Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede to unveil new look in 2015

Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede to unveil new look in 2015

The 28th season of Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede promises to be the most exciting and unique yet, as all-new sights and sounds will create an atmosphere unlike any other.

“I want to dazzle our guests in 2015 with a completely new atmosphere,” Dolly said. “My team is hard at work creating a new set, powerful new music, lots of amazing special effects and a few other surprises.”

The updates and changes include new state-of-the-art theatrical lighting and sound systems, as well as a new music score and aerial act, marking the largest upgrade and investment in the show since opening in 1988.

Friday, January 30, 2015 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Delicious Aphrodisiacs to Spice up Valentine’s Day

Delicious Aphrodisiacs to Spice up Valentine’s Day

As the holiday of love is right around the corner, I wanted to share Celebrity Chef George Duran’s favorite recipes that are sure to wow your Valentine. According to George, “the foods that are the most aphrodisiac are the ones that are so good you are forces to use your fingers, lips and tongue to finish them.”

Below are two of George’s favorite recipes that are sure to spice things up on Valentine’s Day—in the kitchen that is.

Forgotten Chocolate Soufflé


12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces, plus more for greasing
1 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch for the egg whites
12 tablespoons sugar
5 large eggs, separated into yolks and whites, at room temperature for 30 minutes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour


Put an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 3.7 quart IMUSA Caldero.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a large bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring frequently. (Or in a microwave-safe glass bowl in a microwave at 50 percent power for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring well every 30 seconds until the chocolate is melted and smooth.) Cool completely.

Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the cooled mixture and add salt and 6 tablespoons sugar. Add yolks 1 at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in the flour.

Beat the whites with a pinch of salt in a bowl using an electric mixer at high speed until they hold soft peaks. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons sugar, a little at a time, beating until the whites hold stiff glossy peaks.

Whisk about 1/4 of the whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten the batter, then fold in the remaining whites gently but thoroughly. Pour the batter into the IMUSA Caldero, spreading it evenly.

Bake about 30 to 35 minutes or until the center is still jiggling and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs adhering to it. Serve the soufflé warm.

Caramelized Plantain-Split Sundae


4 Tblsp. Unsalted butter
2 ripened plantains, ends trimmed, peeled, and cut lengthwise
1/3 C. brown sugar
½ C. heavy cream
1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ C. chopped walnuts, toasted and cooled (optional)
Vanilla ice cream


Melt butter in an IMUSA Caldero over medium heat, then add plantain slices.

Sprinkle with brown sugar and cook for about 2 minutes before turning them over and cook for 3 minutes.

Flip plantains once more and cook for another 2 minutes until caramelized. Be careful not to burn the plantains.

Remove the plantains and set aside. Add in heavy cream to IMUSA Caldero and whisk until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add chocolate and whisk until completely melted.

Serve vanilla ice cream between two plantain halves and top with chocolate sauce and walnuts. Serve extra chocolate sauce on the side if desired.

Friday, January 30, 2015 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
"Do The Chuck E."  Dance!!  #DoTheChuckE

"Do The Chuck E." Dance!! #DoTheChuckE

As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.

I am happy to share with you an awesome promotion happening right now at Chuck E Cheese!  There are two parts - first is in store and the other online.  Both feature a cool new dance you can teach your kids called "Do The Chuck E." !

In Stores:

Visit you local Chuck E Cheese and have your child participate by dancing  in the hourly Ticket Splash for a chance to win free tickets!


Post a video of your child doing the Chuck E. dance online and your child could win a chance to appear in a national Chuck E Cheese commercial!  (all videos must be tagged with #DoTheChuckE and @chuckecheese

Here is an instructional video of the dance:

We had a blast teaching our youngest the Chuck E dance!  He is 4 years old and loves visiting Chuck E Cheese already!  I'm happy to share with you our video of our little guy dancing!

Be sure to visit Chuck E Cheese for additional information. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...


As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.

We were recently sent Sofia the First: Holiday in Enchancia on DVD.  There is just something about this adorable little princess that makes me - the mom- smile!  I love how she always wants to help everyone and looks for the good in everyone.  Great lessons for all littles.


When a snowstorm prevents King Roland from returning home in time for the holidays, Sofia leads her family on a brave expedition to find him. Princess Aurora from Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" makes a special appearance to help Sofia and her animal friends reunite the royal family.


