A couple of weeks ago I received a copy of Drinking for Two: A Collection of Nutritious Cocktails for the Mom-to-Be. Before I go any further, let me just say that NO, I am NOT pregnant. However, I know that a lot of my followers are new or expecting mamas and I like to make sure I'm providing useful information for everyone around here! Anyway, Drinking for Two was created by two dietitians who felt like moms-to-be deserved a book filled with delicious and nutritious mocktail recipes. The drinks are all plant-based and non-alcoholic, low in sugar, and easy to prepare. I've included a link at the end of the post so you can shop the book - it would make a great gift for a mom-to-be!
With the holiday season upon us, it's time for holiday parties, Thanksgiving meals, Friendsgiving celebrations, and everything else that comes with this joyful time of year. We've got parties and we're entertaining left and right. We're eating, we're drinking, and generally being overindulgent. But what happens when you can't (or don't want to) drink alcohol? It doesn't mean you have to be left out! I teamed up with Dr. Jenny Schell of Concierge Postpartum Care, and we made one of the delicious recipes from Drinking for Two, and chatted about all the different reasons why we might not drink on a particular day. You can check out our video here. Our answers ranged from pregnancy, to being on antibiotics, to being sensitive to those around you who cannot or do not drink, and to having to be up bright and early the next morning because your kids are still going to be up at 6 am (that's me!).
This drink is perfect for the holidays and would pair well with a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. It's got cranberry, citrus, and thyme. It's also got ginger, so if you're suffering from nausea during your pregnancy, this could be a good one for you! Plus, it's really tasty! Dr. Schell and I were very pleasantly surprised when we tried it.
So whatever your reason, mix up a couple glasses of this, and I promise you will be grateful in the morning!
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tsp ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup 100% cranberry juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup seltzer
Additional thyme and cranberries for garnish
If you want to make a version with alcohol, I would add 2-3 oz of vodka to this!
This post has been sponsored by JOHNSON’S. All opinions are my own.
I get comments on Chloe’s hair all the time. “Those curls!” “She looks like Shirley Temple!” “That natural texture is gorgeous!” “Please don’t straighten her hair!”
When I first realized Chloe’s hair was curly, I was a little nervous, and actually in a little bit of denial. My hair has always been pin-straight and I always imagined a little girl with long, shiny straight hair. But once I realized how gorgeous her texture really was, I decided I would fully embrace her curls - however long they may last as her hair starts to grow out. Now those bouncy curls have every inch of my heart. I love to put my finger right into the middle of them because they are so perfectly formed and I can never believe how perfect they really are. Plus, I have come to realize that Chloe’s hair perfectly matches her personality!
When JOHNSON’S® announced their new haircare line for kids would include a formula for curly hair, I was so excited. I was already noticing that Chloe’s hair had outgrown the “baby” products offered and that she needed something much more specific for her changing hair. Their latest launch includes specialty haircare designed for a range of different kid’s hair types. They are gentle enough for developing hair and strong enough for the performance you and your kids need.
JOHNSON’S® Curl Defining formula has been such a wonderful product to use on Chloe’s hair. We use the shampoo every time we wash her hair, and I’ve noticed a difference in her curl pattern. And since it’s created by JOHNSON’S®, it’s still 100% gentle - free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and dyes. And it still has that No More Tears benefit that we all love from JOHNSON’S®. We have also been using the Leave-In conditioner, formulated with shea butter, to help keep her curls moisturized and defined. It leaves her curls soft, not crunchy and hard, and it helps them keep their form all day long.
I love that JOHNSON’S is growing right along with my babies, and helping me to provide them with the best products for their individual needs. You can find these and all of JOHNSON’S® for Kids haircare products in the personal care aisle at your neighborhood Walmart, Target, or on Amazon.
Last week I shared my recipe for pumpkin cheesecake, which is something I make every year for Thanksgiving. The first year I made it, the cheesecake cracked, and I was so bummed. Being the perfectionist that I am, I needed to figure out a way to cover it up. Enter salted caramel! I used it to fill in the cracks and make the cheesecake look prettier, but it made the cheesecake EXTRA tasty, so it has become a permanent addition to the recipe. It's also nice to have a little extra in the fridge to add to your coffee in the mornings (trust me on this).
This one is from Two Peas and Their Pod and it's one of the easier ones I found (you guys know I'm all about simplicity!). The most important thing is to watch the sugar. If you let it go too long you'll get super hard caramel. If you don't let it go long enough it will be grainy and chunky. So make sure the kids are occupied when you do this!
Salted Caramel Recipe
For the last couple of years, we have hosted Thanksgiving in our home. It is something I absolutely love to do, and it's the one day a year where I really enjoy going all out. I love to set my table and create a welcoming setting for our loved ones to enjoy. I love to make our Thanksgiving spread a really classic, traditional Thanksgiving meal. Turkey, stuffing, sweet potato, the works. But since I know that not everyone is a huge fan of pumpkin pie, I wanted a twist on a classic Thanksgiving staple.
My cousin Olga makes this incredible Pumpkin Cheesecake, so the first year we hosted, I asked her for the recipe. I've really enjoyed making this cheesecake year after year, and you can bet that I'll be making it again this Thanksgiving! I like to top it with Salted Caramel - it really gives it an incredible flavor.
I haven't quite figured out how not to make it crack, but it tastes amazing regardless, so if you're on the hunt for a delicious dessert recipe for Thanksgiving, look no further!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 20 single square crackers)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 packages (8 oz each) Neufchatel cream cheese (softened)
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 can (16 oz) solid pack pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
Let me know if you make this favorite of ours! I'd love to know how it turns out!
Did you enjoy this post?
Check out some of my other Thanksgiving posts:
My Thanksgiving Tablescape
Classic Bread Stuffing
Salted Caramel Recipe
*This post has been sponsored by HITN Learning. All opinions are my own.
In our home, one of the biggest pieces of heritage that we want to pass along to our children is the ability to speak Spanish. When Caleb was little, we spoke to him exclusively in Spanish. Over the years, between watching TV in English, starting school, and general laziness on my part, his Spanish has gone to the birds. I have some friends who have been so consistent with speaking to their kids in Spanish that they can hold all their conversations in both languages, and that’s truly what I hope to be able to work on with our kids. We’ve been making a much bigger effort to speak to them in Spanish, and we have already noticed a difference.
Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend an event hosted by HITN Learning at Barnes and Noble, where I had the chance to speak with bilingual education advocate and TEDx speaker Dr. Mariana Díaz-Wionczek on how to raise bilingual children in today’s multicultural world. Mariana is a Hispanic mom, researcher, and academic. She has served as producer and Head of Education, Cultural Content & Research for several Nick Jr. productions including Dora the Explorer, Dora & Friends, and Go, Diego, Go!
I was able to chat with her one on one and I loved some of the information she gave me. Here are some of the tips she gave me and other parents there:
The Cleo & Cuquin Family Fun! Math Kits & App are a tool that we can utilize as parents to enrich our children’s learning experiences and encourage them to speak in Spanish. They offer engaging, child-centered bilingual print and digital materials, and hands-on activities. The kits focus on key math skills that create a strong foundation for Kindergarten learning. There are three math kits available: Counting, Sorting, and 3D Shapes.
We received the Cleo & Cuquin Family Fun! Counting Math Kit& App. Some of the skills it works on are counting to 10 and reading and writing numerals 0-9. The content in the kit is exciting and fun so it motivates kids to practice, and engages children through play, using manipulatives and digital content to reinforce essential skills. Caleb absolutely loves the app, and has started to understand it even when it is in Spanish mode. You can switch the app from Spanish to English, so it doesn’t matter what level your children are at. He also loves the game, especially when he wins (which he does almost every time).
As a former teacher, I really love that this kit addresses all kinds of learning styles and that it involves the parents. It’s not just your child sitting in front of an app and doing something independently - it requires you as the parent to get involved and practice your own Spanish! You can purchase one of these kits for your own children at Barnes and Noble. (Counting Kit, Sorting Kit, 3D Shapes Kit)
I love that Caleb is starting to become more interested in speaking Spanish and as long as he is trying, I’m going to continue to encourage him in any way I can!