I love Italian food- it is one of my favorite foods. Growing up I remember trying every Alfredo recipe I could find but I have finally tweaked a few to create one that I love and everyone that has tried it as well.
This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of OshKosh B’gosh; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Holiday traditions are so fun. I love hearing about other peoples holiday traditions and seeing what I want to implement into ours, so I thought- why not share some of our favorite traditions that we do over at the Moehle home. Now some of these are ones that we took from when we were kids and some of them are ones that I have heard others doing and thought- that is so magical we are doing that now.
This was one of my favorite things to do as a kid. My family has a major sweet tooth so maybe it was the fact that we were creating crafts with candy but this is my favorite thing to do. We use to make houses out of graham crackers and icing but the last few years I have cheated and bought those gingerbread kits- best inventions ever. I do like to still buy a few candies that I am use to always using from childhood but those will save you a lot of money actually and a lot of time.
Wrapping books under the tree
My mom loves to buy books- I never thought I would think you could have too many books but we are at that point. This year I wrapped 42 christmas books underneath our tree. You guys this is just books that are about christmas that we only pull out during this time. Anyways the tradition with this is to have 25 christmas books that you wrap and have under your tree, each night your child(ren) get to pick a present, open it, and read it together that night. We already read books to Olivia each night so this is a fun tradition for us. Not only does our tree look so cute the entire month having presents under the tree, but the girls get to unwrap presents all month long. Who wouldn’t love to do that. I also think this helps to reduce how much we feel like we need to give on christmas day because she has already unwrapped a lot of gifts all month. My mom actually asked me if I thought she would get sick of unwrapping a present- she hasn’t yet but in all honestly I hope she does a little bit so she doesn’t expect a ton on christmas day.
Hot Chocolate & Christmas lights
I love lights and all the colors. It is so fun to me to go drive around and look at all the christmas lights. So many places have where you can drive through a park now and look at lights or neighborhoods have themes. We also have the Salt Lake Temple where they decorate Temple Square. It is gorgeous. So we choose a place to go, drive around or walk around and look at the lights, and than we come home and warm up with hot chocolate. Again my sweet teeth is calling me here but who doesn’t love to get some hot chocolate, some fresh baked cookies, grab a blanket, turn on christmas music, turn off the lights, turn on the christmas tree lights and snuggle up together while drinking hot cocoa. It seriously warms your soul.
We are lucky that we have a location here that allows parents to dress up like santa claus and take children’s photos that way. The first place I ever took Olivia I thought that was what we were doing- instead an employee dressed up and Olivia screamed the entire time and tried crawling away- I ended up loving the photos anyways but love the idea of my kid looking happy towards santa. The last 2 years I went to a place called FotoFly (Utah Locals) that if your child doesn’t warm up to the santa they have than you wear the costume. I have loved how these turned out- you should check out their site and look how adorable they are. We took ours today and Olivia thought it was so funny that I had big belly and a beard- she told me santa wouldn’t be too happy that I was wearing his stuff.
Pancakes with Strawberries and Whipped Cream
This is a tradition that is from my family- again with the sweet tooth. Every major holiday this seems to be the breakfast we have and honestly I love it. My pancake might be more whipped cream than strawberries but thats ok. We have done this a couple of times at our home but my daughter wasn’t a fan of the whipped cream when she was younger plus I was the parent that it was ok for me to eat junk food but not her. Now that she is getting a little older this tradition will be brought back into our home.
Each Person takes turns opening gifts
In our house we were all allowed to open the stockings whenever and together if we liked but the presents we had to take turns. My mom loves to write down what everyone got and from who so it was easier for her to do this when we took turns. In all honestly I loved it as a kid. I had the role of finding gifts for everyone in the family and passing them out. I loved seeing what everyone got and loved seeing the joy on their faces. As we have gotten older and had our own families this tradition has gotten a little lost. I remember one year all the grandkids just dug in- not only did it go by so much quicker, but I felt like the kids had a greedier heart. I hope that makes sense but I don’t feel like the appreciated what they truly got when they were just ripping open every gift like crazy. When you take turns the presents take up more time of the day and it slows down the child to truly notice what they got and appreciate it.