  • Holiday in Enchancia
  • Bailywick's Day Off
  • The Little Witch
  • The Baker King
  • Four's A Crowd

Our Thoughts:

My four year old Jace really loved this DVD.  He has been asking to watch it often  since it arrived on our doorstep.  I even find him singing the songs, especially the one from The Little Witch - "she's gonna be a good little witch".  Like I said earlier, I really enjoy the sweetness that Sofia brings on screen.  She really is a good friend and helps everyone.  Such a sweet princess addition to the Disney family!

You can purchase your copy at your local retailer or online at stores like Amazon.  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Be Nutty, Good and Adventurous with Olomomo's One of a Kind Nuts

Be Nutty, Good and Adventurous with Olomomo's One of a Kind Nuts

One of the perks to my mother and I owing a business right next door to a health food store is we can have delicious and healthy(er) snacking options just footsteps away. I clearly understand that just because it is in a health food store it does not mean it is the best choice.  However, we do make the conscious decision to at least try. Anyways, our latest and greatest find is the Olomomo Nut Company.  These nuts are to die for.  It is an understatement to say I am nuts about them (pun intended). It is also a no brainier that I was over the moon excited when they said YES to a review!

Olomomo Nut Company got started in Boulder, Colorado in 2008. They set out to simply be the Good Nut Company as well as the first socially and environmentally conscious nut companies in the United States.  It wasn't long before Olomomo Nut Company went from low key farmer's markets to making their debut on the Cooking Channel. 

 The Olomomo Nut Company offers these six flavors:
  • Plum Vinegar and Sea Salt Dry Roasted Almonds
  • Mango Chipotle Kettle-Roasted Almonds
  • Cinnamon Cayenne Kettle-Roasted Almonds
  • Cherry Vanilla Kettle-Roasted Almonds
  • Chai Bliss Kettle-Roasted Almonds
  • Maple Garam Masala Kettle-Roasted Pecans
The Olomomo Nut Company gracioulsy sent me a variety pack to review. I had already tried and feel in love with the Cherry Vanilla and Maple Garam Masala Pecans, after all, those are the two flavors that reeled me into this love fest to begin with!  I was impressed with how unique and different each flavor was.  I never would have thought that cinnamon and cayenne would be good together but guess what? It was! It was the perfect combination of sweet mixed with with a little kick, much like the pecans.

 Being that I am always looking for new snacks to give the kids, I reluctantly happily shared the beloved nuts. Caroline is four and is not much for exploring new foods.  If you can't dip it in ketchup, honey mustard or bbq sauce she most likely won't even try it. Jaydon on the other hand is nine and is developing hollow legs. They both asked to try the nuts and to my amazement they loved them just as much as me.  The Cherry Vanilla Dream is a great snack to feed the little ones. It is sweet enough to peak their interest but not overbearing.  These nuts are also gluten free and non-gmo. Jaydon preferred the Cinnamon Cayenne.  His face was priceless when that kick I mentioned above finally hit him!  Of course he didn't mind and continued to ask for more.  The mascot for this company is an adorable, happy-go-lucky monkey that inspires the young and the young at heart to be nutty, good and adventures.

Olomomo nuts can be purchased in bulk directly from their website. They also can be found in natural grocery stores such as Whole Foods, some local health food stores, various coffee shops and smoothie shops such as Smoothie King across the country.  If you are looking for a quick and easy snack to satisfy any of your taste-buds, I highly recommend giving Olomomo Nut Company a try.  Be warned, you will be hooked!Also, be sure to check them out on some of your favorite social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Lionsgate BeFit:  Challenge yourself with Max Cardio Challenge Workout

Lionsgate BeFit: Challenge yourself with Max Cardio Challenge Workout

As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.

On top of weight training five days a week, I'm also currently trying to build up my endurance levels and have been trying different workouts. I headed out bike riding with my husband on Saturday and left the kids with their grandmother.  Usually they are with us and obviously we take a few brakes while biking. This was a huge eye-opener for me when it comes to my endurance levels. My husband was an awesome motivator but I'm determined to get better!

With mixing up my workouts and being someone that has to workout at home I have been tuning into the BeFit series on YouTube. The latest episode Max Cardio Challenge workout called Intensity premiered today! In this workout, Fitness Expert, Celebrity Trainer, TV Personality and Motivational Speaker Lacey Stone challenges you with a high-octane, 25-minute circuit fat-burning cardio workout that employs a high-intensity blend of cardio exercise, endurance moves, and plyo drills to torch calories, build strength, increase power and build stamina for maximum head to toe results.

