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The PAW Patrol is on a roll and making their way to Fort Lauderdale’s Au Rene Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts this July!  Based on the top-rated preschool series, PAW Patrol Live! “Race to the Rescue” features Marshall, Chase, Skye, Rubble, Rocky, Zumma, Everest and all your favorites on the day of the Great Adventure Bay Race between Mayor Goodway and Foggy Bottom’s Mayor Humdinger.  But when Mayor Goodway is nowhere to be found on race day, the pups receive a yelp for help that they must not only rescue Mayor Goodway, but also run in her place.  If you have a PAW Patrol fan at your house like I do, you’re not going to want to miss this action-packed show!

Here are all the details:

What:  PAW Patrol Live “Race to the Rescue”

When: July 20th at 10:00am, 2:00pm & 6:00pm
July 21st at 10:00am & 2:00pm

Where: Au Rene Theater at The Broward Center

How: Purchase tickets (starting at just $19) at the PAW Patrol Live! website

Presented by Pedigree, PAW Patrol Live! “Race to the Rescue” is the newest live stage show for the canine heroes who always manage to save the day.  This is the perfect show for even the smallest fans, who will be able to see their favorite pups on stage and dance along with this music-filled production.  If you’re on the fence about whether you should take your child to a live performance, I highly recommend it.  My kids – then ages 4, 7, and 9 – went to last year’s show and absolutely loved it.  It was interactive and engaging and just down-right fun!  My kids actually asked me a few months ago if the show was coming back to our area and if we could go.  Last year’s show was such a wonderful experience for them!

Tickets start at just $19 and can be purchased on the PAW Patrol Live! website.  VIP – Very Important Pup – packages are also available, and include a premium seat, special gift, and exclusive access to a Meet & Greet with three characters after the show.  And remember, when getting your tickets, whether they are show tickets or VIP tickets, every adult & child ages 1 year old and up must have their own ticket.  Au Rene Theater does allow kids under the age of 1 year free admission to the show, provided their are sitting on their parent’s lap, but a lap ticket will need to be obtained from Will Call prior to admission.

Are you ready to roll with the PAW Patrol?  Enter the giveaway below to win 4 tickets!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post The PAW Patrol is Coming to Fort Lauderdale July 20 & 21! {Giveaway} appeared first on Diary of a Working Mom.

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This post was sponsored by Fresh From Florida as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central, however all opinions expressed are my own.

School ended on Tuesday, camp starts next week, and every time I open my front door I’m met with stifling moist heat…ahhhh, summer has officially arrived in Florida!  While the last part of that description may not seem particularly flattering, make no mistake, I’ve been waiting for summer.  It’s been a long school year with more homework and projects and extracurriculars than I can count.  This mom is ready for the lazy days of summer – a little extra time to sleep in, lounge around the house, and get together with friends.  Because for me, that’s what summer is all about.

And let me assure you, we aren’t wasting a minute when it comes to celebrating summer with friends.  That’s right, our first summer get together has already taken place, complete with a table full of food and lots of Fresh from Florida produce! If you live in Florida, you’ve no doubt seen the Fresh from Florida labels on food, produce, and seafood at your local grocery store.  These signs are proof that Florida farmers make it easy for everyone to eat fresh produce year round.  And there’s plenty of produce to choose from right now with tomatoes, blueberries, bell peppers, mangoes, and star fruit in season, along with corn and watermelon.

Seeing that corn in my grocers produce case jogged my memory.  A friend had shared a corn dip recipe with me on social media earlier in the school year.  It looked amazing, and very easy to whip up.  I put it on my “must make list”, I even planned to bring it to a holiday potluck, but unfortunately, never got around to actually making it.  Because…homework and projects and more extra curriculars than I can count…  But the first celebration of the summer?  This seemed like the perfect opportunity to break out that recipe and some juicy, ripe Fresh from Florida watermelon.  Our get together was quickly becoming a produce party. And as it turns out, that corn dip ended up being every bit as amazing as it sounded all those months ago.  Tasty, filling, and with just a little bit of a kick.  Served along with some grilled peppers and cool watermelon, it was absolutely delicious.  It got rave reviews.  Of course, I changed the recipe a little here and there.  I just couldn’t help myself.  I added more fresh corn, a dash of cayenne, and extra cheese.  Because when is more cheese a bad idea?  All adjustments for the better, if you ask me.  And while the best thing about this dip is most definitely the taste, its convenience is a very close second.  Prep for this dip can be completed in less than 10 minutes and the baking time just under a half hour, which leaves you plenty of time to hang out with friends and sip in the sweet taste of summer while you wait for it to be done.