I need to create a list of some of my favorite christmas movies as well- there are just so many but there is one that I watch every christmas eve. My brother and I started this tradition probably later in life because I don’t remember my other siblings joining in as much. Family of 5 over here and I am the baby. I remember the year as well- my brother and I were watching the grinch who stole christmas- the old cartoon one and my sister pulled out Christmas Vacation and told us we would enjoy it. We were obviously in our teenage years because my toddler isn’t going to enjoy this movie. I remember thinking it was the funniest movie I had ever seen and now I watch it every year. My first year at my in-laws they even bought it for me so that I could watch it. I don’t think my husband enjoys it as much as I do so I can’t wait for my kids to be older and join in with me.
Neighborhood gifts at our house were always homemade carmels. I love the smell of these carmels and often would join in baking these with my mom. We would make so many batches of these that I could start telling when they were ready not from the temperature but from the color of the carmels. Everyone loves my moms carmels and I will be honest they are amazing. I have only ever found 1 other place that can make them like my mom.
Present from the North Pole I went to this adorable Pinners class about making christmas more magical for children and one of the ideas was to have a gift come to the front door from Mrs. Claus. It would usually be items to bake a treat together and have it in a cute wrapped gift that is cold. She would wrap everything up and than place the present in the freezer so that it felt like it really came from the North Pole. I think that is the cutest idea ever and since my daughter loves to help bake I am going to start doing this.
Good Acts of Kindness for Baby Jesus
When we were younger we had this wooden manger with a baby jesus swaddled. There was no hay in the manger and the goal was to give baby jesus a nice bed by the time Christmas came. Each week we would draw names in the family and that week we had to do little acts of kindness for that person. Each time we did this we could place a piece of straw in the manger. I loved doing this as a kid- I apparently was always a child that was concerned about others feelings. My aunt told me that as a young child I was always in tune with others emotions and was concerned if someone was down. So this activity hit my personality type right in the little heart and let me go wild. I would leave little notes under pillows with a treat saying how much I loved them. I would clean peoples room, anything I could think of. I wanted to make sure that baby had the best bed ever. A few years ago I saw a shop start promoting this idea again and I was thrilled they were bringing it back. Isn’t that what Christmas is about- is spreading good cheer.
Olivia has loved doing a lot of these things and we will continue to do others throughout the month. A lot of these activities require a child to be warm but also move around and be comfortable. That is one reason why I love OshKosh and their holiday line. We were able to buy so much clothes for such a great price. Olivia has been wearing them all month and we haven’t worn everything yet. I also love that so many of items look great together. I highly encourage you to head over and check them out. They have been having amazing sales since before black friday, so you are able to get ever more for a great price. You can get 20% off your order of $40 or more using code: In-store: 037264 and Online: OKBG3418 so head on over to find a store near you here and online here.
Italian Cream Sodas are a favorite in my family. When Todd and I got married we had Italian Cream Sodas as our featured drink, my nieces always make them when I go over to watch them, my brothers are obsessed- it’s easy to say it is a favorite drink at the Olthuis house. So with the holidays upon us and much family time in the near future I thought it would be fun to share an EASY Italian Cream Soda recipe that helps to limit the amount of items used.
Have you ever lost your wedding ring? The panic of realizing that its gone and you might never find it? I have and its not a fun feeling. Especially when you don’t want your husband to find out that you can’t find it- you know, searching everywhere you think it could be but acting cool like nothing is wrong. Well guess what- I got caught- my husband actually found it and asked me about it one day. Worst feeling ever.
Well I don’t have to experience that feeling ever again. Thanks to Tile I will be able to find it if I ever lose it again. I attached the tile to my wedding ring and engagement ring using a key ring. If I ever can’t find it I go to my phone and click find on the app, or any device that I can use the app with to log in. It will play music to let me know where it is and it will also show me the location on my phone gps.
Now you might wonder, a wedding ring- why aren’t you wearing your wedding ring. I am a dental hygienist and as a RDH (registered dental hygienist) you are encouraged to not wear jewelry which includes a wedding ring. Now I know some still do but I am kind of a germaphobe when it comes to stuff like that. You see jewelry is small and has small parts that the bacteria can get into. So when I work I don’t have my wedding ring on- the other days I don’t like to wear it because I have scratched my kids with it- as well as getting it dirty with just being around kids. I have always felt like it was safer put away- until Olivia started to explore into all of my things.