Featuring 3 intense circuits of 3 moves each followed by a 4th circuit that features all of the moves from the first 3 in succession, this unique routine features modifications for each move including 3 different levels of intensity, enabling you to tailor the workout specifically to your skill level and work at your own pace. Challenge yourself by trying to increase intensity each time through. The best part is that you can take this workout with you anywhere for a total-body burn!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 | 1 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Meal Prepping/Planning

Meal Prepping/Planning

I have set goals that I plan on reaching this year and one of those is to continue to make better food choices. With kids and activities sometimes its hard to stick to plan. I am known for grabbing
something quick which chances are is also unhealthy when in a pinch and that's one reason why its so important to me to meal plan.

To start this year off the right way I have started food prepping again. I’m not one that likes logging my food daily but at the first of the week before grocery shopping and food prepping begins I set down with the MyFitnessPal app and start crunching numbers. I put in all three meals and snacks. With that my entire week is planned out, calories and macros are where I need them to.

When planning my meal I always want it to be well rounded. I generally have three components on my plate. Protein/Starchy Carb/Fibrous Carb. By looking at these things thing I am about to get well rounded meals (not only for me but for the family) and make sure we get the things our bodies need for fueling.  It can be overwhelming to people to think about planning meals for the week but as my old accounting teaching used to tell us in college K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid) always comes to mind.  I am someone that over-thinks everything so I always have to remind myself to keep it simple and don't over analyze.

So for example, let’s break it down in a short list.. I have a long list that I use when it comes to meal planning so I’m sure to have variety.

Egg whites
Lean Pork (tenderloins, etc)
Protein Powder

Fibrous Carbs:
Green Beans

Starchy Carbs:
Brown Rice
Sweet Potato
Butternut Squash
Sweet Potato


Cottage Cheese
Cream Cheese
Greek Yogurt

Coconut Oil
Flaxseed Oil
Olive Oil
Nut butters

So a basic lunch for me may be: Chicken, Green Beans and Butternut Squash
Dinner could be Fish/chicken with sweet potato and Kale
Also remember...when kids help prep/cook the meal chances are greater
of them actually eating it!!

As I mentioned above, I do meal prep. People meal prep in many different ways. Some fix a variety or protein and veggies and then pull it out and decide what they want for that night. I pick one day to meal prep. I pull out the food scale and my containers. I pre-measure into servings sizes and then create the meal with the protein, veggie and carb. It’s all ready to go so when it comes time for dinner and lunch it’s just the matter of pulling it from the fridge.

 I do cook our breakfasts daily. Those are the times I feel like a short order cook with preparing three different breakfasts. The boys love their banana, English muffin with cream cheese , egg and a piece of bacon. I prefer Ezekiel English muffin with egg, egg white, wedge of laughing cow cheese and Canadian bacon. My man will eat basically anything but he has to be at work by 7am so his meal is cooked separately as well since I am not one to want to eat that early in the morning.

It is harder with the boys and meals so I do generally end up doing them a little differently. They aren’t fans of cooked veggies so with them I keep cut up veggies in the fridge and proteins may vary since they can change their mind often. I have noticed that if things are pre-measured and placed into snack sized bags they will grab them up. Nuts, yogurt and protein are their snacks and for lunch they are little creatures of habit. They like snap peas or carrots along with an apple or orange and a sandwich. This is something they rarely change so it does make their lunch easy to prep.

So in a nut shell this is how the meal plans in our house go.

Saturday, January 17, 2015 | 1 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
ViBites' from ViSalus - Healthy Snack for Busy Lives

ViBites' from ViSalus - Healthy Snack for Busy Lives

As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.

Healthy eating can be easy if you do just a little preparing first.  One thing I find I struggle with is on the go snacking.  Without planning I find myself hungry and grabbing junk food on the go.  That is until now! 

ViBites from ViSalus have been a great asset in the healthy eating on the go area for my family!  These are YUMMY snacks in a variety of flavors.  You can go for a protein punch or a nice serving of fruits or veggies!  All in a convenient package that is easy to throw in your purse for on the go snacking!

Vi Bites’ four wholesome flavors include:

Fruit Frenzy – An all natural mix of freeze dried fruits that is a nutritious guilt free sweet treat for weight loss and weight maintenance goals

Glorious Greens – A blend of freeze dried veggies with a savory Italian style spice

Chocolate Monkey – An all natural snack with 9 grams of protein that combines banana chips, chocolate, nuts and seeds for a crunchy sweet treat

Fiesta Nut – 10 grams of protein and is a combination of nuts, seeds, and soy nuts that are lightly spiced for a savory tasting delight

Where to buy:

 You can purchase Vi Bites' online at or by calling: 877-Visalus

My Thoughts:

I was sent three varieties for this review:  Fruit Frenzy, Glorious Greens and Chocolate Monkey.  Each served a different purpose and all were very tasty!

