The Best S’mores Bar, a S’mores Trail Mix Recipe, and Clean Up Made Easy

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Wet-Nap, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #showusyourmess (http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV).

The Best S’mores Bar, a S’mores Trail Mix Recipe, and Clean Up Made Easy! #showusyourmess #smores #ad

We decided to do something a little different for our Easter celebration this year.

Instead of buying lots of candy and small toys for our children, we put together an unforgettable, incredible S’mores Bar. It was awesome! And while I’m not sure that I agree, one of my kids even said that it was better than Disney World. ;)

I don’t know about that.

But we did have a fun and messy time with it all.

Tip: Clean sticky hands and faces easily by setting Wet-Nap cleansing wipes out on the table.

The Best S'mores Bar, a S'mores Trail Mix Recipe, and Clean Up Made Easy #showusyourmess #PMedia #ad

How to Create a Great S’mores Bar

I knew that I wanted our s’mores bar to be really special, so I planned out what to make and shop for ahead of time. I’m sharing all the ingredients we used in ours below to give you some ideas of how to put together a truly unforgettable s’mores bar of your own.

Need ideas for creating the Best S'mores bar? I'm sharing them in this post in addition to a list of foods that make a great S'mores bar for your family and friends! #showusyourmess #smores #PMedia #ad

Here’s a list of the foods I included in our S’mores Bar:

  • Fudge Stripes Cookies
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies, thin and crispy
  • Snickerdoodle Cookies, thin and crispy
  • Honey Teddy Grahams
  • Graham Crackers
  • Mini Pretzels
  • Mini Pancakes
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Stacker Marshmallows
  • Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars
  • Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme Chocolate Bars
  • Mini Chocolate Chips
  • Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Drops
  • Fresh Strawberries, sliced (Try not to skip these! They really add a special taste to the s’mores and help to cut some of the sweetness.)

Spread the ingredients out on a table, and then let your family and friends build their s’more creations! Designate one or two people to roast marshmallows over the stove.

The Best S'mores Bar, a S'mores Trail Mix Recipe, and Clean Up Made Easy #showusyourmess #PMedia #ad

S’mores Trail Mix Recipe

In addition to simply laying out ingredients for the kids to build their s’mores, I also put together a fun and easy-to-make S’more Trail Mix. It was a great addition to the table. :)

Try this super easy and fun S'mores Trail Mix Recipe. It's ready in minutes and great for parties! #smores #showusyourmess #PMedia #ad

Here’s the recipe:

S’mores Trail Mix

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup Teddy Grahams
  • 1 cup mini pretzels
  • 1 bag Hershey's Milk Chocolate drops, 8 oz.

Instructions

  1. Add ingredients to a bowl and mix until incorporated. Enjoy!
http://thesensiblemom.com/2014/04/best-smores-bar-smores-trail-mix-recipe-clean-made-easy/

Easy S’mores Bar Clean Up with Wet-Nap Wipes

Everyone knows when you eat a s’more, you’re going to be reaching for something to wipe your hands and face in a very short amount of time. ;)

The perfect solution to the messiness was setting out Wet-Nap wipes for the kids and adults to quickly grab. That way no one had to get up and run to the sink in the middle of enjoying their sweet treats.

Cleaning up is easy with Wet-Nap cleansing wipes. We used them to clean up sticky hands and faces after a fun S'mores bar creation. #smores #showusyourmess #PMedia #ad

I think Isaac used the MOST Wet-Nap wipes out of us all. :)

The Best S'mores Bar, a S'mores Trail Mix Recipe, and Clean Up Made Easy #showusyourmess #PMedia #ad

Easter is special every single year, but this year, it was definitely more memorable.

How did you celebrate Easter? What’s your favorite way to use Wet-Nap wipes?