Now in marriage what is mines is yours- but it is that way with kids as well. At least the part of what is mine is yours, but what is theirs is theirs, right? So having Olivia getting into my things and playing with my jewelry was how I lost my wedding ring and thank goodness I was able to find it not too far in the house- but I don’t have to worry about that again thanks to Tile.
We have also used a tile on Olivia’s favorite stuffed animal, Rudolph the red nose reindeer- and no I am not saying that because its almost Christmas. Last year my mom gave Olivia a book with the stuffed animal and she hasn’t parted with it yet. She will run around all day playing with this thing and once its bedtime it disappears- I think its a way to stall bedtime, but of course she has a meltdown in her bed til one of us can find it. Thanks to Tile its not that hard of a task anymore and bedtime can stay on time.
It’s fall, the perfect time of year to start craving everything apples. Apple pie, caramel apple, apple rolls. You know when its late at night and all you want is a snack that is quick to whip up but has that yummy home-made taste, I can’t be the only one that gets these cravings often. Well I devoured pinterest and came across a few recipes and started looking into my cupboards and fridge to see what I had available and created my own- altered/combined recipe of an Apple Cinnamon Rolls. You can save $1.00 using this coupon on the cinnamon Rolls
As parents we have a million things going through our heads at all times.
did I change the load in the wash
what is for dinner tonight
do I have those groceries to make that
I hope I am going to have time to get Ryan to her doctor appointment without waking her from her nap
did Olivia eat enough for breakfast and was it even healthy
Lets be honest do our minds ever stop- I know mine doesn’t. I went and got a massage the other day and the entire time I was thinking about a million things. I couldn’t even relax.
I know I don’t have it bad compared to some but between dealing with Ryan’s acid reflux and than adding her plagiocephaly & torticollis into the mix I feel like we are always on the go. The last thing that I want to have to deal with is a diaper rash.
When Ryan was about a month old she started getting really bad diaper rashes & was upset all the time- the only thing that would calm her down was to nurse her but that only lasted a few minutes and than she would arch and scream. Come to find out she was reacting to all the dairy that I was eating (which I live off of my dairy) and she had acid reflux. One thing that really helped during this time was Desitin Rapid Relief.
Every now and then we still deal with diaper rash but it is nothing compared to those earlier days. I also know that we are staying on top of it to help prevent it from happening. If you are dealing with diaper rash right now Desitin shares some of their secrets how to deal with it here as well as how to prevent it from happening here. We love using the Desitin Rapid Relief but I also recommend trying their Desitin Maximum Strength Original paste. Have you tried Desitin? What are some secrets to keeping your little ones bum from turning red?
Chores are an excellent way to teach children responsibility as well as being a part of the family and contributing. One thing I have noticed with children is the desire to help out so I knew I wanted to teach her things while she still had this desire. We started some of these chores around the age of 1 but thought I would write a list of a few chores we have her do and most 2 year olds are capable of doing.
2 Year Old Chore List
Wipe up spills
We started this early- around 1 1/2 years old- every time she would spill something on the floor I would give her something to help wipe it up- sometimes she would go into the drawer and get a towel herself as well to help clean it up. She doesn’t always do the best job and I often have to go after her and finish cleaning it up but I love that she knows that if something spills she needs to clean it up.
Pick up her toys & books
This task isn’t always easy- she gets distracted very easily when picking up her toys and will sit down and start playing. I probably end up cleaning most of the toys up but I do like knowing that she can do it. There are times that I tell her I will not help to pick them up and make her do them herself. I think it is good to teach them that you are not there to serve their every desire. If they make a mess it is their responsibility to clean it up.
Make her bed
Thanks to Beddys bedding this is an easy task. I think a made bed makes the room but how hard would it be for a 2 year old to always make that bed when I can’t even seem to make my own all the time- thanks to the zipper feature she is able to zip her bed made and she loves doing it as well.
Brush her teeth
I am a dental hygienist so this one is extremely important to me and I love that she wants to do it. Obviously I go in and do it as well but I love that she wants to brush them herself. It will create a healthy habit for when she is a teenager and older.
Throw away her garbage
Another task that she has loved since a young age. She often asks to throw away our garbage. I wanted to teach her to not leave her trash everywhere for me to find. Outside I do not allow her to leave her garbage all over the yard either. There are times that we eat outside and she will get distracted and want to run off and play but I still make her throw things away. Hoping it will help to prevent littering in the future as well
Feed the cats
This chore more came about from her begging to do it. We help her with this task and measure out the amount the cats need but she goes and puts it in their bowls. She often goes and calls for the cats to come to dinner as well if they aren’t already up in the kitchen begging for it.