When you are looking for a sweet snack - choose Fruit Frenzy- these freeze dried fruits are fat-free with no added sugar and only 50 calories!  When you want something savory then reach for Glorious Greens.  These freeze-dried veggies have a Italian flavor that will knock your socks off!  Delicious! Last, and my personal favorite, is the Chocolate Monkey.  I say this is when you need some series snacking!  With 9 grams of protein this will help you recover from a work out and keep you full for a while!  Also, it has chocolate!  I really enjoyed all of these snacks.  I loved the individual packaging which made it easy to grab and go.  

Friday, January 16, 2015 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Sabrina-Secrets of a Teenage Witch: Magic of the Red Rose

Sabrina-Secrets of a Teenage Witch: Magic of the Red Rose

As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.

Get ready for Valentine's Day with the newest adventure from everyone's favorite teenage witch. Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch - Magic of the Red Rose has arrived on DVD, Digital HD and on Demand! Inspired by the Archie comic, Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch airs weekdays on Discovery Family Channel (Formerly Hub) and has received two 2014 Daytime Emmy nominations including "Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program" for Ashley Tisdale.

Join Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, for a magically exciting adventure! Whether she's preventing Werewolf Flowers from causing havoc, enduring a bad date with snobby warlock, reuniting a baby dragon with its heartbroken mother, or rescuing her best friend Jessie from the clutches of an angry sprite, Sabrina casts a spell of bewitching fun!

Episodes include:
  • Scream It with Flowers
  • Faking Up Is Hard To Do
  • Hic! Hic! Boom
  • Best Friends Fighting

Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch - Magic of the Red Rose is currently available for $9.99 on DVD.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...


As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.

Now available on DVD!  Jake and The Neverland Pirates: Battle For The Book! Join Wendy, John and Michael Darling join JAKE AND THE NEVER LAND PIRATES for a soaring, swashbuckling, full-length adventure. Jake and his friends meet up with some special friends in this wonderful adventure!

You can get your copy at your local retailer or online at stores like Amazon!

Enjoy these FREE Printable Activity Pages:

Download Jake And The Neverland Pirates - Battle for The Book - Activity Pages
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars DVD #Review & Activities!

Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars DVD #Review & Activities!

As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.

To say my kids love Star Wars is a complete understatement.  They have toys, clothing and all the movies.  Including the new Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars on DVD!  We have literally watched this DVD at least 15 times!  It is a fun spoof/spin on the original movies!


Join the cast of Phineas and Ferb as they battle in a galaxy Far...Far... Away!  Summer time and the gang is always wondering how they will spend it.  This time plans for a death star fall into the hands of Phineas and Ferb.  Can they save the galaxy? 

Where to buy:

Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars is available at your local retailers and online at stores like Amazon.  


My Thoughts:

We loved this DVD!  My little guy has been singing the song - In the Empire- for weeks now!  Disney has managed to take a fan favorite like Star Wars and combine it with a hit show - Phineas and Ferb - and produce an amazing movie.  I love how they had rebels and the empire.  Doofenshmirtz as a Vader-like character was genius!The humor written in really had my kids cracking up!   A total hit for fans of Star Wars!!

my little guy sporting a Vader hat! 

my middle guy having fun with a vadar voice changer!

Thursday, January 08, 2015 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
The Identical on DVD - Review & Giveaway!  #theidentical

The Identical on DVD - Review & Giveaway! #theidentical

As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.

It is hard to find a family-friendly movie these days.  I was really please to watch and review The Identical!  This movie tells the tale of two brothers, separated at birth and God's will in one's life.  Featuring big Hollywood names: Ashley Judd, Ray Liotta and Seth Green - this movie has a big on screen presence!


The Identical, starring Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd, Seth Green, and Blake Rayne is a redemptive movie about a young man, the son of a preacher, who rejects his father’s desire for him to join the ministry and instead embarks on a career as a rock singer. As he struggles to pursue his dream and rise to stardom, he finds love, pain, success, failure and ultimately uncovers a hidden family secret that reveals who he really us. The Identical is a captivating story about a family restored and a life discovered that lifts your soul and warms your heart.
You can purchase your copy at your local retailer or online at stores like Amazon.

