Life’s Crazy Train

I’ve been MIA over the last week. Fact, this is the first time I picked up my computer in four days and 6 days since I logged into and worked on a blog post. Life’s crazy train has rolled into the Romano station and I’m hoping it starts to chug it’s way on out asap.

Beginning of last week I decided to take a evening shopping trip to Target for some “needed” items. Florida had been experiencing some thunder & lightening storms, but that’s typical for summer. About to check out an announcement is made….

“Good evening shoppers, We are under a tornado watch. Please move away from the glass doors and make your way to the middle of the store. Thank you”

Excuse me? With eyes the size of Texas I glanced over to some other shoppers and one woman said, “that is weird”, and another man said, “well this is a first”.  I immediately called Mike and asked him to turn on the news while I moved to a more central location of the store. The news confirmed to Mike that there was a tornado in my area but it was now moving towards Pinellas county (moving away). But as Mike was attempting to calm my nerves we got the same tornado announcement and direction to more to safety in the middle of the store.

tornadoIn Florida we are always given a heads up for bad weather, tropical storms and hurricane warnings. During the summer you are guaranteed to have a late afternoon storm. If I see the dark grey clouds starting to roll in, I no a storm is coming. BUT Target is supposed to be my happy place. Over the last few months some crazy toddler tantrums led me to cut back on Target trips….but getting that kind of announcement with my kid with me….I was a nervous wreck.

When we finally made our way out the tornado had deteriorated and only crazy storm clouds remained. When I got home I saw all of these pictures of what was a water spout that made landfall causing the scary announcement.

Two days later (while Mike is away for work) a toilet started to leak. Awesome.

Then Lily wakes up crying out in pain…found out she got swimmer’s ear. Awesome.

Then our kitchen sink starts leaking and our garbage disposal needed to be re-placed. Awesome.

And I have been in bed since Friday sick as a dog. Awesome.

So it’s about time that the crazy train leave my house….be gone train. Hasta la vista.

 
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  1. Jenn commented:
    August 18, 2013 Reply

    Wow, I remember seeing all those pictures in my newsfeed. I lived in Pasco (Lutz) but we are now in TX. Paul Dellegato had some great pics submitted to him, as well. Though I wonder who would want to snap a pic instead of make sure they are in a safe place? LOL

  2. Teigan lauber commented:
    November 10, 2014 Reply

    Omg that’s really scary because i am not a torando person so that will be really scary so let’s hope that tornado does not happen because my family and me are going to florida for disney land

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Ice Pops With Hidden Veggies For The Kiddos

Toddler hate veggies? Well sneak them in via ice pops! Perfect for the summer time these pops are made with 100% juice made from Carrots, Oranges and other fruit to help give it natural sweetness. Perfect way to sneak veggies into your kid's diet!If your kid enjoys vegetables count yourself lucky. Corn, green beans, spinach (only in a smoothie) and peas…yep those are the only vegetables I can get Lily to eat. Of course I have given her plenty of options and I haven’t given up. They say a kid could take up to 10-20 tries until they eventually start to like the food.

Lily loves the green monster smoothie I started making during my eat clean challenge. For the original recipe check out Iowa Girl Eats (here). My adaptation is: 1 cup vanilla almond milk, 1 frozen banana, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 4 cups of spinach and a little honey. With FOUR cups of spinach this smoothie is jam packed with the green stuff!

The smoothie is a sneaky way to serve her vegetables so it got me thinking on what other recipes I could attempt with veggies. I made meatloaf and placed small bell peppers inside…she ate around it. So until she enjoys eating vegetables in regular form I am going to start pureeing them and adding them to our meals.

With the hot weather I thought of ice pops and went to the store in search of juice with a fruit and vegetable blend. I scored in the organic department at Publix (grocery store in FL) with Lakewood’s Carrot & Orange juice (read more about the juice here). The main vegetable  is carrots and they are listed as the first ingredient. A little food label tip: the ingredients used in the greatest amount is listed first followed in descending order by those in smaller amounts. To make this juice sweet they use juice from oranges, pineapples and grapes.

Toddler hate veggies? Well sneak them in via ice pops! Perfect for the summer time these pops are made with 100% juice made from Carrots, Oranges and other fruit to help give it natural sweetness. Perfect way to sneak veggies into your kid's diet!Bed Bath & Beyond carries a plastic Popsicle mold for four priced at $4.99.  The fun part about this mold is that each pop comes with a built in straw for your kid to suck up the melted treat. Before I made the popsicles I gave the carrot juice bottle a good shaking. I poured the juice into the four molds and placed them on a small cookie sheet to keep it level before placing them in the freezer. I waited a a few hours and viola….healthy popsicles that have a serving of vegetables!