I picked up my Wet-Nap wipes at Walmart because of their everyday low prices. They were priced at $1.97, but you can save even more when you use this coupon for fifty-five cents off any Wet-Nap product! (while supplies last)

Losing the Baby Fat Weight Loss Update: My Current Weight and Way Back to a Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet

Losing the Baby Fat Weight Loss Challenge: Join Me as I seek to lose the weight I put on over five pregnancies! #weightloss #weightlossafterpregnancy

I know that back in February I said that I’d share my current weight with you and start posting weekly weight loss updates.

I’m fully aware that it’s April, and I’m just getting around to this now. ;)

The reason I ended up taking such a long break in between these posts is that in February and into March, we ended up going through a stressful move.  Then after the move was over, I found myself delighted to just be a wife and mom again without all the online responsibilities that I’d pulled back from.

Our family was finally experiencing more normal days after so many difficult days, and I couldn’t have been happier.

I Think I’m Ready Now

I’m ready to share my weight and share just how I’m planning on losing weight this year. But before I share numbers, I do want to say that I’m not going on a typical “diet” to lose weight. I won’t be counting calories, but I am going to be eating the same foods that the rest of my family eats.

I mentioned a long time ago that I wanted my family to follow a whole foods plant-based diet. We did for some time and then fell away from that because of how busy I allowed myself to get, and then there was David’s diagnosis…

Well, we’re getting back to following that way of eating.

However, we’re not getting back to it in an all or nothing sort of way, because we’re still going to eat turkey on Thanksgiving and special meals for birthdays. But for the most part, we are cutting out meat, eggs, and dairy from our entire family’s diet.

We officially started back on a whole foods plant-based diet with lots of healthy starches, vegetables, and fruits last week. I feel like this way of eating is right and totally doable for my family. And it’s actually already blessing us when it comes to our health. See below. ;)

My Current Weight

Last Monday, I started the week at 193 lbs., and I weighed in at 190 lbs. last Saturday morning. After 5 full days of eating a whole foods plant-based diet, I lost 3 pounds!

We did do something really special food-wise for Easter, and I’ll share more about that in my next post.

Overall, though, I’ll be sticking to eating healthy starches like potatoes, whole grain pastas and breads, beans, vegetables, fruits, and the like, and each week I’ll come back and update on my progress.

My goal this year is to lose 25 lbs., and I truly believe that it’s going to happen.

Here’s what my weight loss progress looks like so far:

Beginning weight: 193 lbs.

Current Weight: 190 lbs.

Goal Weight for 2014: 168 lbs.

# of total pounds I want to lose in 2014: 25 lbs.

# of pounds to go until I reach my goal: 22 lbs.

Total # of pounds lost to date: 3 lbs.

Do you have a weight loss goal for 2014?

10 Goals for the Week

10 Goals to Tackle This Week

I didn’t get as much done as I would have hoped to last week, but that’s okay. ;)

Here’s what I did get accomplished:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Play outside with the kids at least 3x and get some much needed vitamin D from the sunshine – I don’t leave the house much right now, so I want to make an effort to get outside with the kids (and get some vitamin D in the process :) ) instead of simply watching them play from inside. — I only played outside with the kids once last week.

2. Plan a Family Night

Personal Goals:

3. Juice 1x this week

4. Walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes 4x — I only made it on the treadmill 2x for 20 minutes.

5. Read 20 pages of Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom by Tricia Goyer — I got sidetracked last week and ended up reading The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good by Dr. John McDougall. I loved this book, and we’re starting a new way of eating this week. I feel totally prepared to live a healthier lifestyle after reading Dr. McDougall’s book, but I’m looking forward to getting back to Balanced on my Kindle app this week.

Home Management Goals:

6. Mop the floors

7. Unpack one box sitting in the basement

Business Goals:

8. Get caught up on work — I’m still behind.

9. Return emails — I didn’t get to them all.

10. Write 4 blog posts — Someday, I WILL write four blog posts in a week. I’m not giving up on this goal!

Here are my goals for this week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Play outside with the kids at least 3x and get some much needed vitamin D from the sunshine – I don’t leave the house much right now, so I want to make an effort to get outside with the kids (and get some vitamin D in the process :) ) instead of simply watching them play from inside.

2. Plan a Family Night

Personal Goals:

3. “Eat that Frog” Tuesday through Saturday of this week! ;) — I’m going to work on doing the most difficult task that needs to be done FIRST in my day before focusing on the endless smaller tasks that take up my time.

4. Walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes 3x

5. Read 20 pages of Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom by Tricia Goyer

Home Management Goals:

6. Fill one bag with items to donate

7. Unpack one box sitting in the basement

Business Goals:

8. Get caught up on work

9. Return emails

10. Write 4 blog posts

What are your goals for this week?

Breastfeeding 101: Tandem Nursing

Breastfeeding 101: Tips and Tools to help you Succeed! #breastfeed #nursing
Written by my contributing writer, Rachel

When we learned we were pregnant with our second child, my daughter had just turned 1 year old and was still nursing strong. She showed absolutely no signs of letting up on nursing. At my La Leche League (LLL) meetings, I had heard about tandem nursing and that women could breastfeed two children (and sometimes more!) at the same time, but I didn’t know if that would work for me.

I could not imagine nursing a toddler and needy newborn at the same time. I would NEVER get anything done.  Nursing TWO children would be a lot of work, time-consuming, and a bit of a juggling act. However, I was not ready to end my nursing relationship with my daughter.

tandemlogo

I decided to talk with other tandem nursing moms through my Facebook LLL group, and I read several LLL articles on the subject. I also bought Adventures In Tandem Nursing by Hilary Flower – such a great resource!

adven_in_tandem_nursinge_lg

Just like deciding whether or not to nurse is YOUR decision and no one else’s, so is deciding to tandem nurse.

Here are the reasons I decided to tandem nurse:

1. I Wasn’t Ready to Stop
My daughter and I were not ready to end our nursing relationship. She has been an on demand nursling since birth. Even now at 26 months, she would nurse all day long, if I let her! I try to limit her to one morning, one noon, and one night nursing session with a few times in between if she is in need of some calming mommy time. It is amazing how nursing can change her attitude – a lifesaver for those terrible two tantrum moments!

2. Continued Health Benefits
I wanted to give my daughter the health benefits of extended nursing to two years. In mainstream media, the idea of nursing past the 1 year mark seems absurd. However, the World Health Organization recommends nursing to 2, if desirable for both you and your nursling. Your toddler is still receiving wonderful health and emotional benefits by doing so – and so are you!

3. Sibling Bonding
This has been one of the most amazing benefits of tandem nursing for me. Getting to witness the bond develop between my daughter and newborn son is beautiful. They gaze lovingly and inquisitively at each other while nursing, she helps him out by squeezing my breast and expressing more milk for him, and she strokes his hair while they both nurse. These are precious moments that I will hold dear for a long time.

Ben and Meah bonding

Though it can be time-consuming and demanding, I find that tandem nursing has been worth the effort and has been a good decision for myself and my little ones.

I’d love to hear your nursing stories! Maybe you are currently pregnant and considering tandem nursing now, or have tandem nursed before. What effect has tandem nursing had on you?

Click here to read more Breastfeeding 101 posts.

10 Goals for the Week – And I’m going to start blogging again (for real this time)

10 Goals to Tackle This Week

Some days I think, “What is wrong with me? Why can’t I write a simple blog post and stop taking such long breaks in between posts?

Seriously.

What is WRONG with me?”

Well the truth is, because of everything that’s happened to my family over the last eight months, I’m not the same girl I used to be. I’m not the same wife and mother that I once was, either.

I’m different. And I can’t go back to being the “old Sandra” ever again. A part of me is a little sad about that because the “old Sandra” was so much less afraid of what life might throw her way. She was definitely more carefree.

These days, if my world starts feeling crazy or David starts throwing up (like he did this morning), my heart sinks, anxiety starts to creep up on me, and my mind starts racing with thoughts of hospitalization and stressful situations.

Then I pray. And I feel better and trust that the Lord is in control of everything.

I end up not having to call the doctor, and if my problems are related to my children, I steal a few minutes away from most of them so that I can regroup and come back a better mom.

All that to say…

I want to blog. And I’m going to make a concerted effort to write at least four times this week. The reason it’s been so difficult for me lately is that because of what happened to David, my eyes were opened, and I realized that I wasn’t being the wife and mother that I believe the Lord wanted me to be. Before David’s diagnosis, I knew in what order my priorities should’ve been, but in reality, they were all out of order.

I was working way too much online, and I needed a wake up call. While I never would’ve chosen the exact call I received, in the end, it’s made me a far better wife and mother than I’ve been in a long time. For that, I’m thankful. (I’m also very grateful that David continues to do well since his transplant. I’m going to write an update about his progress later this week as well.)

But my point is…

Doing things differently and focusing happily on my family these days takes an incredible amount of time. It’s time that is so worth it, and it’s time well spent. But it means that I have to be much more strategic about how I carve out time to write here on my blog.

I’ve decided that nights will work for now.

I tried early mornings, but after a few successes, I found that the earlier I got out of bed – the earlier my KIDS started to get out of bed. Somehow they just know when Mommy is awake!

So, while I wish I was waking up at 5:00am every day, it’s not going to happen unless I want “friends” up with me.

Most definitely, nights will work for now. ;)

I had no intention of making this goals post so long…

But I wanted to update you on what’s been going on with me and why I’ve been so sporadic in my writing and how I’m going to change that.

Now, finally, here are my goals for this week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Play outside with the kids at least 3x and get some much needed vitamin D from the sunshine – I don’t leave the house much right now, so I want to make an effort to get outside with the kids (and get some vitamin D in the process :) ) instead of simply watching them play from inside.

2. Plan a Family Night

Personal Goals:

3. Juice 1x this week

4. Walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes 4x

5. Read 20 pages of Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom by Tricia Goyer — I got sidetracked last week and ended up reading The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good by Dr. John McDougall. I loved this book, and we’re starting a new way of eating this week. I feel totally prepared to live a healthier lifestyle after reading Dr. McDougall’s book, but I’m looking forward to getting back to Balanced on my Kindle app this week.

Home Management Goals:

6. Mop the floors

7. Unpack one box sitting in the basement

Business Goals:

8. Get caught up on work

9. Return emails

10. Write 4 blog posts

What are your goals for this week?

Giveaway: Enter to Win a Personalized Mickey Mouse Photo! (5 Winners)

disney main photo
Do you have a little Disney fan – or maybe a big Disney fan  ;-) – in your life that would flip over a personalized photo from Mickey Mouse?

We are choosing 5 winners for our Personalized Mickey Mouse Photo Giveaway! And if you win, you get to choose to whom Mickey signs the photo! (A special thanks to Destinations in Florida for offering this fun Disney giveaway for my readers!)

ps_2013_10_24___12_34_39

How to Enter the Giveaway

Simply enter this giveaway using the Rafflecopter below. I’ve included options for extra entries, too!

This giveaway will run from now through April 7, 2014 at 12:00am. The giveaway is open to US Residents only, ages 18 years old and above. The winners will be randomly chosen. I will promptly send the winners an email notifying them that they’ve won, and the winners must respond within 48hrs. of the giveaway’s end, otherwise I will have to draw a new winner(s).

Enter Below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S. My son, David, recently had the opportunity to have a wish granted through Make-A-Wish, because he was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and had to undergo a bone marrow transplant. Well, he wished to go to Disney World! We’re planning his trip for when his immune system has had more time to recover, his port is removed, and he’s off his meds. But we’re very excited and can’t wait! Though we’ve been to Disney World in the past, Make-A-Wish trips to Disney are totally different and extra special.