Friday, February 27, 2015

Big Hero 6 Baymax Cake with Homemade Fondant

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BigHero6Release #CollectiveBias
Have you seen Big Hero 6 yet? We absolutely love it in our house. This darling story of a little boy trying to overcome tragedy is sweet and endearing. My daughter loves that they become super heroes in the movie and I love that they become heroes by using their intelligence. Most of the people on the team are incredible inventors and they use that skill to help save the world. I love that this film makes it exciting to be smart. 
My daughter has been begging for a Big Hero 6 cake since the movie came out, so we decided to make one together. This Baymax cake is pretty easy to pull together and the homemade fondant is so much fun to make. 

For this cake you will need: 

  • 2 cake mixes and everything needed to make them
  • frosting 
  • a bag of marshmallows
  • powdered sugar (I used a full bag and a little extra)
  • black piping gel
  • rolling pin


Bake 2 8-inch cakes and 1 6-inch cake. Allow the cakes to cool completely. If you cake has a dome, slice the dome off with a knife to make the cake level. Place the first layer of the cake upside down on your cake plate and add a layer of frosting.
Place the second 8-inch cake on top, upside down (it gives it a cleaner surface to frost) and frost it completely. Frost the 6-inch cake on a separate plate.
Prepare the fondant by mircrowaving a bag or marshmallows in a microwave safe bowl for 2 minutes. Add the melted marshmallows to your stand mixer and mix. While mixing, add four tablespoons of water and the bag of powdered sugar one cup at a time until the mixture stiffens. Pull the mixture out and knead it with your hands on a surface covered in powdered sugar. When the fondant has a consistency of a stiff dough, roll the fondant out thin and large enough to cover the cake.
Using both of your arms, lay the fondant over the stacked 8-inch cakes.
Smooth the fondant down and then trim off the excess.
Add the 6-inch frosted cake to the top of the cake and repeat the process. Using the black piping gel add Baymax eyes to the top tier of the cake. 

To complete the cake, I added POP figures that I found on Walmart.com. My daughter really wanted the girl super heroes so we bought Honey Lemon and Go-Go for the front of the cake and then the cute Baymax for the top.
 We went to Walmart to buy the movie the day it came out because she was so excited. Walmart has the special combo pack that includes the blu-ray, the DVD and a special DVD about the science behind the movie, while supplies last. 
Do your kids love Baymax as much as mine do? 
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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Pistachio Mousse

St. Patrick's Day is one of my favorite holidays. I dress my girls in all green, I let them take a green dyed bath and we do a completely green dinner with Pesto Chicken, Rainbow Cupcakes, lots of green veggies and these delicious pistachio mousse cups. If you want to make these cups in chocolate Living Better Together makes and amazing chocolate version. 

These pistachio mousse cups are easy to make and they come together in about 10 minutes. I love that they don't take advanced planning and they are absolutely delicious. 

You will need: 


  • 1 cup Cream
  • 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp Pistachio instant pudding mix
  • Chocolate Cups
Mix all of the ingredients except the chocolate cups until fluffy. Add the mousse to a piping bag with a large star tip. Pipe the mousse into chocolate cups. You can serve immediately or refrigerate until you are ready to serve. 

Do you do anything special for St. Patrick's Day? 

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Winner Disney on Ice!

The winner of the Family Four Pack for  Let's Celebrate is Lucy T!.

Didn't win? Check out the information on how to buy tickets below. There is even a discount code! 
Disney on Ice 1

DISNEY ON ICE PRESENTS LET’S CELEBRATE!PRESENTED BY STONYFIELD YOKIDS ORGANIC YOGURTJOIN THE PARTY IN SALT LAKE CITY, MARCH 4 – 8

Make an ordinary day extraordinary when Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! brings more than 50 Disney characters from 16 beloved Disney stories together in Salt Lake City for one colossal party on ice!  This fun-filled show features a magical montage of celebrations, holidays and festivals from around the globe set to a blend of contemporary music and favorite Disney songs, playing at the Energy Solutions Arena from March 4 – 8, 2015.