Toddler hate veggies? Well sneak them in via ice pops! Perfect for the summer time these pops are made with 100% juice made from Carrots, Oranges and other fruit to help give it natural sweetness. Perfect way to sneak veggies into your kid's diet!She LOVED them. I have to admit that while she smiled and said “Mmmmmm” while slurping down the hidden veggie I had an eternal evil laugh….“You like it…HA…you are eating veggie neener neener neener…”

Toddler hate veggies? Well sneak them in via ice pops! Perfect for the summer time these pops are made with 100% juice made from Carrots, Oranges and other fruit to help give it natural sweetness. Perfect way to sneak veggies into your kid's diet!The cool thing about the pop holder is that it comes with a built in straw, so while the popsicle melts your kid can drink up the melted liquid at the bottom!

As you can tell from the next picture…she liked them, she really really liked them. Score one for mommy.

Toddler approved ice pops that have hidden veggies in them!!! My kid fights me on the greens and this is a perfect way to sneak in the healthy goods! Perfect for summer too!

 
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  1. Kate Greenway commented:
    September 21, 2013 Reply

    Love this post:)

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Summertime Watermelon Sherbet Slices

simple sherbet dessert that looks like a watermelon slice! You use Lime, Pineapple & Strawberry sherbet & mini chocolate chips. Simple directions too! Kids LOVE this summertime treat... Oh this four-day weekend was a lot of fun ya’ll. Our fourth of July weekend came with sparklers, pool time and cold desserts to help with the blazing temps. We have been hit pretty hard with rain in Tampa so in between the down pours on Wednesday and Thursday we took Lily out for sparklers and other small fireworks.

Last year Lily had just turned one and wasn’t too keen on holding sparklers. This year it took a few attempts before she wanted to hold it. We tried placing a plastic cup over the sparkler to help prevent hot sparks from falling on her hand, but it was impossible for her & Mike to hold it under the cup. Lily is pretty brazen so we kept Mike close so she didn’t try to grab the sparkler and burn. Maybe next year we will graduate to swirling the sparklers in big circles!

sparklersLily was not a fan of any fireworks with loud pops last year so we stuck to smoke bombs and those little white tissue balls that give a tiny “pop” when thrown to the ground. She LOVED those. We would give her one or two and she would wind up her arm and toss them. Eventually she would run down the driveway and pitch them into the street.

sparklerslilyThe colored smoke bombs were duds. About two of the bombs landed in streams along the driveway created by the rain. They were dead on impact. Whomp Whomp. The others created so much smoke that blew right into our faces, making me want to gag. Next year I think we’ll skip on those.

Thanks to the ISR lessons we have been swimming in our pool and feeling more at ease. She is a total fish and can swim from one end of the pool to the next! I have video and will try and post it this week. On Saturday we took a break from the water and enjoyed a dessert from my childhood. My Aunt made this watermelon sherbet for us when I was a kid. After that my mom continued to make it for us through the years. This summertime dessert is simple, tastes great and helps beat any heat wave.

Watermelon Sherbet Slices

Lime sherbet
Pineapple sherbet
Strawberry sherbet
Mini chocolate chips

This recipe has no real measurements. Just use however much you want depending on the size of the bowl you have. Because you are just layering the different flavors you can’t mess up the flavor. The only thing you can mess up on is the appearance (making too big of a “rind” and not enough melon).

simple sherbet dessert that looks like a watermelon slice! You use Lime, Pineapple & Strawberry sherbet & mini chocolate chips. Simple directions too! Kids LOVE this summertime treat... I purchased my sherbet from Sweetbay, a local grocery store in Florida, and used their brand. You use a smaller amount of the lime and especially the pineapple flavors compared to the strawberry, so if you’re using a large bowl you could get two quarts of strawberry to be on the safe side. I bought one quart of each for the small bowl and have plenty of leftovers.  FYI the pineapple flavor from Sweetbay’s brand isn’t that great, so I will most likely toss it. Pineapple is my favorite sherbet flavor and I’m pretty snooty when it doesn’t measure up to my favorite from Blue Bell.

To start put a couple of scoops of the lime flavor into your bowl. Turn the bowl on its side and with a spoon start to push the sherbet down to create a layer all around the bowl. You have to work quickly because the sherbet melts pretty quickly making it difficult to spread out. You can spread it out to the brim or go half way up the bowl like I did. Again…there are no measurements, make it however big you want! Cover the bowl with foil and place it in the freezer for about 10-20 minutes. Tip: I find that using a metal bowl makes it easier in the end to get the watermelon sherbet out, but use whatever you have on hand!

simple sherbet dessert that looks like a watermelon slice! You use Lime, Pineapple & Strawberry sherbet & mini chocolate chips. Simple directions too! Kids LOVE this summertime treat... Take the bowl out of the freezer, start scooping the pineapple flavor into the bowl and spread a layer of that on top. Remember real watermelon has a small white layer so try and thin out the pineapple as much as you can. Cover with foil and freeze again for 10-20 minutes.

watermelon sherbert While it is freezing take out the strawberry flavor and mini chocolate chips. In a separate bowl scoop the strawberry in and sprinkle as many of the chocolate chips as you want on top. The chocolate chips represent the seeds, but with this watermelon the seeds are delicious and you won’t want to spit them out! Mix the sherbet and chocolate together. Sherbet is much softer than ice cream so you will find it won’t take you long to mix.

simple sherbet dessert that looks like a watermelon slice! You use Lime, Pineapple & Strawberry sherbet & mini chocolate chips. Simple directions too! Kids LOVE this summertime treat...Take the bowl back out of the freezer and fill the middle with your strawberry & chip mixture. If you didn’t make enough, don’t worry. Try whipping up a little more while you place the bowl back in the freezer. Once you have filled the middle of your watermelon sherbet up, cover with foil once again and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

simple sherbet dessert that looks like a watermelon slice! You use Lime, Pineapple & Strawberry sherbet & mini chocolate chips. Simple directions too! Kids LOVE this summertime treat... When you’re ready to serve, fill up a large bowl with warm water and place a plate on the counter nearby. Take your bowl out of the freezer and place it in the bowl with warm water. Press it down so that the warm water surrounds the entire bowl, but doesn’t go over the edge into the sherbet. It only takes about a minute or less. When you can start to move the bowl around and the sherbet slides away from the side take it out of the water. Place the plate on top of the bowl and flip it over. Wipe up some of the melted lime sherbet with a paper towel and put the plate with the upside down watermelon “mound” into the freezer to help set it for only about 5 minutes (no need to cover it). While the sherbet firms back up get your bowls and spoons ready! If you are only serving this to a few people and anticipate leftovers, grab a freezer safe container and some parchment paper.

simple sherbet dessert that looks like a watermelon slice! You use Lime, Pineapple & Strawberry sherbet & mini chocolate chips. Simple directions too! Kids LOVE this summertime treat...Pull the “mound” back out and with a large knife cut it in half. It helps to dip your knife in warm water to make each cut so you don’t mix the lime into the strawberry flavor (that’s if you’re trying to make it look pretty!). From each half cut, slice off the desired amount and serve it up!

simple sherbet dessert that looks like a watermelon slice! You use Lime, Pineapple & Strawberry sherbet & mini chocolate chips. Simple directions too! Kids LOVE this summertime treat... Before I dig into my slice I always cut the remaining watermelon sherbet into slices. I place parchment paper in the freezer safe container. Place a few slices of the watermelon sherbet on top and then cover with more parchment paper. Cover and place in the freezer. Now next time you want a slice it is already pre-cut and waiting for you!

Lily loved this. So much that she picked the bowl up and tried to drink the melted remnants. Warning that this can be a messy dessert for toddlers, so it’s best served outside and in a bathing suit. Make it even easier and strip them down to a diaper (or bare bum) and let your toddler run through the sprinklers after to clean off!

Enjoy!

simple sherbet dessert that looks like a watermelon slice! You use Lime, Pineapple & Strawberry sherbet & mini chocolate chips. Simple directions too! Kids LOVE this summertime treat...

 
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DIY Chalkboard Tags or Signs

DIYchalktagstitleThis project was so simple it’s silly. For Lily’s second birthday I wanted small chalkboard signs for the food and drink stations. I loved the way these DIY chalkboard tags or signs turned out that I found several other ways I could use them…making them a cheap, simple and re-usable object (awesome!).

DIYchalktagsJoann had the wood pieces I used for dirt cheap. The large circle wood ornaments were $.79 each and the 12 piece bag of wood tags were only $1.00! I have tons of chalk paint still left over, but I decided to pick up a can of spray paint to try it out ($7.99 at Michael’s). Since these pieces are so small using spray paint made this project even easier with little cleanup (no washing a paint brush!). Just lay out a plastic tarp or use a large trash bag and lay your wooden tags on top. Shake your chalk spray paint can hard for about a minute and then give the wood pieces a good spray. I allowed two hours for dry time before I gave it another spray and followed it up with another coat after allowing it to dry again. I LOVED using the spray chalk paint since it was quick and easy. I would suggest you use a clip on spray paint gun (super cheap) or a plastic glove. I got a little paint on my finger and when I went to clean my hands, the paint got under my nail making it super hard to get off (and dirty nails gross me out!). Using these as signs I only pained one side…so that was it. So simple it’s SILLY!

diychalksignsdrinksI used chalk pens to label the signs at Lily’s party. Chalk pens make any handwriting look 10x better….trust me…mine usually looks like chicken scratch! To hang the chalkboard sings I used twine found at Joann or Michael’s.

diychalktagskidsdrinkI wrapped a few tags around the mason jar flower vases and added a “2” for her second birthday.

diychalktagsflowersI tied a few on to her presents just for show…two year old’s can’t read and it was for my child so I know who the gift came from….I did it just to make it cuter! I really liked this idea for gifts as the chalk signs are blank and you can write anything on them…happy birthday, congrats, welcome home, Merry Christmas etc etc. Plus if you are using them for gifts for your own family you can re-use them again for another gift! AND if your gifting it to somebody they have the opportunity to re-use it! With 12 pieces for a $1.00 it’s cheap, simple and a cute add on to any gift! I think they are way cuter than those holiday stickers you fill in for Christmas presents too!

DIYchalktagscolorIn our kitchen we have a class container with our coffee grinds that has a chalkboard label painted onto the side. I used one of the tags to label the Borax in our laundry room in lieu of painting the actual container…again so simple it’s silly.

These signs can be used for anything. They can be wiped cleaned and used again. They are cheap and so easy to make. This is my kind of DIY project!!

DIYchalktagsborax

 
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  1. […] as a way to label other party décor with some tags I made (this simple DIY project found here). When I think of BBQ red gingham and galvanized metal comes to mind. I picked up a few galvanized […]

  2. By Lily & Bliss | DIY Chalkboard Memo Pad on September 3, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    […] bag to cover the remaining top with the clasp. Using the spray chalk paint I had left over from the DIY chalk tags I gave the clipboard three coats of paint. Remember you need to give a 3-4 hour window in between […]

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Verbal Smack Down Over “My Preschooler”

twoballoonstitlePrior to giving birth, whenever I heard women call their 16 year old or 30 year old “their baby” I didn’t get it. I mean I understood that a mother has an extreme bond with their offspring, but referring to a 30 year old as a baby kind of creeped me out in a Norman Bates way.

Now I’m a mom and my baby is considered to be a preschooler from Baby Center’s weekly growth emails. I was sitting in bed already emotional from Lily’s second birthday when I noticed the email from Baby Center: My Preschooler This Week.

myprescoolerI signed up for weekly growth emails from Baby Center while pregnant and I continued reading them when she was born. I was sad when the email switched from “your baby this week” to “your toddler this week”. Preschooler though??? I gave my laptop a verbal smack down because my baby was nowhere near preschooler status. Oh yes I did. I let my MAC have it. In fact I often yell at the TV when I don’t agree with some idiot on CNN (you should see me around election time…I’m yelling at the screen!).

two-balloonsPretty positive that each birthday will be emotional and sting just a bit as my sweet Lily continues to grow up. Pretty positive that I will continue with verbal confrontations with my lap top when I see “Your Teenager…” or “Your College Student…”.

Now my sweet Lily is two. From now on we count her age by years, not by months. Technically there are clothes labeled 36 months, but I know that when asked at the playground I won’t say “oh she’s 29 months”…she will be 2 ½ years old. So I can tell you with 100% certainty that I will be that mother that refers to Lily as “my baby” even when she’s 40…because in my eyes and my heart she will always be.

{We continued the tradition from last year and brought in balloons matching her age on her birthday. See last year’spics here)

twomunchkins

 
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  1. kelsey commented:
    July 2, 2013 Reply

    Isn’t it crazy? I was like you before having G. And now… well, let’s just say my baby is about to be five! Sometimes we hold him like a baby and tell him how he’ll always be our baby no matter how big he gets. 🙂

    Also… Loving the idea with the balloons. Genius!

  2. March 29, 2016 Reply

    Stellar work there everyone. I’ll keep on reading.

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