My Thoughts:

I watched this movie with an open mind.  While I knew it had a christian-ish storyline I knew with the rockstar part it wouldn't be quite the same as my values.  However, with that in mind, I was pleasantly surprised!  Ray Liotta pulled off a southern bible believing preacher effortlessly!  I also loved how respectful the character Ryan was.  While he did not feel the call to become a preacher (which is fine - we all need to be sensitive to live in God's will for our life!) he tried to live a life that pleased his parents.  He didn't drink or do drugs and he wasn't a womanizer.  I just loved how he was a clean cut guy - even if he was a musician!

I felt like the theme of this movie was simple - live in God's will. 

Now onto my 'critical' thoughts.  If your not a fan of rock music then this might be one to skip.  There is Elvis' type music throughout the entire movie.  All the lyrics were clean and I personally had no problem with it.  Some of the characters do drink but the main star does not and makes an onscreen choice not too.  (I really appreciated that!)

You might be thinking that the choice between preacher or rockstar isn't some thing you want your kids to grow up with but I have some thoughts on that.  Clearly Ryan was a very talented singer.  He felt that was his calling in life to sing.  We need Christians to be in all careers in life - and this movie clearly showed that.  Could he have become a successful Christian artist?  Yes, probably.  I do think that the movie wouldn't have been as good though!

Lastly,  I loved the underlining storyline.  Why he was called the Identical.  I won't give that all away in this review but it was a good story.  I wish we had seen a bit more of the other side but it was good without that part.

For additional information on the movie visit 

Wednesday, January 07, 2015 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Sweeten Up the Holidays With Seasonal Varieties From   MIKE AND IKE and HOT TAMALES Brands

Sweeten Up the Holidays With Seasonal Varieties From MIKE AND IKE and HOT TAMALES Brands

As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.

Just in time for your holiday parties is MIKE AND IKE® Merry Mix and MIKE AND IKE® Minion Mix. Also available during the holiday season only will be the MIKE AND IKE® Original Fruits and HOT TAMALES® Fierce Cinnamon Stocking Stuffers.

MIKE AND IKE® Merry Mix comes in a 14 oz bag, perfect for all your home and office holiday parties. This holiday favorite includes original flavors Lime and Cherry, plus a seasonal flavor, Holiday Punch. The red and green colors of Merry Mix add even more festiveness to the season.MIKE AND IKE® Original Fruits theater box stocking stuffer comes in a 5 oz box making it an ideal stocking stuffer for all candy lovers on your holiday shopping list

HOT TAMALES® Fierce Cinnamon also offers a 5 oz theater box stocking stuffer of cinnamon candy with holiday themed messaging and graphics on the packaging. The SRP for the 5 oz boxes of MIKE AND IKE® Original Fruits and HOT TAMALES® Fierce Cinnamon is $1.00 - $1.39. Both package designs include extra space to add a name for the recipient and sender to truly personalize your delicious candy gift.

To celebrate the success of the wildly popular movie franchise, MIKE AND IKE® has created a limited edition Minion Mix that will only be available during the holiday season.MIKE AND IKE® Minion Mix is available in a 5 oz box and comes with 3 different designs on pack – making it a collectable item for every Minion lover. Made with real fruit juice, fans will enjoy the sweet and tasty goodness of Blue Raspberry and Banana flavors.

In the spirit of the holidays, create and sample some tasty recipes featuring MIKE AND IKE® and HOT TAMALES® candies for your next holiday party. Try these recipes created by Chef Jamie Geller as part of her recent alliance with the leading candy brands.

HOT TAMALES® Snickerdoodles
Servings: 2 dozen


· 1/2 cup (4 oz) HOT TAMALES®Fierce Cinnamon candies, coarsely chopped*
· 1/4 cup (2 oz) salted margarine, softened
· 1/4 cup (2 oz) shortening (I use Spectrum Organic)
· 3/4 cups (5.6 oz) granulated sugar
· 1 egg
· 1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz) all-purpose flour
· 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
· 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
· pinch of salt (increase to 1/4 tsp if using unsalted margarine)
· 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
· 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

*The best way to chop it is with a lightly oiled knife.


1. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Using an electric mixer, cream together the margarine, shortening and ¾ cups sugar. Add the egg and beat until thoroughly combined.

3. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients (except the candy) into the creamed mixture and mix until just combined. Add the chopped candy and mix until the candy is evenly distributed, a few minutes more.

4. Refrigerate the dough for at least 15 minutes (this makes it easier to handle).

5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

6. Combine the remaining sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Form dough into balls the size of small walnuts (I use a tablespoon cookie scoop). Roll the balls of cookie dough in the cinnamon sugar.