disney on ice villainsJoin Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse on a delightful tour as they celebrate a Halloween haunt with the Disney Villains;
Disney on Ice 2
a Very Merry Unbirthday Party with Alice and the Mad Hatter;Disney on ice mardi grasMardi Gras with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen;disney on ice valentine's Daya Valentine’s Day Royal Ball with the Disney Princesses;Disney on Ice 3a Hawaiian luau with Lilo & Stitch; a winter wonderland with Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear; Disney on ice Chinese new yeartraveling to far-off exotic places including China for the Chinese New Year, Brazil for Carnival and Japan for the beautiful Cherry Blossom festival Sakura.
WHERE:           Energy Solutions Arena 
WHEN:              March 4 – 8, 2015
Wednesday, March 4th            7:00 PM
Thursday, March 5th                7:00 PM
Friday, March 6th                    3:30 PM & 7:00 PM
Saturday, March 7th                11:30 AM, 3:30 PM & 7:00 PM
Sunday, March 8th                   1:00 PM & 4:00 PM
TICKETS:          Ticket price levels are $20, $25, $40 (VIP) and $52 (Front Row)
  • Special Opening Night discount tickets available for only $15 each (not valid for VIP/Front Row)
Tickets available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or at the Energy Solutions Arena Office. Use the code MOM for a discount on select shows! 
For more information, check out DisneyOnIce.com.  Or check them out on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube.

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Forget Ikea, Make Your Own Swedish Meatballs


I hate shopping. So going into Ikea is like the epitome of torture. The one and only upside is Swedish meatballs. I love Swedish meatballs. I grew up on them and they are comfort food at it's finest.

Thankfully, they're super easy to make, so I don't have to brave the trip to Ikea.

INGREDIENTS
Sauce
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp flour
6 Tbsp sour cream
2 cups beef broth
1 Tbsp parsley
1 tsp oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

Meatballs, cooked
Rice

PREPARATION
  1. Prepare the sauce by preparing a gravy. Melt butter in a pan and whisk in flour until light brown.
  2. Slowly stir in beef broth, whisking constantly, until the sauce begins to thicken (2-3 minutes).
  3. Add the sour cream, parsley, oregano and salt and pepper. Mix well.
  4. Toss in meatballs and heat through, stirring occasionally.
  5. Serve over a bed of rice.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Take Pandora to the Next Level with Your Favorite Songs



When was the last time you purchased a music CD? Any time in the past year? For me, it has probably been 5+ years. Why? Because there are so many other resources for listening to music.

Deep down inside I know this is probably killing the music industry, or at least catering to pop music, making Taylor Swift ever so much more money, but I can't help it. Music streaming is so much easier and more convenient.

One of my favorite services is Pandora. If, by some random chance, you haven't heard of Pandora, it's a music streaming service that allows you to type in a favorite artist, song or genre, and it will create a radio station around that. Then you can thumbs up/thumbs down songs and Pandora will customize the station based around your musical preferences.

Pandora has opened the doors to many new artists and genres and I've actually purchased many songs from iTunes that I first heard on Pandora.

But one frustrating thing about Pandora is it's not an on-demand service. Plus, the thumbs-up feature is more for Pandora's benefit than for yours, letting them know you'd like to hear more of that song and/or artist. But what if you just want to see and/or listen to all your thumbed-up songs?

Don't worry, there are some sites for that.

The first is Songs Liked on Pandora. This site is super simple: it analyzes all your thumbed-up songs and shows them to you in a list based on either artist or date thumbed-up.

To do this, go to Pandora and click on the My Profile button.



In the address bar of your web browser, copy your ID/username.


Paste that username into the field on Songs Liked on Pandora.



Wait about a minute and all your songs will appear. This is super helpful when trying to find new music to buy or if you want to build out a favorites playlist on another service like Spotify (also an awesome music service).



The downside to Songs Liked on Pandora is it doesn't allow you to instantly play those songs. For that, you can use another handy site: http://www.gregatr.com/feedplay.aspx 

This site is similar to Songs Liked on Pandora, in that you need to enter your Pandora ID/username.


