 Other Perfect Portion Recipes

Disclosure: My family was provided free product in exchange for this post; however all thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, I may be compensated for purchases made through these links. For more information, click here.

Now that June and vacation are just about over, it's time to get back into the gym.  Seriously, I signed up for this great class that started in May, twice a week on Mondays and Fridays, and then the kids both got sick, one after the other so I couldn't use the daycare.  And then it was school events and I had committed to those.  And then it was the Overnight walk and I couldn't move my body for a couple days.  Then it was a wedding and then vacation, and now the class is over.  I'm bummed but I also know that I have 10 weeks between today and my first day back for the 2016-2017 school year.  I can accomplish a lot in 10 weeks if I stick to going to the gym each morning or each afternoon after summer school.

In addition to a kettle bell and these awesome Perfect Portion Containers ( very similar to the 21 Day Fix containers but without the price tag!), I was given a copy of The Perfect Portion Cookbook. While I know working out will help, I have to pay attention to what I'm eating as well. The Perfect portion cookbook shares 150 amazing recipes for things like apple turnovers,chili, flatbread pizza, even crab cakes, but helps you visualize exactly how much a 100 calorie portion would be and then how many 100 calorie portions make up a meal. For example, a Quiche Lorraine would be cut into 12 slices, each holding 100 calories.  The recommended breakfast portion is 2 slices so it really takes the guesswork out of 'how much should I eat?'

Even better, they give you 7 days of perfect portion meal planning to help you out, plus 10 secrets to staying fit and healthy, that include exercises that burn off the 100 calories from your portion and tips for some smart 100 calorie snacks. I know I need all the help I can get so I'm excited that this is so much more than just a cookbook.

Today for lunch, I wanted to try out the Summer Vegetable Salad.  And oh my gosh, it was just as delicious as I hoped for!

Summer Vegetable Salad:

1 (10 oz) bag of frozen corn kernels, thawed (or 3 ears of corn, boiled, cooled and removed from the cob)
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 large zucchini, diced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Place all ingredients in a large serving bowl and toss to combine.
2. Cover, and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

I will admit, I don't love zucchini so I left it out and have cilantro growing in my window but not basil, so I replaced that, but it was still so yummy.  I'm thinking about adding in cucumber or avocado, but will have to figure out portions and calories if I substitute anything! But today, I used 1 serving size with a serving of rotisserie chicken for a delicious, healthy lunch to get me started again!

If every recipe tastes this good, I'll be healthier in no time!

xo Heather


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