This might have been our first summer get together with friends, but I know it won’t be the last.And I’m sure that this corn dip will be on the menu in the future.  Want to make this dip for your very own summer get together or produce party?  Here’s how you can make it:

You will need:
2 cups Fresh from Florida Sweet Corn, cut from the cob
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (10 oz) can Original Rotel
8 oz cream cheese, softened and diced
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
dash of ground cayenne pepper
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

Step 1 – Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2 – In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the sweet corn, black beans, and Rotel.  Stir until evenly distributed and then add in the cream cheese, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and half of the Mexican blend shredded cheese.  Mix by hand until well blended.

Step 3 – Pour corn dip into a small to medium sized baking dish and top with remaining cheese.

Step 4 – Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and you see bubbling in the corners of the dish.

Step 5 – Serve and enjoy with friends!

Want to find some more recipes for your summer get togethers?  Be sure to follow the Fresh on social media and check out their Fresh! recipe videos for more information and great summer produce suggestions!

The post Summertime is the Perfect Time for Fresh Produce, Get Togethers & Corn Dip {Recipe} appeared first on Diary of a Working Mom.

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This post was sponsored by Fresh From Florida as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central, however all opinions expressed are my own.

When I started this blog, I was a new mom with 2 little ones struggling with how to handle dinner time.  I wrote blog post after blog post on how to handle the chaos of coming home from work, feed the baby, feed the toddler, get everyone to bed on time, and still get a nutritious, delicious dinner on the table for myself.  Nearly 8 years later, I’m still struggling…but now throw in another child, extracurricular actives, homework, projects, and other school commitments, and it’s even harder.  Honestly, I didn’t know how easy I had it back then.

Of course, with the years have come experience and I’ve developed my own hacks to make life easier.  I depend heavily on my crock pot, make meals ahead of time when possible, and sometimes the drive thru is my best friend (hey, it happens).  But lately, I’ve found an even better way to get it all done – 2 in 1 meals.  That’s right, making one meal which can then be used to create something new, with a different taste.  A twist on leftovers that make them much more appetizing and less same-old-same-old.  For example, rotisserie chicken on Monday and then using left over chicken in tortilla soup or chicken salad lettuce wraps on Wednesday.  Or spaghetti and meatballs on Thursday and meatball sliders on Saturday.  Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a revolutionary new concept, but it’s somewhat new to me and I’ve gained ground quickly and gotten quite good at it.

So when I found myself with a ton if chili left over earlier this week, I knew there was a way to make it into something new.  Unlike other 2 in 1 meals, I hadn’t really planned to have leftovers, but there it was, half of the batch of chili staring me in the face.  And then I thought about those Fresh from Florida peppers I bought on sale earlier in the week.  It’s squash, corn, and bell pepper season here in Florida, so bell peppers aren’t just ripe and plentiful, they’re extra affordable right now.  Surely, there was a way to transform my chili leftovers into something new thanks to the Florida farmers who make it easy for everyone to eat fresh produce year-round.  So I got to work in the kitchen and created Chili Stuffed Bell Peppers!

These Chili Stuffed Peppers aren’t just delicious, they’re easy to make, too!  With just 5-10 minutes of prep time and 25 minutes of cook time, this is a meal that you can have on the table in a snap.  And as they cook, the pepper will infuse your chili with a delicious extra kick of flavor, making it far from boring leftovers.  Here’s how you can make them:

You Will Need:
Your Favorite Chili (leftovers, fresh, from a can, whatever you have will work)
Fresh from Florida Bell Peppers
Cheddar Cheese
Sour Cream
Green Onion

Step 1 – Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2 – Clean your bell peppers, cut off the top, and then empty the inside.

Step 3 – Fill your bell pepper with your favorite chili, and don’t be afraid to fill it to the very top (don’t worry, the chili should settle into the pepper, so it won’t overflow).  If you’re using leftover or canned chili, no need to reheat the chili before scooping it into the pepper.

Step 4 – Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with cheese.  Return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

Step 5 – Remove from the oven and garnish with your favorite chili toppings – sour cream, green onions, the sky is the limit!  Dig in and enjoy!

Be sure to look for Fresh from Florida stickers on food, produce, seafood, and especially bell peppers at your local grocery store.  And follow the Fresh on Facebook, Twitter, and check out the Fresh! recipe videos.

The post Fresh from Florida Chili Stuffed Bell Peppers appeared first on Diary of a Working Mom.

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This post was sponsored by Fresh From Florida as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central, however all opinions expressed are my own.

My family has a sweet tooth.  And I don’t mean a small one, I mean one that’s comparable to the size of Texas.  Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but not by much.  After a meal, it’s almost a given that someone is going to eagerly going to suggest, “What’s for dessert?”.  Of course, we don’t indulge in dessert everyday, but every so often it’s nice to have a sweet ending to our meal, so I’m always on the lookout for new recipes.

A few months ago I found a recipe for an easy chocolate mousse using whipping cream, vanilla, and cocoa.  I put it on my list of recipes to try, but, much to my husband’s dismay, never got around to it.  And then, just this week, I saw the cartons of red, ripe, Fresh From Florida strawberries in the produce section of my local grocery store and had an idea to switch up the recipe just a bit – Strawberry Mousse!

Okay, okay, I know it’s bitter cold in so many parts of the country, but Fresh From Florida strawberries are now in season in Florida!  And even if you don’t live close by, Florida farmers are making it easy for everyone to eat fresh produce year-round.  Simply look for the Fresh From Florida label on your favorite food, produce, and seafood – especially the strawberries.  Slice them for your morning cereal, toss a few in your kids’ lunches, and definitely try this Super Easy 3 Ingredient Strawberry Mousse!

The great thing about this recipe is how easy it is.  Three ingredients.  No baking.  Ready in 60 minutes (or less).  Need I say more?  It really doesn’t get any easier than this and you might even have all the ingredients already in your house.  You could even make this recipe as you’re preparing dinner and have it ready by the time you finish washing the dishes.  And if your family is anything like mine, they’ll fall in love with this recipe.  Here’s how to make it:

You will need:
2 16 oz cartons of Fresh From Florida Strawberries
1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Step 1 – Cut stems off one carton of strawberries and place strawberries in a blender.  Puree for 2 minutes, or until smooth.

Step 2 – Cut stems off of the other carton of strawberries.  Cut a few of the strawberries into smaller pieces and place at the bottom of your serving dishes.  Reserve a few for garnish.

Step 3 – Place heavy whipping cream and vanilla in a medium sized mixing bowl and beat on high until soft peaks form.  Place a small amount to the side to reserve for garnish.

Step 4 – Gently fold the strawberry puree into the heavy whipping cream mixture until well blended.  Pour over the strawberries in the serving dish and refrigerate for one hour.

Step 5 – Garnish with reserved whipping cream and fresh strawberries.  Dig in and enjoy!

Be sure to follow the Fresh on social media and check out their Fresh! recipe videos.  What’s your favorite strawberry recipe?

The post Super Easy 3 Ingredient Strawberry Mousse {Recipe} appeared first on Diary of a Working Mom.

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Disclosure: I received tickets for my family to attend Marvel Universe LIVE! in exchange for sharing my experience.  As always, I only recommend products and events that I truly love. 

When I received an invite to go and see Marvel Universe LIVE!, I was intrigued.  Honestly, I’ve seen a lot of princess shows over the year, but superhero shows?  Not so much.  Then again, since Everett is my youngest, I’m still kind of new to being a mom to a superhero loving boy.  I wasted no time in RSVPing, but couldn’t shake the question, “What is Marvel Universal LIVE?”

Turns out…it’s really quite spectacular!

Marvel Universe LIVE! is a 2 hour superhero-filled, action-packed arena floor show that your child won’t forget.  Even better, it’s not a story you’ve ever seen before in comics or movies, this is a brand new original story, featuring over 25 of your favorite Marvel characters and villains live on one stage.

With Loki up to his old tricks, SpiderMan, the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy join forces with Doctor Strange, master of the mystic arts, in a race against time to recover the Wand of Watoomb and defend the universe from evil.  You see, the Wand of Watoomb is an artifact that holds immeasurable power and would allow Loki to achieve his eternal quest to crown himself ruler of Asgard and Earth.  After the cry, “Avengers (and friends) assemble!”, the heroes are joined together in an epic quest which has lots of twists and turns along the way.

My superhero loving little boy was thrilled to see Spider-Man, The Hulk, Black Panther, and so many others on stage.  It was absolute heaven for him from start to finish and the first thing he told his friends about when he arrived at school the next morning.  But you know what?  My no-so-superhero-savvy girls loved it too!  The story line was basic enough (good vs. evil) for my 5 year old son to grasp, but detailed (new feuds with old foes, pitting student against mentor, sister against sister and brother against brother) to keep my 7 and 9 year old daughters on the edge of their seats.  And while I was a little concerned – as I am whenever villains are involved – this show isn’t a scary show at all.  It truly is made all ages.

In fact, if I’m being totally honest, I really loved this show.  It was so different than everything we’ve seen at this venue in past and that was refreshing.  But it’s not just the characters or story line that make this show amazing, there are stunning video projections, pyrotechnics, aerial acrobatics, cycle stunts, and fire dancers.  Yes, I said fire dancers!

If you’re on the fence about taking your family to Marvel Universe LIVE! or maybe just unsure as to exactly what type of show it is, my advice is to go and see it.  This show has something for absolutely everyone!

Catch Marvel Universe LIVE in Sunrise, Florida from January 10-13 and Miami, Florida from January 17-21.  And be sure to use code “MOM19” at www.marveluniverselive.com to save $5 per ticket!  Enjoy the show!

The post Don’t Miss Marvel Universe LIVE! {Review} appeared first on Diary of a Working Mom.

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This post has been sponsored by Store Brand Formula. All thoughts and reviews are my own.

Becoming a new mom is overwhelming to say the very least.  Between the sleep deprivation, constant feedings, and cries that you can’t quite decipher yet, there are just so many questions – what diaper is best, when should you try using a pacifier, how do you swaddle…the list goes on and on.  There’s just so much you don’t know as a new mom and sometimes you’re just too embarrassed (or tired) to ask others.  As a mom who started supplementing with formula and eventually exclusively formula fed, I felt like I faced unique challenges and it took me a while to get into a rhythm that worked for me.  So here they are, my new mom hacks for formula feeding moms that you need to know:

You need a formula dispenser.  This easy, compartmentalized godsend literally changed my life as a new mom.  It made on-the-go feedings easier and night feedings a breeze.  I’m always surprised when I talk to a new mom and she doesn’t even know that they exist.  Just trust me, you need one.  Once you have a formula dispenser you’ll never want to go back to carrying around an entire canister in your diaper bag or towing around heavy liquid.

Whatever you do, don’t warm their bottle.  I know you want to, I wanted to, so I get it…but whatever you do, don’t do it.  Don’t warm that bottle.  Sure, we all love the idea of feeding our baby a bottle of warm milk and putting them to bed, but if they get used to it, you’re going to have problems down the line.  Instead, use water kept at room temperature to make formula.  Your formula will mix just as easily, and your baby won’t get used to warm bottles (and eventually end up rejecting anything less).

Ditch that pricey name brand formula.  Guess what?  You don’t need to spend your paycheck each week on that pricey name brand formula!  Infant formula is regulated by the FDA, which means that all ingredients need to meet specific standards.  All formula brands – regardless of the name on the front of the can – contain comparable essential nutrients to make sure baby stays healthy and receives nutrients to grow.  It’s called formula, after all.  Store brand formula contains everything your baby needs to thrive.  Best of all, costs up to 50% less, which will make your wallet very happy.

The New Mom Look: Store Brand Formula Has You Covered - YouTube

Simplify night feedings.  Remember what I said about getting a formula dispenser?  Here’s where it’s really going to come in handy!  The number one thing that I wanted when my baby woke up at night, was to get that baby right back to sleep as soon as possible.  For me that meant changing and feeding them quickly.  To facilitate this, I prepped the bottles the night before by pre-measuring the water in bottles and formula into the formula dispenser.  When the baby woke up, all I had to do was dump the pre-measured formula into the bottles and shake them up.  No trips to the kitchen.  No mess.  No time wasted getting that baby back to sleep.

Get to know (and love) your dishwasher.  You don’t need to hand wash bottles when there are a variety of dishwasher baskets specifically made to do it for you.  Spend all that time that you would have spent soaking and washing bottles bonding with your baby.  After all, they’re only little once!

To learn more about the benefits of store brand formula be sure to like them on Facebook and follow along on Twitter, and don’t miss their free e-book!  Do you have a formula feeding new mom hack to share?  Please leave me a comment letting me know!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post New Mom Hacks for Formula Feeding Moms (+Virtual Gift Card Giveaway!) appeared first on Diary of a Working Mom.

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #SavorTheMemory #CollectiveBias

This year my husband and I hosted our 4th annual holiday party.  It’s one of those parties that started as a gathering with a few neighbors and has grown…and grown…and grown.  This year our attendance was the biggest yet at 65 people.  I’m not going to lie, when the final RSVPs came in and we tallied up the guests, even I didn’t expect it to be quite that many.  I was a little nervous as to how it was all going to work out, but now that the day has come and gone, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Nothing says the holidays like families coming over to share good food, friendship, and a little Santa magic!

But, of course, the success of our party wasn’t just luck.  Having thrown this party 3 times in the past, we kind of had an idea what we were doing, we just had to adjust it to the growing number of guests.  Truth is, hosting the perfect holiday party doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive; there are tons of simple ways to make your party fun and festive.  Here are 5 holiday party hacks that I’ve discovered over the years:

Deck the Halls.  Heard of less is more?  Well, that doesn’t apply to holiday parties.  During the holiday season, more is more, especially when it comes to decor.  But decorating doesn’t need to be difficult or expensive.  Normally I use candy cane holders for place cards or food labels, but this year I decided to use them to share pictures of Christmases past!  I think they turned out great.  To make these holders, all you need to do is hot glue 3 candy canes together and then place whatever you want to display (name tags, place cards, photos, ect.) inside.  Oh so easy and very festive!

Tip:  To pull this project off, glue two candy canes together (resting them on the counter top while gluing to make extra sure they are even) and then glue the third.  I had several uneven ones when I tried to glue all three at once.

Create Your Own Cups.  Don’t stop at just decking your halls, deck your table too!  Using a little black ribbon, yellow foam, and hot glue, create these cute Santa cups to set the mood of your party.

Can’t get enough holiday cheer?  Use non-toxic permanent markers, ribbon, yellow foam, and hot glue to create this adorable snowman cup.  Just try your best to keep the design away from the very top of the cup, so as to allow room for the person to drink.

This simple and small party touch goes a long way!

Sweet Treats with a Red Nose.  Brown card stock, red pompoms, and hot glue easily transform a regular dessert plate in a reindeer surprise.  My kids loved these and they only take a minute or two to create!  Use them as dessert plates though so you don’t have to make as many.

Pour Your Own Signature Drink.  Signature drinks aren’t just for weddings!  Once you have your cups decorated, fill them with a holiday drink…think drinks infused with cinnamon, spice, peppermint, or cranberry. Our drink this year was this Cranberry Orange Fizz, made with Sprite Cranberry and Minute Maid that I picked up on sale at Albertsons.  Simply pour Sprite Cranberry over ice, and then top with an equal amount of orange juice.  Toss in some extra cranberries for garnish and cozy up by the Christmas tree.  My kids actually ate the cranberries after they finished their drink!

Arrange a Little Santa Magic.  When I was a kid, we attended an annual holiday party where Santa made a visit and I’m thrilled to bring this tradition to my own holiday party.  We typically arrange our Santa through the Fire Department (who makes visits for a nominal donation), but even if your town doesn’t offer something like that, try tracking down a Santa suit.  I recently found out that one of my friends owns their own Santa suit and another has a connection at a costume show which would rent us a Santa suit for a relatively low cost.  If you’re looking for Santa on a budget, simply asking around might yield more results than you think.  And while you may think that this is only for the kids, I can assure you, Santa was a hit at our party with the adults too!

Are you planning a holiday party?  Be sure to stock up on Coca-Cola, Sprite, Gold Peak, and Minute Maid products at your local Albertsons!  Right now you’ll automatically get $20 off at Shutterfly.com when you buy 4 participating Coca-Cola products.  Simply look for the tags in store and receive your Catalina coupon at check out.  Shutterfly is the perfect way to print out those holiday photos and savor the memories all year long!

What’s your holiday party hack?  Leave me a comment letting me know!

The post 5 Holiday Party Hacks to Make Your Party More Festive appeared first on Diary of a Working Mom.

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My family loves chocolate.  Chocolate ice cream, chocolate cake, chocolate candy…you name it, they love it.  If you ask them what they want for dessert on any given night, their answer will include the word “chocolate”.  So when my family goes crazy for a dessert that isn’t chocolate, it’s kind of a big deal.  Scratch that, it’s a HUGE deal.  So there’s no way I couldn’t share this recipe with you.  It just wouldn’t be fair to keep this one all to myself.

This actually started as one of those recipes that I found on Facebook, with only a picture and brief set of instructions.  No link, no credit given, nothing.  The instructions weren’t even complete.  So I decided to have some fun with it – tweak some of the ingredients, finish the instructions, and switch up the process a bit.  The result?  Hands down the best raspberry cake that you’ll ever taste.  Perfect for breakfast, as a snack, or served with coffee after a meal.  You could even top it with a little vanilla ice cream to dress it up for dessert.But you don’t have to go crazy with this one.  It’s delicious on it’s own and not overly sweet.  The taste reminds me a bit of the linzer tarts my parents bought me when I was a child.  This recipe does include more ingredients than I prefer (don’t worry, I’m already working on a short-cut cake mix version of this recipe – I’ll post it when it’s perfected, promise), but don’t be fooled, it’s actually very easy to whip up.

You will need:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup + 1 Tbsp sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 2/3 cups fresh raspberries (I would not recommend using frozen raspberries for this recipe)
1/2 cup buttermilk

Step 1 – Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9-inch square pan.

Step 2 – While the oven preheats, cream butter and sugar until smooth.  Add the egg and vanilla, then beat on medium for one minute.  Set aside.

Step 3 –  Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt, before adding the wet ingredients you combined in Step 2.  Add buttermilk and beat until well combined.

Step 4 – Double wash the raspberries (this will keep the red color from dying your cake completely pink, but don’t worry, you’ll still get lots of that rich red raspberry color) and pat dry with a paper towel, before gently folding them into your batter.  Be careful not to over stir.

Step 5 – Pour batter into the square pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until the cake springs back when touched.  Allow cake to cool before serving. 

Enjoy!

The post Raspberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake {Recipe} appeared first on Diary of a Working Mom.

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, MARS. All opinions are mine alone. #ScoreAtCVS #CollectiveBias

My family takes football to a who new level.  We don’t just watch football, we plan birthdays, vacations, and, well, life around game day.  Football is serious business.  And there’s no better way to watch a football game than with friends.  It’s pretty much a given that if it’s a Saturday or Sunday during the fall, we have the game on and a crowd over.  It’s just the way it is.

So when I heard that MARS was offering special game day themed SNICKERS® Bars bearing the game terms I’ve come to know so well like “Touchdown”, “Tackled”, “Sacked”, I knew I wanted a few for our next game day get together.  We always have a table with food set up for our guests and I was sure that they would be the perfect addition.  But the curiosity got the best of me when I went out to CVS and not only found SNICKERS® Bars, but also found SNICKERS® Crisper.  I’d never even heard of SNICKERS® Crisper and thought it perfect opportunity to try one since I had a coupon.

If you’ve never had one before, in addition to milk chocolate, peanuts and caramel, SNICKERS® Crisper is packed with crisp rice on the bottom giving you a crisp bite as you snack.  It’s really quite delicious!

As I sat there sampling my very first SNICKERS® Crisper I started to think a little more about my game day spread.  I quickly realized that I had all the food accounted for, but no decor.  As I mentally scrambled to come up with something to decorate my table, I remembered a craft that I’d wanted to try, but looked a bit too difficult.  It involved making making a jar into a football by painting the inside of the jar and creating laces out of craft tape.  Craft tape and I don’t really get along, so I figured that it was time to put my own spin on it.  Instead of painting the inside of the jar, I’d paint the outside.  And there’s no need for craft tape if white paint will do the job.

In the end, I think it turned out great!  It was easy to make and the perfect addition to my game day table when we had people over last Saturday!

You will need:
Mason jar
Brown paint
White paint
Paint brush
Fall leaves/flowers
Decorative ribbon

Step 1 – Paint the outside of your jar using the brown paint.  I chose not to paint the very top of the jar, but it’s up to you.  Allow paint to dry completely.

Tip: I was going to use a regular size jar for this craft (shown in the supply photo), but at the last minute decided to use a bigger jar (shown in the painting photo).  Due to the size of the fall sprigs that I picked up, I think the bigger jar worked out a little better, but don’t worry if you can’t find one.

Step 2 – Using a narrower paint brush, paint on the white laces using your white paint.  Set aside to dry.

Step 3 – Tie a ribbon around the top of the jar.

Step 4 – Finally, insert your fall sprigs and place your new vase on your game day table.  I used some fake fall leaves because fall hasn’t exactly happened here in South Florida just yet, but if you live in a place where fall is in full swing, real fall sprigs would look great in this vase.

For more ways to celebrate game day, be sure to visit CVS, your one stop shop for everything game day related!  How do you decorate your game day table?

The post DIY Game Day Decor: Football Mason Jar Vase appeared first on Diary of a Working Mom.

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This post is sponsored by Poise® but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

It starts innocuous enough.  A friend says something funny, another friend adds to it, and before you know it, the whole room erupts in laughter.  The kind of laughter that can’t be stopped.  Tears start to form and you can barely catch your breath because you’re laughing so hard, and then it happens…LBL.  That’s right, light bladder leakage.  I know, I know, it’s not fun to talk about, but it can appear in those fun moments where it definitely wasn’t invited.  And as embarrassing as it seems in the moment, LBL is actually a very common issue for women – 1 in 3 women experience LBL.

The story above?  It’s a true story.  It actually happened recently at a mom’s night out, but luckily Poise had me covered.   With it’s trusted 3-in-1 protection for dryness, comfort, and odor control, Poise is there for all your not-so-funny LBL mom moments.  And now with the new ContourFit Design Poise fits better than ever before.  In fact, Poise Pads are 10X drier than the leading period pad – perfect for maternity pads for women after birth who experience postpartum or heavier bladder leakage (right now you can even earn $5 cash back when you purchase).  LBL is something I never had to deal with before becoming a mom, but thankful, I’ve found a way to conquer it.

But as it turns out, LBL is just one of the things I didn’t know anything about before becoming a mom.  Here are a few more things I’ve learned over my years of motherhood:

Mommy wars.  I’ll admit, I’d seen moms snap at each other prior to having my own child, but I had no idea that it was more than that…there were full out wars online and in real life about breastfeeding, returning to work, vaccinating, and so much more.  Better yet, I had no idea how easy it was to find yourself in the middle of one of these wars when that’s the last place you ever wanted to be.

Exhaustion.  Sure, I thought I knew what exhaustion was prior to having a baby, but my definition was all wrong.  So. Wrong.  Exhaustion is running on 4 non-consecutive hours of sleep a night, while dealing with a colicy baby.  I wish I could be the kind of “exhausted” I was before having kids, because that exhausted is totally bearable.

Breastfeeding.  In my head, breastfeeding was a given.  I thought my baby would be born, she’d latch right away, and I’d breastfeed for at least 6 months, probably a year, maybe even more.  It would be a tender, easy moment between the two of us.  Except, it wasn’t like that at all.  We struggled with the latch, my supply wasn’t nearly enough, and out of frustration (and pain!), I gave up after about a week.  It was all too much.  I thought I knew what breastfeeding was before having a baby, but I was so wrong.

Did anything about motherhood catch you off guard?  Have you experienced LBL?

The post LBL & Other Things I Knew Nothing About Before Becoming a Mom appeared first on Diary of a Working Mom.

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