From there, it will analyze all your Pandora playlists and suggest custom YouTube playlists built from your thumbed-up songs.


You can decide which playlist you want and the site will snag all the relevant YouTube videos it can find and combine them into a handy YouTube playlist.



You may be thinking that YouTube is just a video site, but it's also a pretty powerful music player. It takes a minute or two to build out the playlist, depending on how many songs you've thumbed-up, but once it's created you can listen to all your favorites and even save it for future reference/listening.

I should give a warning that the playlists generated by this site are public and viewable on this user's YouTube channel. I don't find this to be a big deal, but if you're super concerned about privacy you may want to give it some thought. This site/playlist doesn't give anyone access to your Pandora account and if your Pandora profile is set to public anyway, this gives less information than Pandora does. But I thought I'd put the disclaimer out there.

So, does this do away with Pandora? Absolutely not! Pandora is still the engine that finds great new songs for you, plus it provides needed variety. These services are helpful when you're just craving an absolute hits list.

Give it a try!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

How to Make Amazing Wings from Frozen Wings


There are few things in life yummier than chicken wings. They are a quintessential party food and the ability to coat them in your favorite sauce makes them versatile and appealing to so many.

But wings at a restaurant can get expensive fast. Plus, there's all the hassle of getting to the restaurant and paying a tip, etc. So why not make them yourself?

Too hard? Why not just settle for the packaged, prepared wings? Because preparing delicious, crispy wings takes as much time as baking from a package and tastes just like wings from a restaurant.

And the best part? You can do it with frozen chicken wings.

INGREDIENTS
1 package frozen chicken wings (just the wings, no breading or sauce)
Vegetable oil
1 Tbsp butter
Louisiana hot sauce OR BBQ sauce

PREPARATION
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Toss in the frozen wings and parboil for 3-5 minutes. Drain the water.
  2. Place 6-8 wings into a fryer heated to 375 degrees. Fry for 5-6 minutes.
  3. Using metal tongs, flip each wing and fry for another 5-6 minutes.
  4. Melt the butter in a mixing bowl and add either hot sauce or BBQ sauce. Truthfully, we usually do both - one sauce in each bowl. If you do it this way, be sure to melt another Tablespoon of butter for the other bowl.
  5. Mix the butter and sauce together well.
  6. Take wings directly from the fryer and place in the sauce bowl. Mix the wings in the sauce until they are well coated.
  7. Serve with ranch or bleu cheese dressing and celery sticks.

Baking the prepackaged wings usually takes 25 minutes. Discounting the time it takes the water to boil, it is faster to make these wings that crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and full of flavor.

We love these so much we rarely go out to get wings anymore, and it costs half as much.

You've got to try these at your next party, or for dinner tonight if you're craving something tasty.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Giveaway: A Family Four Pack to Disney on Ice

Disney on Ice is headed back to Salt Lake City in just a few weeks and they are bringing lots of holiday cheer with them!  Disney on Ice is one of our favorite events and we never miss it! I love to take my girls, all dressed up like their favorite princesses and head out for a fun night. This years show is called Let's Celebrate. 
Disney on Ice 1

DISNEY ON ICE PRESENTS LET’S CELEBRATE!PRESENTED BY STONYFIELD YOKIDS ORGANIC YOGURTJOIN THE PARTY IN SALT LAKE CITY, MARCH 4 – 8

Make an ordinary day extraordinary when Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! brings more than 50 Disney characters from 16 beloved Disney stories together in Salt Lake City for one colossal party on ice!  This fun-filled show features a magical montage of celebrations, holidays and festivals from around the globe set to a blend of contemporary music and favorite Disney songs, playing at the Energy Solutions Arena from March 4 – 8, 2015.

