Blogger on Vacation! Follow the Adventure on Instagram

We are getting ready to head to Ireland soon! I ambitiously planned to have blog posts scheduled to post throughout my trip, but that never happened so here we are with just a little “On Vacation” notice. If you’d like to keep up with our Irish adventure, I’ll still be posting on Instagram, as long as I can find Internet! @SewGeekMama

http://www.instagram.com/SewGeekMama

This will be Keelan’s second trip! My husband’s family is from Ireland and most still live there so we try and visit every year or so. I’m sure this trip will provide me with plenty of blog material about traveling with a 3-year-old.

Hope you all are having a great summer and I’ll be back to posting at the end of this month!

Also, I’ll be visiting Dublin for the first time, so if you have any recommendations let me know!

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20 Minutes of Freedom, or Why I’m OK with Screen Time

Most of the shows my son likes to watch last about 20 minutes. He gets bored pretty quickly and will usually watch just one episode before yelling “The end!” And turning it off.

For a mom with a toddler that doesn’t nap, those 20 minutes are incredibly valuable. I can use this time to take a shower, fold laundry without it being unfolded and strewn about or get on the computer and work on a blog post without interruption. So to me, screen time is a magical gift, the proverbial electronic babysitter, where I know exactly where he will be and what he’s doing for at least 20 minutes.

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PAW Patrol and snuggles

The other benefit, if I’m not running around trying to get things done, is often screen time  = snuggle time! I’ll watch PAW Patrol for the millionth time if it means a few moments of cuddle time, snuggled up quietly on the couch. My son rarely sits still so it’s a treat for me and totally counts as quality time.

It also helps me to get to know the characters so I know what he’s talking about. (and he’s ALWAYS talking) Then we have conversations about the shows he watches.

I think because I don’t restrict his screen time, he doesn’t feel the need to watch it to excess. It always seems like kids who aren’t allowed to watch TV are the ones that will watch it any chance they get. Of course, if he started watching it hours at a time I’d have to regulate.

OK at first I’d be like, “Woohoo! Let’s get some laundry done and check my e-mail!

And then at some point the mom chip kicks in and I would think, “Hmmmmm I should probably go check on my little TV zombie.”

And to be honest right now I’m kind of fantasizing about him actually being quiet and sitting still for an hour.

But that’s not my life. It’s loud, messy, noisy and hectic. And I have TV to thank for being able to get things done, 20 minutes at a time.

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P.S.- **ATTN Jacksonville Area Readers!!! FREE ticket giveaway on my Facebook page right now! Just click the post below for details on entering to win 4 Free Tickets to see PAW Patrol Live!

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A Review: Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Shampoo and Conditioner

I was sent the Dessert Essence Anti-Breakage Shampoo and Conditioner along with the Anti-Breakage Hair Mask from Moms Meet to try for free in exchange for posting my honest opinion on my blog.

I’m going to do a rare straight-out review, because I can’t think of a funny story or way to turn talking about shampoo and conditioner into an engaging tale. I accepted this blog campaign because I have a thing for hair products and am always trying different stuff and hoping for miracles. I have kind of frizzy, damaged, color-treated, half curly, half straight hair that drives me crazy most of the time so it’s always up on a ponytail.

The Dessert Essence anti-breakage products are formulated with Country Life Maxi-Hair® plus Biotin and are supposed to reduce breakage up to 61%. I feel like there must be a product around boasting 60% and they were like, let’s push this to 61! Because that 1% just might make all the difference. According to their website, “Country Life Maxi-Hair®, rich in a multitude of B-Vitamins and Biotin, has been one of Country Life’s best-selling supplements and a consumer favorite for more two decades.”

All the products have a very herbal scent, like tea tree oil. It leaves your hair smelling fresh and clean, not overly perfumed. I first tried the shampoo and conditioner on its own, then next time I added the deep conditioning hair mask.

I noticed a difference on the first round, although I will admit that often happens when you switch shampoos at first. So I made sure to use these products for two weeks before reviewing. My hair seemed smoother and easier to comb, which inspired me to actually style it and try wearing it down for the day.

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After a few heavy sun/pool/beach days, I gave the hair mask a try. The instructions say to leave it in for 20-30 min. and to maximize benefits, wrap it in a hot towel. It was kind of hard to squeeze in a shower, plus 30 min. of hair conditioning, and then a short shower to rinse it out, but a few extra episodes of Paw Patrol kept the kiddo entertained long enough to pull it off.

The hair mask is a nice thick formula with the same clean herbal scent. It made my hair easy to comb in the shower, but the real anti-breakage test came when I got out and tried to comb it wet. I have a few spots (the ones with the lightest highlights) that get a little snarly. I’ve even had to just chop some pieces off because they look terrible. I could still see a couple of weak spots, so before combing them I took the tiniest bit of the hair mask and put a little extra on those strands. After that I was able to comb everything through nice and smooth, no snags.

Overall I thought the products did a nice job of taming my frizz and making my hair look healthier, even when it was up in a ponytail. It took some getting used to the herbal scent. At first I thought it was more “medicinal” smelling, but it grew on me. I will definitely keep using these throughout the summer, while I’m trying to grow out my hair and see if they do reduce the usual breakage that results from the harsh summer environment of sun, chlorine and salt water.

Right now you can save 20% off all Anti-breakage and Smoothing hair care products on Desert Essence with promo code DELovesMomsMeet

 

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My Week in Review- Star Cookies Part 2, Fireworks, Spider-Man Ice Cream, a Clean Room and a Visit to Lululemon

This week was all weird due to the holiday on Wednesday. It’s felt like the weekend all week long! It was an eventful week with a memorable visit to the Lululemon store, a second attempt to make decent looking star cookies and all the Fourth of July festivities happening. I also found time to clean my son’s room, which lasted all of five minutes and I got to introduce him to the wonders of the ice cream truck.

Week in review July 1 – July 8

The Cookie Do-Over – Keelan is always asking for “star cookies” since he saw them on a Pillsbury box, so we gave them a second try. Check out our impressively bad first attempt here: Watch out Betty Crocker

This time we used a rolling pin, cookie cutter and followed the directions on a package of Miss Jones Sugar Cookies. Still not perfect, but way better looking! And great taste which is the most important part.

Happy 4th of July! – Hope you all had a happy 4th! We enjoyed hanging with friends and watching fireworks two nights in a row. K loves fireworks, but I’m not surprised because it’s something exploding and bursting into flames. The only thing that could make it better is if it were car shaped.

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Lululemon to the Rescue – My visit to Lululemon on Monday was an amazing start to the week. If you missed that story, click here check out all the details of how they handled a blog post with just a little complaint, and made me their newest fan.

I’m Just Going to Put This Here – 

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You know what that is? It’s the floor. I took a photo to prove it does exist 😂

It’s already covered up again with toys, clothes and kid stuff, but for one shining moment the kid’s room was actually clean.

IIIIIIccccce Creeeeeeaaaam – I’ll end this week’s round-up with another childhood throwback – a visit to the ice cream truck! I have no idea how long it’s been since I chased down an ice cream truck, but we were at the park and I heard the music in the distance, and K asked, “What’s that sound?”

I remembered how excited I’d be when I heard it, running home to beg for quarters from my mom so I could get a rocket pop or an ice cream sandwich, so I decided to let him in on the secret and told him about the ice cream truck. This was the most exciting thing he’d heard all day and immediately begged to go hunt down this magical truck.

I discovered the price has gone up since my youth and that 50 cent ice cream is now $3.50 (gee I feel old, lol) but at least now they take credit cards! So after choosing his frozen treat from the pics on the side of the truck, he was the proud owner of a Spider-Man ice cream bar. It was the messiest thing ever but totally worth it!

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Hope you all had a great week and are enjoying your summer! We are getting ready to leave for our summer vacation soon and I’m not sure about the Internet situation so blog posts may be scattered for the new few weeks. I’m trying to schedule some ahead of time though 🙂

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Spicy Peanut Crusted Chicken with Coconut Peanut Dipping Sauce

I’m always looking to do something a little different with plain chicken and love adding a little spice to things, so I decided to try making a Spicy Peanut Crusted Chicken with a Coconut Peanut Dipping Sauce. I used chicken thighs for this recipe, but it would work great for chicken breasts too.

The Fresh Roasted Almond Company sent me a great sample box with a variety of their nuts and flavors. I ate some, shared some and still had a lot left so I got the idea to try using their buffalo flavored peanuts instead of the usual plain peanuts I use when I make this dish. They have a sweet and spicy taste (not an overtly a “buffalo wings” kind of flavor) that I thought would go well with the sauce I usually make with Thai peanut chicken.

I started with 1/2 cup of flavored peanuts. I usually just crush them with a mortar and pestle but I found these a little harder than the plain nuts due to their flavored coating. After a few rounds I gave in and brought out the food processor so I could grind them up better. You still want them to be a little crumbly though, so don’t grind them to dust!

Buffalo Peanuts by the Fresh Roasted Almond Co.

I combined the peanuts with 1/2 cup of panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) that I gave a few extra crushes to so they were a little smoother than usual. You can use regular breadcrumbs, but all I had was the panko or seasoned breadcrumbs and I didn’t want to throw the flavor off with the extra seasoning.

Next beat two eggs in a separate bowl and mix together your peanut and breadcrumbs in their own bowl. First dip the chicken in the eggs, then the crumb mix. Press the chicken into the crumb mix really well on both sides so you get a good coating.

I baked them on a Copper Crisper, but you can also just use a baking sheet or pan. Put them in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 min. I always check after 30 minutes and see if they need more time. While the chicken is cooking, it’s time to make the sauce!

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Really Easy Coconut Peanut Sauce:

1/2 can of coconut milk (Give or take depending on how thick you want it. I usually pour a little in, mix, then pour more in. You will probably have to stir the coconut milk in the can first because it usually separates)

1/3 cup of peanut butter (At can be creamy or chunky. And again, you can add more or less depending on taste)

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. lime juice

1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

Dash of red pepper flakes if you like it a little hot.

Stir it up until it’s bubbling, then lower the heat and keep warm until ready to serve.

Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.

All done and ready to serve!

img_0677.jpgThis meal goes great with plain white rice and green beans. You can also pour some of the sauce on the rice or drizzle it on the chicken. I like to put it in a little bowl for dipping but my husband takes the bowl and just dumps it on everything.

You can make this with any kind of nuts too! The Fresh Roasted Almond Co. even makes nut crumbles so you can skip the food processor part and just go straight to the dipping.

You can check them out on Facebook and Instagram, as well as their website Fresh Roasted Almond Co.

*There’s a Buy 2 Get 2 Free special on their website right now, where if you buy two of any item, you get another two products free – details on the site.

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