Sinfully Sweet Summer Sundaes

Sinfully Sweet Summer Sundaes

What’s better than the taste of cold ice cream on a sweltering summer day? Creamy and sweet, ice cream is a favorite of kids and adults alike. Sure, we love ice cream any time of year, but when the sun is out and the weather is hot, the cool confection really hits the spot. It’s fun to go out to the ice cream parlor and sit down for a scoop or wave down the ice cream truck for a soft serve swirl, but making sundaes at home is something special to do with the kids. Here are some ideas for DIY sundaes that will make everyone’s mouths water. As an afternoon snack or after-dinner dessert, these delicious treats will delight. Grab your spoon and dig in! Tempting Toppings  When it comes to sundaes, it’s all about the toppings. Whether your base is basic vanilla or something more complex, the toppings take the dish to the next level. The tried and true topping like rainbow sprinkles, hot fudge, and crushed nuts are always tasty, but why not experiment with some less common concoctions? How about dried fruit bits, chocolate covered raisins, coconut flakes, dry breakfast cereal, or even gummy candies? Drizzle with rich caramel sauce or a squeeze of golden honey. Whipped cream is a classic, but swap it out for marshmallow fluff for more fun. The options are endless, so mix and match for the flavor combinations you crave. The Bowl Made Better You can serve your sundaes in an ice cream dish or a regular bowl, but before you add your scoops, create a “bottom floor” for an unexpected...
Be Safe This Summer – 4 Tips For Summer Safety

Be Safe This Summer – 4 Tips For Summer Safety

With summer kicking off, it’s all about fun, but welcome it wisely. This means safety must be taken seriously, especially when kids are part of the equation. While most summer activities will be smooth sailing, there are situations where injuries, accidents, or other mishaps can happen. Being proactive in preventing such scenarios is a parent’s number one duty. Follow these tips to make this summer as safe as possible, so the kids can have fun while you have peace of mind. Sunscreen The summer sun is serious business. Even on overcast days, the UV rays are powerful. Never let your child leave the house without a healthy application of sunscreen all over their body. Use a high SPF and be generous. If they’ll be out all day, send along a bottle or tube for a reapplication after swimming or sweating. Sunburns can be painful and potentially dangerous. Protecting their skin is essential. Swimming Whether the kids are swimming in a pool or the ocean, there must be lifeguards or other responsible adults present. No matter how good a swimmer your child is, there’s always the chance that something could go wrong. If you are able to provide swim lessons for your child, it would be a lifelong gift. Make sure your child always follows the rules and sticks with a buddy. Swimming is a great way to cool off and get some activity, but it’s only OK when the kids proceed with caution. Pests Bug bites are a pesky problem when summer comes around. Be sure to protect your child with repellent. Also make sure to check their body...
Beach Books for Kids

Beach Books for Kids

Kids love a day at the beach, but when they’re done playing in the sand and the surf, there is still the rest of the day to use wisely. Just like we enjoy a good beach read, kids can bring a book along to the beach and jump into the pages of adventure when they’ve run out of steam. Why not choose a book that’s beach-related? Makes sense considering the circumstances. The topic couldn’t be more appropriate and there are plenty of options out there. Here are some beach-worthy kids’ books they’ll love as much as they do building sandcastles and swimming. When the heat is too much to handle, they can find a spot in the shade and  start flipping through the pages. What Lives in a Shell? (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1) by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld Kids love to find shells on the sand, but what do they really know about these interesting hard “homes” for sea life? This learning book is as educational as it is entertaining. National Geographic Readers: At the Beach by Shira Evans There is so much to explore at the beach, and this National Geographic book puts it all together for kids to absorb. The next time you go to the beach, they’ll be more insightful than ever. Curious George Goes to the Beach by H.A. Rey Children have adored the adorable monkey for decades, and in this story, he heads to the beach for an exciting afternoon with his friend. Biscuit’s First Beach Day by Alyssa Satin Capucilli The first time at the beach is a special day, and Biscuit the dog is ready...
Summer Fun Without Spending A Lot

Summer Fun Without Spending A Lot

When the kids are off from school and have every day free for fun in the sun, spending can become an issue. We want our kids to have a blast, but before we know it, we’ve blown lots of money. Summertime doesn’t mean that the bank account has to dwindle. We can have plenty of memorable times with the kids without wasting money in the process. Of course, not everything comes cheap (or free), but with planning and a positive attitude, there are plenty of ways to spend those summer days on a dime. Here are some inexpensive ways to make it through summer without overspending. The kids won’t feel like they’re missing a thing, and you won’t be missing your money! Park Picnic The kids have to eat no matter what, so why not make mealtime an enjoyable outdoor activity? Pack up a picnic basket with plenty of goodies and drinks – snacks, sandwiches, juice, fruit, etc. – and bring a big blanket to sit on. Find a nice cool shady spot on the grass and dig in. Once the food is finished, the kids can play in the park. It sure beats sitting around the kitchen table when the weather’s so lovely. Indoor Ice Cream DIY Bar Kids love to eat ice cream when the weather’s warm, but taking everyone to the ice cream shop can add up. You’ll save a lot of money by buying a big container of ice cream and a variety of toppings to bring home. Set all the toppings out in small bowls and give the kids a scoop or two. They...
Warm Day, Chilled Soup

Warm Day, Chilled Soup

Wintertime means cozying up to a piping hot bowl of soup to soothe the soul and warm the body. But winter is well behind us and the warmer weather is making us smile. We still love soup, but a hot bowl isn’t what we’re craving…we want something cool and refreshing. That’s why chilled soup is so satisfying. You get all the flavor and goodness of a hot soup, but you won’t sweat while you’re slurping! Plus, making chilled soup is simple, especially when you use a blender and whip it up in a snap. These three chilled soups are great for kids and adults alike, filling bellies with deliciousness spoonful by spoonful. Read below for the recipes – each makes two servings. Chilled Creamy Chickpea Chickpeas are high in protein and delicious. This soup is filling and flavorful, similar to hummus. Ingredients: ¾ cup canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans) rinsed ½ cup heavy cream (or whole milk) ¼ cup vegetable stock 3 hard-boiled egg yolks 1 tablespoon dried parsley Salt and pepper to taste Incorporate everything well in the blender and place in the fridge to chill for a few hours. Serve up with warm pita bread or carrot and celery sticks and enjoy! Roasted Red Pepper Puree Roasted red peppers are complex in flavor, making this soup interesting to the palate. Makes for a great marinade too. Ingredients: 2 large red peppers, sliced and roasted (you can get this pre-jarred if you don’t want to roast yourself) ¼ cup vegetable stock ¼ cup tomato juice (unsalted) ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream 1 teaspoon paprika Pinch of...
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