disney on ice villainsJoin Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse on a delightful tour as they celebrate a Halloween haunt with the Disney Villains;
Disney on Ice 2
a Very Merry Unbirthday Party with Alice and the Mad Hatter;Disney on ice mardi grasMardi Gras with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen;disney on ice valentine's Daya Valentine’s Day Royal Ball with the Disney Princesses;Disney on Ice 3a Hawaiian luau with Lilo & Stitch; a winter wonderland with Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear; Disney on ice Chinese new yeartraveling to far-off exotic places including China for the Chinese New Year, Brazil for Carnival and Japan for the beautiful Cherry Blossom festival Sakura.
WHERE:           Energy Solutions Arena 
WHEN:              March 4 – 8, 2015
Wednesday, March 4th            7:00 PM
Thursday, March 5th                7:00 PM
Friday, March 6th                    3:30 PM & 7:00 PM
Saturday, March 7th                11:30 AM, 3:30 PM & 7:00 PM
Sunday, March 8th                   1:00 PM & 4:00 PM
TICKETS:          Ticket price levels are $20, $25, $40 (VIP) and $52 (Front Row)
  • Special Opening Night discount tickets available for only $15 each (not valid for VIP/Front Row)
Tickets available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or at the Energy Solutions Arena Office. Use the code MOM for a discount on select shows! 
For more information, check out DisneyOnIce.com.  Or check them out on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube.

Want to win tickets? Use the Rafflecopter Below for your chance to win a family four pack of tickets. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Fitness Hacks to Help Your Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and DripDrop®, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #DrinkDripDrop #DripDropHydrates http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV
I can't lie, I am a New Year's resolutions junkie. Every year I make between 25 and 50 resolutions. Three years ago I met my resolution of losing 45 pounds and getting back in shape. I maintained it right up until I got pregnant again. Here I am two years later with a 10-month-old daughter and ready to tackle my resolution of getting back into shape. Here are the the tips I used to be successful the first time around and that I am using this time.
  1. Do your kind of exercise. Hate running? Get off the treadmill. You will never stick with something you dread. Instead find an activity you love. Try Zumba, try exercising on the Wii Fit, walk with friends or do cardio ballet. There are so many options out there. Find one that works for you. My husband really struggled to work out until he found Tae Bo four years ago. Now he works out every day no problem. Personally, I like to challenge myself with a high step count every day.

  2. Find an accountability partner. When you are just accountable to yourself it is easy to let your goal slip. When you have a friend waiting at the gym for you it is much harder to hit your alarm one more time. Having an accountability partner will not only make you more likely to hit your goals, but can make trying new exercises less scary.
  3. Pick a schedule that works for you. I am not a morning person. At all. There is nothing I hate more than an alarm clock going off before my kids are up. It sets me up to be grumpy all day. Instead I work out at night. Work out when you are most likely to do it. If hitting the gym in the morning works for you, do it. If you would rather work out after the kids are in bed, that works too!
  4. Invest in your goal. Buy the running shoes you need. Having the right workout clothes does matter. One of the things that works really well for me is to challenge myself with a high step count every day. In order to do that I invested in a pedometer. Now I use a phone that has a built in pedometer which I love. Good headphones, audiobooks or music playlists and a exercise arm band for your phone are all great investments that will help keep you motivated.

  5. Set deadlines. A year is a long time. Saying you want to lose 15 pounds this year gives you a lot of time to procrastinate. Instead, set mini deadlines. Commit to losing a couple pounds a month until you hit your goal. It will keep you on track and not leave you cramming around the holidays. Also, set goals within your goals. So you want to lose 15 pounds this year? Good for you! How are you going to do that? Are you going to walk 20,000 steps a day? Are you going to only have one cheat day a week? Make smaller goals that will help you achieve your big goals.
  6. Record your progress. Write down how many steps you walk each day, or your weight each day. Anything that will help you see progress will make you want to continue. My husband recently lost 20 pounds and he says his biggest motivator was writing down his weight each day in a spreadsheet. He turned this data into a graph which helped him notice trends and make necessary adjustments to break through plateaus.
  7. Reset your routine. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator actually saves you time every day, and remember that every step counts. Instead of sitting on the bench the next time you take your kids to the park, play with them. Run the steps on the playground and push them on the swing. Your kids will be thrilled and you will be burning calories.

  8. Be realistic. Losing 10 pounds a month or running five miles every day when you have never run before is not realistic and can set you up for failure. Be honest with yourself with what you can do today. And do it. As you achieve realistic goals you will be closer to the large goals. Are you realizing that some of your goals might have been unrealistic? Don't be afraid to scale them back. Don't go easy on yourself, but don't be afraid to admit you need to scale back. Don't be afraid to start again. Did you completely fall off the wagon this week? Don't wait until January 1st again, start again today. You will be happy you didn't wait.

  9. Get enough sleep. Did you know when you are sleep deprived you eat about 500 more calories a day. Think about how much easier it would be to reach your goals if you simply got the sleep you needed. Many people struggle to fall asleep because of all the distractions in their bedroom. So simplify! Don't have a TV in your bedroom, use your room only for sleeping, and don't look at digital screens an hour before bed to give your brain time to turn off.

  10. Stay hydrated. Water is one of the single most important details to your fitness goals, but we so often neglect it. Giving yourself water deadlines by writing times on your water bottle is a great way to make sure you are on track throughout the day. I also loving adding frozen fruit to my water. It keeps it cold and gives it a great taste that I can't help but drinking. Another great way to keep your body hydrated is to add a hydration powder like DripDrop. This can be found in the baby aisle at CVS and is a great cost-effective solution that helps treat mild to moderate dehydration such as after a workout, or when you are feeling sick. It is a safe medical grade solution that can be used in children as young as 1. We use DripDrop in place of sports drinks because it has half the calories and three times as many electrolytes. If you want to try DripDrop for yourself, you can find a $1 off coupon until February 21 here, while supplies last. 
Getting back into shape takes time, but it doesn't have to be excruciating. Two months into the year and I am down 10 pounds and feeling really good. I think making hydration my number one goal has improved things immensely for me. What are your favorite fitness hacks? 
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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Disney on Ice back in Salt Lake City

Disney on Ice is headed back to Salt Lake City in just a few weeks and they are bringing lots of holiday cheer with them!  Disney on Ice is one of our favorite events and we never miss it! I love to take my girls, all dressed up like their favorite princesses and head out for a fun night. This years show is called Let's Celebrate. 
Disney on Ice 1

DISNEY ON ICE PRESENTS LET’S CELEBRATE!PRESENTED BY STONYFIELD YOKIDS ORGANIC YOGURTJOIN THE PARTY IN SALT LAKE CITY, MARCH 4 – 8

Make an ordinary day extraordinary when Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! brings more than 50 Disney characters from 16 beloved Disney stories together in Salt Lake City for one colossal party on ice!  This fun-filled show features a magical montage of celebrations, holidays and festivals from around the globe set to a blend of contemporary music and favorite Disney songs, playing at the Energy Solutions Arena from March 4 – 8, 2015.

disney on ice villainsJoin Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse on a delightful tour as they celebrate a Halloween haunt with the Disney Villains;
Disney on Ice 2
a Very Merry Unbirthday Party with Alice and the Mad Hatter;Disney on ice mardi grasMardi Gras with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen;disney on ice valentine's Daya Valentine’s Day Royal Ball with the Disney Princesses;Disney on Ice 3a Hawaiian luau with Lilo & Stitch; a winter wonderland with Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear; Disney on ice Chinese new yeartraveling to far-off exotic places including China for the Chinese New Year, Brazil for Carnival and Japan for the beautiful Cherry Blossom festival Sakura.
WHERE:           Energy Solutions Arena 
WHEN:              March 4 – 8, 2015
Wednesday, March 4th            7:00 PM
Thursday, March 5th                7:00 PM
Friday, March 6th                    3:30 PM & 7:00 PM
Saturday, March 7th                11:30 AM, 3:30 PM & 7:00 PM
Sunday, March 8th                   1:00 PM & 4:00 PM
TICKETS:          Ticket price levels are $20, $25, $40 (VIP) and $52 (Front Row)
  • Special Opening Night discount tickets available for only $15 each (not valid for VIP/Front Row)
Tickets available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or at the Energy Solutions Arena Office. Use the code MOM for a discount on select shows! 
For more information, check out DisneyOnIce.com.  Or check them out on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube.

Want to win tickets? Check back at the beginning of the week for a giveaway! 
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