I’m not ready to let go of summer quite yet. I enjoy winter but ever since becoming a parent each changing of the seasons makes me sad- realizing how quickly time is flying with my babies. So having this Welchs box arrive the other day was the perfect pick me up that we needed. I laid out a fun picnic blanket on the floor and let Olivia open the box up- one of her favorite things to do lately. I was as excited as her. I mean look how cute these pineapple cups are.
Now I am not a fan of coconut water- I have tried to give it a chance several times. I felt left out since everyone was talking about how much they loved it and how beneficial it was for you. I just couldn’t get over the taste. I was a little nervous to try Welchs new Coconut Water drinks but I thought if I was going to like anything with coconut water this would be it. Honestly I love it. I am not the only one either- Olivia is asking for her fun drink all the time.
Being a dental hygienist I usually don’t give my daughter a lot of drinks other than milk and water. I even try to limit the milk but I don’t feel guilty about giving into her with this. It has 30% LESS sugar and only 100 calories per serving. With every 8 oz drink you are getting 2 servings of fruit. As a busy mom this is helping me feel less guilty when I give her a juice knowing that it has benefits to it.
Go to their website and you can search what retailers have this new product available. We were able to find them at our local Target Store- which come on-every mom loves going to Target so tell your husband to watch the kids because you need to go pick up a healthy juice with coconut water.
The girls and I got to spend the weekend up in Park City, Utah last weekend while we spent some time with their cousins. It was the perfect girl weekend- even the pets are girls. After packing up the entire house between a 6 month old and a 2 1/2 year old I wanted to make sure to pack lightly for myself. A few items that I had recently gotten were perfect for this weekend trip. I was able to wear the outfit together or wear the pieces with other things- keeping my luggage to a minimum. Take a look at how I wore them throughout the weekend and shop the items below.
Last weekend was the first day of fall and as this might look like the perfect fall day I must add that when we woke up that morning we woke up to snow. It was extremely cold up there yet I was perfectly fine running around in these leggings- I had gotten the Cuddle Duds fleece leggings and at first I was nervous that they might be too thick looking. You know how leggings are usually skin tight- so I didn’t want them to look to thick. Well they are perfect, they are thick and soft enough that I didn’t feel cold at all on my legs yet thin enough to give me that cute leggings look. I am extremely happy with that product.
The Cuddl Duds maroon shirt got worn several times, I wore it with jeans, just the shirt and leggings and once it really cooled down I added a grey cardigan. Which I must add that I have been wearing every single night around the house since I got it- this fall weather has hit us fast. It is so comfy I feel like I am wearing a robe- yet cute enough that I look like I put some effort into myself that day. You can pick these Cuddl Duds items and more up at your local JCPenney.
Being a mom I seem to always be in a hurry. Where did all of my time go before children, I thought I was busy than but I can’t quite remember what I was busy with. Add trying to keep your milk supply up and constantly eating healthy things on the list and you can feel overwhelmed. Something that I love to have lying around are healthy snacks that I can grab on the go or while I am trying to wrangle one of my wild ones. That is what I love about these Dannon® Oikos® Nonfat Yogurt Drinks I know I am getting a healthy snack but I don’t have to waste a lot of time preparing it.
As a breastfeeding mama protein is really key to keep my supply up- I love that these have 10 g of protein per 7 oz drink with no added sugars. This drink is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D as well as 9 essential amino acids that your body needs but can’t produce itself.
My husband is trying to be more healthy as well and has been packing lunches for work instead of eating out all the time- it is convenient for him to have these healthier options in the house to choose from. Thank goodness these drinks come in a 4 pack that we picked up at our local Walmart, making sure we are stocked up.
Who doesn’t like to save money on their everyday purchases as well. I started using an app a few months ago that has made my regular shopping a little more budget friendly. Have you heard of the site/app Ibotta? I take photos of my receipts that the app accepts (which is quite a lot) and can get savings that way. When you use this app you are able to save a $1.00 when you buy Dannon® Light & Fit® or Dannon® Oikos® Nonfat Yogurt Drinks
Some other snacks that I love to have available to help give me an extra boost are: