Monthly Archives: December 2010
Holiday recipes often are passed on from family member to family member. We decided to do the same with our Kolcraft family. We hosted a holiday cookie exchange complete with cookies, cakes, hot chocolate, homemade apple cider and all sorts of delicious coffees.
Every bite was a delight to the taste-buds so we decided to not only share pictures from the event, but also a few recipes for you to try out with your family!
Butter Oatmeal Cookies
1 ¼ cups Flour
1 ½ cups Quick Oatmeal
1 cup Butter
¾ cup Sugar
Cream butter and sugar. Add flour and mix. Add oatmeal and mix well together. Make into small balls and press down with fork on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes. Makes 3 dozen cookies.
Magic Raspberry Cookie Bars
2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
¼ cup sugar
½ cup butter or margarine
1 can 14oz sweetened condensed milk
1 ¼ cups seedless red raspberry preserves
1 1/3 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
In a small bowl, combine the crumbs and sugar. Add margarine/butter. Toss until combined. Press onto bottom of 13x9x2 baking pan. Evenly drizzle sweetened condensed milk over crumbs. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Spoon preserves over top. Sprinkle with coconut and nuts. Bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes until light brown. Cool completely. Cut into bars. Yields 24.
Do you have a favorite cookie that you make at Holiday time?
For these past few months Kolcraft has given you glimpses of me – Wally Wonderbug. I have gone on all sorts of adventures with Kolcraft and have met a lot of blog moms. Finally Kolcraft has given me the ok to reveal myself to you!
I’m Wally Wonderbug – a happy, friendly bug who is a baby entertainer. I know you and your baby will LOVE me! I have lots of features that will keep you and your baby happy!
- I have a variety of developmental toys and activities to entertain your baby. Many of my toys teach cause and effect relationships, help with hand/eye coordination and increase motor skill activities.
- My good friend, Wilbur WonderWorm has lights, music and sounds that your baby will love!
- My seat bounces and spins 360° so baby can access all my toys.
- I’m height adjustable for growing babies.
- I am also very practical! I easily disassemble for travel & storage.
I also have a friend Wanda Wonderbug! She is a baby entertainer and she has all the wonderful toys that I have for baby. We will be in your favorite retail and online stores starting in January.
Kolcraft is so excited about me that they are giving me my very own website! My website will have an animated video demo featuring me *blush* and it will have all sorts of games and activities for your little ones. There will be lots of contests too! My website will be up in January so please come visit me on it! It will be a great way to start the new year together! Kolcraft even said that they are going to have a Twitter party just for me in February! YAY! I love to party with moms and dads.
I can’t wait to meet you and your baby!
Sending you hugs and kisses,
The 12 winners of the Sleep in Heavenly Peace contest for the Sealy Sweet Pea® 2in1 Maternity and Nursing Pillow have been chosen! Our judges had a really hard time picking only 12 winners. Thank you to everyone who participated!
The winners are:
- Deanna U
- Heather H
- Brandi Elam
- Dena Furgason
- Jos Alde
- Andrew NooNoo
- Fawn H
Congratulations to our winners! We will contact you via email for your addresses.
If you didn’t win, be sure to pick up your Sealy Sweet Pea® 2in1 Maternity and Nursing Pillow at your local Walmart or online!
It’s holiday time and often that means an overdose of sugar. We have a holiday treat that is fun to make & good for you! We love these fruit snowmen that we know your kids will love to make and eat! (We didn’t have the carrot for the nose or the pretzel sticks for the arms so we made due with what we had. They look cuter with pretzel arms )
- Bamboo skewers
- Pretzel sticks
1. For each snowman, you will need three thick slices of banana, a grape, a sliver of carrot, and a triangular piece of apple.
2. Slide the fruit onto the skewer, and then use the carrot slivers for noses, raisins for eyes and buttons, and pretzel sticks for arms.
Experiment with other fruit and vegetables!
What healthy holiday recipes do you have to share?
Holiday time brings family, fun, food and some holiday hazards if you aren’t careful. A few tips to protect your baby from common holiday hazards.
- Those pretty trees with all their lights and shiny ornaments are eye catches for baby. She will want to pull up on the tree, grab the ornaments or lights which an lead to a toppled tree, burnt little hands (yes, those holiday lights get hot) or a fistful of ornament shrapnel. Be sure to supervise baby with extra care when she is around the tree.
- Who doesn’t love the beauty of candles and Menorahs? Be sure to set them up high even when they are not lit, because the wax can contain toxins that can be swallowed. Also remember to keep candy dishes and miniature nativity sets out of baby’s reach.
- All those bows and ribbons make gifts extra beautiful, but they can pose strangulation or choking hazards. Be sure to have a garbage bag nearby so you can throw away wrapping paper, bows and ribbons as soon as presents are opened.
What holiday safety tips do you have?
It’s easy to win! Info is in this post http://bit.ly/gd89fA
Everyone wants to have a healthy and stress-free pregnancy so baby can have the best start to life. Easier said than done right? Enter Mary Oscategui, international baby planner, greenproofer and fitness expert. To say we are impressed with Mary is an understatement. We are so happy that we could have a few minutes of her busy schedule to interview her for Mom Monday.
When we read all that you do Mary, we are amazed! What inspired you to jump into the line of work that you do as baby planner, greenproofer and fitness expert?
Thank you, Michelle. Health, Fitness, and Green Living has been both a personal and ongoing career for the last 15 years which naturally influenced my pregnancy. When I became pregnant, I was in a situation where I lived far away from family. Besides my partner at the time, my midwife and doula were the only support I had throughout my pregnancy and after my daughter, Bella Luna was born. This experience impacted me in a very deep way and inspired me to start a business that would provide support and resources to expecting and new parents.
Baby planning – if you could pick the most important benefit of a baby planner, what would it be?
The most important benefit a baby planner can offer is a stress free pregnancy that will support a healthy lifestyle for mom and baby with an improved quality of living. Stress has increased dramatically in our culture and has been affecting pregnancy in a very negative way. Stress can affect the development of a fetus. Studies have shown that pregnant women under stress tend to have babies with lower iq’s, weight issues, nutritional and mental deficiencies.
You also greenproof for baby. Often parents are overwhelmed by going green. Any advice?
Yes, many parents I have worked with have been overwhelmed by going green mainly because they feel they need to make extreme changes in order to live a green life style. The best advice I can give is to start with baby steps. Baby steps add up. One small change can make a world of a difference.
We all know that we need to stay fit whether we are pregnant or not. Sometimes it gets pushed so far down the list when family clamors for our immediate attention. How do you stay motive to make fitness a priority?
The way I stay motivated is by understanding and feeling how keeping fit gives me more energy to give my family attention, stay focused on work, sleep better, and eat better. Once you establish a fitness routine that works into your lifestyle, you will be able to experience many benefits immediately.
With all that you are juggling – mom, wife, writer, speaker, pregnancy & parenting guru.- how do you keep your sanity?
Great question! Staying fit and organized are the two major components in keeping my sanity. Keeping fit gives me the energy to perform well and stay focused in all the areas of my life throughout each day. Keeping an organized agenda and daily schedule with a prioritized list of what need needs to get done is a life saver.
Finally what is your advice to parents who are overwhelmed with their pregnancy journey?
My best advice is to reach out for help. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. A baby planner will not only improve the quality of your living by creating a stress free environment, but will also save you money by helping you determine what you really need and do not need throughout and after your pregnancy.
Now for a quick glance into Mary’s life.
What is the one thing you look forward to everyday? Waking up to my daughter. It’s the best gift in the whole world. I am still in awe that I created and gave birth to her life. Observing her development and growth each day is pretty amazing. She is one of my greatest teachers.
