Cooking With Kids and Ragu

Growing up I remember my mom cooking and baking with my mom.  We didn’t do it a lot but the times we did were very special to me.  I can still remember the time my mom accidentally pulled the beater bar out of the chocolate cake batter before turning it off.  I was sitting in my pjs on the counter beside the mixer when it happened.  Chocolate went everywhere and I thought it was hilarious!  She laughed at herself and took the accident in stride.  We cleaned up, baked a cake, and had a great story to tell Dad.

Now as a busy mom I want to remember to take time and cook with my kids.  The messes and mistakes are worth the memories.  Last Saturday, we baked blueberry muffins from scratch along with scrambled eggs.  It was fun but it took so long to do that it ended up being brunch.

While I don’t have time every day to involve my kid’s in each meal preparation I try to every now and then.  Tonight’s dinner was a simple one.  Ragu sauce and bow tie pasta.  Easy peasy and my daughter was able to help!  She only poured the past in the the pot, poured the cooked pasta into the sauce, stirred it, and added Parmesan cheese to everyone’s dish but I know she felt like a chef.  It may have been the chef’s hat and apron she was wearing that made her feel that way but I like to think it was because I spent time with her and allowed her the opportunity to serve her family.


Sometimes it’s the little things in life, isn’t it?

Brew Your Breakfast w/ Nature’s Valley K-Cups + Giveaway

This post is sponsored by General Mills but my opinions remain my own.Publix

I’m all about convenience. I guess it’s American through and through, but I’m also about quality. When I can get the two together you can bet I’m a happy camper.

Recently, I’ve been having to eat out quite a bit and have been frequenting fast food joints. You know how excited you get when you get that free Chick-fil-a sandwich JUST because you took the survey to tell the how awesome they already know they are? Since I’ve been going to so many restaurants recently, I feel like a critic and I get excited about those survey receipts for more than just the bargain they offer. I get excited because I can’t wait to tell the fast food restaurant exactly what I thought of my transaction and it’s quality.

I simply cannot bear bad service. I’m not one of those to get in the manager’s face, but I am about letting people know politely if my experience wasn’t up to the degree which I expect. Like I said quality is a big deal to me, especially if I’m paying for it. Sometimes don’t you think it’s just worth staying home and prepping the food yourself, so you know what quality of food (and service) you’ll be getting?

Keurig Oatmeal

One of my new favorites that offers me convenience and quality is the Nature Valley Bistro Cup (I’m in love with the Brown Sugar Pecan flavor). I have a K-cup brewing maching, and this oatmeal is made using the K-cup brewing machine technology. For some reason I just LOVE this idea. I really think it’s because it’s easy and that’s what my poor brain is attracted to early in the morning. Basically, you empty the packet in a big mug, put an actual Kcup that has seasonings and flavors in the machine, and press go! This isn’t regular mushy oatmeal but is oatmeal with pizzaz. It’s kind of like Panera.

This fits well into my schedule because I can just turn on my K-cup brewing machine and prepare my oatmeal. While it’s setting, I can make my coffee too. I get to have a little convenient gourmet breakfast. By the way, one special touch that’s saved me money and time is a coffee frother. I make lattes all the time with half & half. You can also treat yourself to fall season anytime with a little pumpkin spice extract. It’s a great mock pumpkin latte for the 7 months of the year Starbucks makes us cry without the pumpkin!

Speaking of saving money, there’s a $3.00 off coupon at Publix which is a great way to try this yourself to see if you like it as much as I do and if it fits into your routine. I’d love to hear how you streamline your mornings!

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Sweet and Salty No-Bake Clusters with Honey Bunches of Oats

This is a sponsored post but all the yummy pictures are my own. : )

No Bake Clusters Recipe

Honey Bunches Of Oats is a cereal that my family loves and I feel good about feeding them.  Recently, I was asked by Honey Bunches of Oats to make their version of sweet and salty no-bake clusters using their cereal.  I’ve always loved been obsessed by no-bakes so I had to give it a try.  If you like sweet and salty treats, you’ll love these.  They are delicious!  You have to make these to experience this chocolatey, honey, crunchy goodness for yourself!

Here’s the recipe and it makes 2 dozen clusters.  You can thank me later! : )


  • – 1 cup sugar
  • – 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • – 1/4 cup butter
  • – 1/4 cup milk
  • – 1/2 cup reduced fat peanut butter
  • – 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • – 1 1/2 cup Honey Bunches of Oats Honey Roasted Crunch
  • – 1 cup pretzels
  • – 1/2 cup peanuts


  1. In a heavy saucepan bring to a boil sugar, cocoa, butter and milk. Let boil for 1 minute then add peanut butter, vanilla, peanuts, pretzels and cereal.
  2. On a baking sheet coated with waxed paper, drop mixture by 2 Tablespoon scoops. Place sheet in the refrigerator until the clusters are cooled and hardened. When ready, gently pull clusters off of the waxed paper. Store clusters in the refrigerator.

This is a great treat to make for a summer picnic or cook out.  The prep time was only 15 minutes and from start to finish they were ready in an hour.  If you have young kiddos at home, this is a great recipe to let them help with because there aren’t any raw ingredients that they couldn’t eat.  I know I’ll be making these again soon and next time I’ll have my daughter help me.  She loves to measure and mix.  I love simple recipes that I can make with my little “helper.”  If you give this a try, let me know how you like it!

Sweet and salty no bake clusters

St. Patrick’s Day Treats For Kids

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. 

St.Patrick's Day Treats for Kids

Irish or not — here’s a sweet treat you can give your kids this St. Patrick’s Day.

Grab a mini wooden flower pot at any craft store for about a quarter a piece.  Add a little black paint and gold glitter.  Once it dries all you have to do is add your multicolored mini Twizzlers (or cut regular size Rainbow Twizzlers and add them) and you’re finished.  Rainbow and pot of gold in one.

Easy, tasty, and oh so cute!

Check out our other St. Patrick’s Day crafts:

Baby Shower Cake for Girls or Boys

Baby Shower Cake for Girls or Boys

This is a baby shower cake I made to celebrate my friend’s new bundle of joy.  I think this cake is perfect for a either a boy or a girl {just leave out the pink hair bow if it’s for a boy}.

This is a white cake with lemon curd filling, topped with butter cream, and then covered with fondant.  Everything is edible.  The spilled shampoo bottle was made from piping gel and the bubbles were made sparkly with edible shimmer powder.

If you have any questions feel free to ask!