7. Place the cookies two inches apart on the cookie sheets. Bake for 8 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets in the oven at the halfway point. They are done when they look puffed in the middle and slightly brown at the edges (the tops of the cookies will form cracks). Be careful not to overcook.

8. Remove cookie sheet from the oven and let cookies sit on it for another minute or so before removing to cooling rack; cookies will flatten out as they cool.

9. These cookies are best served warm, straight out of the oven, but they can be stored in an airtight container for up to two days.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Last Minute Gift Ideas For Your Pets

Last Minute Gift Ideas For Your Pets

Pets also deserve to claw through that wrapping paper on Christmas morning! Just because they can’t
write, doesn’t mean they don’t have a wish list. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) points out that it’s important to know your pet’s personality when getting the purrrfect gift, and has provided some tips to help you shop for your pet this holiday season.

Is your cat a swatter? Consider getting your cat a teaser this holiday season – it’s interactive and is sure to keep your cat occupied for hours on end.

Is there a toy to chew instead of cushions or shoes? To avoid a mess this holiday season (and beyond), get your little rascal a chew toy. These chew toys can come in many shapes and sizes, such as plush form or bouncy balls.

What if my pet just likes to chill, man? Some pets are more than happy cozying up next to a soft, plush toy. These toys can also be a great hiding spot for cat nip.

Are there toys I should avoid? You may think string, yarn, paper clips, rubber bands, or plastic bags can be used as “toys,” but you should definitely avoid giving these items to pets. The AVMA also recommends that if you buy chewable balls, make sure they’re big enough to avoid an accidental swallow.

Can’t I just give my dog a bone? No. Bones from the kitchen are extremely dangerous for dogs and may be the cause of splinters or choking. You can get a toy bone to chew on, just make sure it is made of nylon or rubber.

What about something for my nontraditional pet? Exercise wheels for hamsters, tunnels for ferrets, and treat-dispensing toys for birds are just a few great gift ideas.

The best gift you could give your pet this holiday season is the gift of safety. For more information, and other holiday safety tips, visit
Tuesday, December 23, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Ho Ho Ho Hacks! Life Hacks For Kids Easy Craft Ideas

Ho Ho Ho Hacks! Life Hacks For Kids Easy Craft Ideas

Handy dandy life hacks are useful throughout the year, which is what inspired DreamWorksTV, a family-friendly YouTube channel, to showcase some of the most creative HO HO HO hacks and DIY presents thought of by kids, made by kids and gifted by kids timed to the holidays.

HO HO HO Hacks! Learn how to make homemade snow and other festive holiday hacks in less than 4-minutes here:

DIY Last Minute Gifts for Mom – For under $15 make a gift that will keep memories alive here 

Monday, December 22, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
App Review: Little Luna, Big Talent

App Review: Little Luna, Big Talent

As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.

My boys recently had the opportunity to test out a new app and it's super fun!  The app, Little Luna, Big Talent begins with a lesson on a bombardier beetle's special talent- tooting. While typically bombardier beetles use tooting as a defense mechanism in the wild, for Luna and her family it's a way for them to express themselves.

During the game, you follow Luna along while she introduces you to her family.  That's when the fun really begins!  Each member of Luna's family has unique ways to utilize their talents.

Little Luna, Big Talent app features an interactive storybook with games and simple navigation which makes is friendly for preschool to elementary school age.  It's beautifully designed with delightful music and offers a timer for limiting screen time.

Little Luna, Big Talent also features:

  • Narration in English, Mandarin Chinese and German
  • No in-app purchases (which I LOVE)

I have set down to play this app with my boys and I even had fun. The tooting music with Luna's brothers is my seven year old's favorite and I even found that challenging.  My four year old enjoys Target "tooting" with Luna's Dad and matching shadows!  The nice thing about this is that you can also change the tasks from easy to challenging.

Little Luna – Big Talent is available for $2.99 in the iTunes App Store and will soon be available for Android.

Sunday, December 21, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Red Velvet Cake Balls

Red Velvet Cake Balls

My oldest daughter loves Red Velvet Cake so why not turn them into cake balls for an easy holiday finger food.  Now in the recipe I have shown using a red velvet cake mix which is great, but by all means if you have a Red Velvet Cake recipe that you love that would work too.   I have a favorite recipe but in a pinch I have been known to grab the box up as well which works just as good.

1 box red velvet cake mix or your favorite red velvet cake recipe (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)
1 can cream cheese frosting (16 oz.)
1 package chocolate bark (regular or white chocolate)
wax paper

1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.