If you had a “free day” with no commitments or obligations, what would you do with it? Meditate, dance, play, enjoy a great meal, soak up some sun, with my daughter and close friends and family.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Marin, CA. I absolutely love it here. The people and environment are so diverse. You can go hiking, sailing, mountain biking, hang out at the beach, go wine tasting, and enjoy the nightlife in San Francisco all in one day. The community of people here are just great.
What is your favorite activity with kids? Dancing. Bella and I have so much fun together. It’s a great way to exercise and express oneself.
If you were going to write a book of your life, what would you title it? Wow. Let’s see… Mary Oscategui: The journey of a girl, woman, and mother
The holidays are a great time to have family date nights to see decorations, lights and more. Many cities have free events for people of all different cultures and faiths. We took a little tour around Chicago to find family date night events that were free. Here are some ideas for you to do in your city.
One of our favorite traditions in the Santa Express CTA. For the low price of a CTA fare (children ride free or reduced rate depending on age), you can hop aboard the Santa Express. Every car has an Elf who hands out candy canes, holiday music playing, holiday decorations and lights, special Santa seat coverings and Santa on his sleigh is hitched between cars. We Googled Santa trains and many cities have special Santa trains for families to ride.
Department stores have great decorations for the holidays. Macy’s and other department stores decorate their windows with a theme especially for children. If you have a Macy’s in your city, be sure to stop and write a letter to Santa (we did!) and watch the believe-o-meter rise!
Go for a family holiday scavenger hunt. Plan to go to a few department stores, the town square, etc. with a list of holiday themed items you need to find. You can just check them off the list or take a photo since you don’t want to take decorations from public places! The list of items to find can be: an elf, a snowman, Santa, a sparkly tree, a wooden soldier, etc. If your family is big enough you can divide into teams!
Google to see if different cultural centers or houses of worship will have special exhibits about their culture at holiday times. Learning how other people celebrate the holidays can help your children to appreciate other traditions as well as their own.
Pack some hot chocolate, pile into the car and put on some holiday music as you drive around the neighborhood and see the lights. If you Google “best places for lights in (insert name of your neighborhood)” you will find the hot spots for holiday lights in your neighborhood. You local holiday music radio station site will also have a calendar of holiday happenings in your town.
The options for a free family date night during the holidays are limitless. In the midst of all your holiday preparations, don’t forget to take the time to celebrate with family.
What inexpensive family holiday date night tips do you have?
At holiday time we see an increase of car commercials where there is a car in a driveway or in a living room (those people must have very large front doors…) with a giant bow. There is excitement all around and the commercial continues with all the wonderful features of the new car.
Whether or not a new car is on your holiday list, your baby can be stylin’ in a new Jeep® car shaped walker that won’t break your bank account! Our rugged Jeep® walker with electronic toy steering wheel includes a car horn, engine sounds & music to entertain baby!
Some features we love:
- 3-position height adjustment for growing babies
- Plush, foam-filled, easy-to-clean seat pad for comfort and support
- Non-skid friction pads on base for child safety
- Independent front swivel wheels for mobility
It’s the long lull of Winter, but the cold brings some wonderful nutritious vegetables for you and your family! Sweetened Acorn Squash is an easy recipe to prepare and is packed with nutrients!
- Acorn squash
- 1 cup fresh cranberries (if frozen, be sure to thaw before using)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup or a teaspoon of Cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon butter, cut into cubes
- Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds.
- Place in a roasting pan and add 1/2 inch of water to the bottom of the pan.
- Put a cube of butter in each acorn half.
- Put about half a teaspoon of Cinnamon in each half.
- Divide the cranberries between the acorn halves (if you don’t add Cinnamon, you can drizzle maple syrup on top the squash).
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Bake on the middle shelf for 1 hour, or until the squash feels tender when pierced with a small, sharp knife and the cranberries are tender and juicy.
Tell us some of your Winter Veggie recipes!