2. Mix thoroughly with 1 can cream cheese frosting. (It may be easier to use fingers to mix together, but be warned it will get messy.)

3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50. You can get even more if you use a mini ice cream scooper, but I like to hand roll them.)

4. Chill for several hours. (You can speed this up by putting in the freezer.)

5. Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.

6. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. (Use a spoon to dip and roll in chocolate and then tap off extra.)

Friday, December 19, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Stocking Stuffer: My Charge Energy Shot

Stocking Stuffer: My Charge Energy Shot

As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.

How many times have you been out and about and your phone is almost dead. This happens to me even though we have a car charger. The boys are always playing on my phone and there are times when they absolutely kill it and I don't realize it until we are in a place that I can't just plug it up. That's when items like the My Charge Energy Shot comes in handy. The size is comparable to a tube of lipstick and with one charge it is good for around 9 hours of talk time.

The My Charge does come completely charge, but if you are ever wanting to check to see how much power is left on it, you simply shake it.  Right above the USB port is a little light.
  • Red=0%-40%
  • Yellow = 41%-70%
  • Green = 71% -100%

All in all this is a great product.  It's super easy to toss in a purse, in a hiking bag, etc.  It's the perfect stocking stuffer for someone that is always on the go.

The My Charge Energy Shot can be purchased at Walgreens.
Friday, December 19, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Eat Well Embrace Life Hummus

Eat Well Embrace Life Hummus

As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.

Hummus is one of our absolute favorite foods to keep on hand and the entire family loves it.  It's a perfect addition to the raw veggies my boys enjoy eating, or for adding to crackers for a quick snack.  Recently Eat Well Embrace Life sent us a variety of hummus to try. These were not the common flavors that I run across in our market or that I have ever made.

Eat Well Embrace Life established ‘the other bean hummus’ sub-category using a variety of beans such as black and white beans, edamame and red and yellow lentils and garden-fresh vegetables, such as beets and carrots, to create light and creamy hummus flavors. Inspired by healthy living, each hummus is garnished with gourmet toppings creating unique hummus combinations that are nutrient-rich, gluten-free and lower in calories, fat and sodium.

Eat Well Embrace Life hummus is available in eight bold flavors:

  • Beet Hummus with pickled beet topping
  • Zesty Sriracha Carrot Hummus with a sunflower seed and apricot topping
  • Edamame Hummus with roasted red pepper
  • Spicy Red Lentil Chipotle Hummus
  • Spice Yellow Lentil Hummus
  • Sweet and Spicy Black Bean Hummus
  • Tuscan White Bean with Roasted Pine Nuts Hummus
  • Wasabi Edamame Hummus with Ginger

To Go varieties:

  • Classic hummus with crackers
  • Edamame Hummus with crackers
  • Sweet and Spicy Black Bean Hummus with crackers
  • Zesty Sriracha Carrot Hummus with crackers
Our family has tried all the flavors except Tuscan White Bean and Wasabi Edamame and have yet to be disappointed.  The toppings that are placed on the hummus really enhances the flavors, and don't be afraid to try the Beet and the Carrot. Both of these are absolutely amazing!  My boys preferred the Edamame and Beet hummus but they aren't big on spice and these were something they enjoyed.  My husband and I really don't have a favorite. They are simply that tasty! 

With Christmas around the corner and entertaining in full swing, this is an awesome product to put out on the appetizer/finger foods table.  We added a couple for our Thanksgiving appetizer table and everyone enjoyed it!  Just surround it with veggies and crackers and you're good to go!

I also want to point out that these are also gluten-free, kosher and vegetarian.  They also bring less sodium that other brands which is a plus.   Eat Well Embrace Life is available in grocery, mass and convenience stores nationwide (SRP $4.49 10 oz., $1.99 2.85 oz. To Go with Crackers).


Friday, December 19, 2014 | 1 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever DVD

Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever DVD

As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.

One of the most famous internet cats of all time, Grumpy Cat makes her feature film debut in Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever, that arrived on DVD on the 16th. Grumpy Cat was named the "Most Influential Cat of 2012" by MSNBC and the "Most Important Meme of 2012" by Mashable. Since then, Grumpy Cat has become a household name with its nearly 7 million likes on Facebook, over 28 million video views on its official YouTube channel and merchandising/endorsement deals around the country.

In this feline sensations first movie,Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever, lonely Grumpy Cat lives in a mall pet shop where she never gets chosen by customers.  Because she always gets passed over, this kitty develops a very sour outlook on life day during the holidays, a very special 12-year-old girl name Chrystal enters the pet store and falls in love with Grumpy.  The two form a special friendship when Chrystal discovers she is the only person who can hear this feline talk.  Will Grumpy Car finally learn the true meaning of Christmas, or will it be, in Grumpy's words, the "Worst. Christmas. Ever."?

I will be honest here and say that this movie wasn't exactly what I expected it to be, but that's just my opinion.  Across the board, this movie has fantastic reviews.  It was made to target a younger audience in a way and my seven year old thought it was a cute movie.

Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever is currently available for $9.99.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Pumpkin Bake Recipe

Pumpkin Bake Recipe

I love crust on baked goods just as much as the next person, but sometimes I'm in the mood for something just a tad lighter.  This dessert hits the spot when looking for a light, fluffy dessert.

Pumpkin Bake

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
5 eggs
1 cup granular Splenda or equivalent liquid Splenda
15 ounce can pumpkin
1 1/2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put the cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and beat well. Pour into a 6x8" greased glass baking dish. Bake at 350º about 40 minutes or until the center feels firm and a knife inserted in the center comes out relatively clean. Cool, then chill before serving.

Makes 6 servings
Thursday, December 18, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
SeaSnax Chomperz

SeaSnax Chomperz

As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.

My four year old and I have been huge fans of SeaSnax snack sheets for sometime now. He will grab those up over any type of chip for a quick snack, which is pretty awesome in my opinion.

A few weeks ago SeaSnax sent us a tasty new snack for us to try called SeaSnax Chomperz.  They are the first roasted seaweed snack to be Non-GMO project verified and contain just 40 calories per serving!

As we all know, moms are pretty awesome.  We are always on the look-out for healthy snack alternatives since we know all kids snack.  This particular snack was created by a new mom who wanted to feed her daughter the traditional Korean seaweed foods she would eat growing up, but couldn't find anything with the high quality, natural ingredients she desired.  It was this void on the shelves that let to the creation of SeaSnax and I thank her for this!  My boys love any and all types of sea veggies and it so healthy for them!

The SeaSnax Chomperz comes in four flavors:

  • Onion
  • Original
  • Jalapeno
  • Barbecue
These all-natural, organic chips are made with sustainably-grown seaweed.  My four year old can easily go through a bag a day (2-servings per bag), but I would rather him eat these than the chips or other junk food.

You can purchase these online a

Thursday, December 18, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...
Holiday Gift Guide: Rove On The Go Products!

Holiday Gift Guide: Rove On The Go Products!

As They Grow Up was provided a sample to help facilitate this post. The post may contain affiliate links.

We are literally down to the wire when it comes to purchasing Christmas gifts for friends and family. I love finding unique or practical gifts and build on those to create gift baskets or even to use as individual gifts for Secret Santa.

Recently I was sent three different products from Rove and have really liked them all.

I know a lot of people are really enjoying all the awesome recipes that float around for infusing your water.  If you are a fan of flavor infused water or know someone that is, then this just may be the cup for you!  Just add your favorite beverage to the tumbler, then fill the removable Flavor Pod with either fresh fruit, frozen fruit, veggies such as cucumbers, flavored ice or fresh herbs to infuse your drink naturally. The Flavor Pod has a large capacity to hold multiple flavorings, and is top loading for easy refilling.  Plus, the infuser tumbler is double wall insulated to keep your beverage cooler on the go, eliminate puddles and reduce exterior exterior condensation for a more comfortable grip. A dual access lid lets you sip through the mouthpiece or with the curved straw, which has a flared end to keep it in the tumbler. This user-friendly 20 ounce beverage infuser is also eco-friendly.

Sip from anywhere around the lid, keep drinks hot or cold everywhere you go.  This eco-responsible 14 oz hot and cold hydration travel mug by rove is loaded with high quality materials and advanced features.  The one-touch push open lid offers 360 degrees of sipping area all around the rim and offers a leak-proof seal. The double wall insulation reduces exterior condensation and eliminates puddles.

Packing healthier lunches on the go and keeping them cold and fresh for hours is simple with the Rove 7 piece laptop Bento Box.  This multi-compartment lunch box offers you several ways to eat more nutritious lunches on the go.  The 7 piece laptop iced Bento Box includes 1 Bento Box, 1 hinged lid with carrying handle, 1 5-section Bento insert, 1 leak-proof Bento insert lid, 1 fork and spoon, and 1 non-toxic removable freezer gel pack.

For these and other products, be sure to check out Rove online.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 | 0 comments/Leave Comment | Read more...






Latest Post