Overnight Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal in Mason Jars

Here is a cool holiday breakfast idea for your guests.  Make pumpkin spice oatmeal the night before.  Prepare in individual mason jars that can be simply set out in a breakfast buffet the next morning, warm or cold. oatmeal-doneoatmeal-closeSuch a fun, festive and flavorful idea with a recipe that is healthy clean eating.  And some house guests may crave a nutritious breakfast the day after the high calorie Turkey Day.

I found this delightful and super easy recipe from my favorite meal planning site, MealGarden. I especially like MealGarden because the recipes are clean and healthy with a wide variety.  I did add a few extras to the original recipe.  My version is shown below in this how-to video.  So easy and so festive.  Take a look…

 

The original recipe can be found at MealGarden. Thank you to MealGarden for allowing me to experiment with this recipe and share it on my blog!  Enjoy and happy holiday pumpkin everything season!

 

Quick, Easy & Inexpensive Halloween Make It Yourself Mask Idea

Sometimes it’s what’s behind the mask that gets attention.  I love sharing cool ideas that I see other moms brainstorm.  I saw just that this morning in my Sunday school class.  One of my students was very excited to show me her Tweety Bird mask that her mother crafted for her. I love the front of the mask.  Very cute!  Now check out the smart idea that is behind the mask. mask-onThat really got my attention.  How clever is this?! I would have never thought of this great idea.  She used an old pair of sunglasses to secure the mask to her daughter’s face.  This is much better than flimsy string that can break or an elastic band that can snap back and sting.sunglass-backThe old sunglasses, with the lens removed, fit the mask perfectly and it stays on snug.  I tried it on and it is lightweight and comfortable.  Plus the mask, constructed with a paper plate, is inexpensive and easy to make. I asked Lisa, my mom friend, if I could share this idea on my blog.  I think it is so clever.  So if you need a last minute costume idea, make a mask of your choice and secure it on the face with an old pair of sunglasses. So smart!

Happy Halloween out there.  Be safe!

Celeb Loved Jewelry Line, Wonderful Wine Accessory, Personalized Healthy Herbal Tea Line & More Mother’s Day Gift Ideas!

Check this out to see my favorite fitness tool, a wine carafe that keeps wine chilled, a hot jewelry line that is a celeb fave and more in my Mother’s Day gift ideas TV morning show segment.  This is part 2 that follows part 1 that I ran yesterday.  Mother’s Day is coming so get ready with these ideas…

4 Delicious Ingredients that Multitask for Easy Holiday Cooking

Manic:  Figuring out how to cook smart when making the big holiday meal so that we can get out of the kitchen to spend precious time with family and friends.

Managed: Using these four ingredients that include Shamrock Farms Half & Half, Zesty Jalapeno Sour Cream (yum), Shamrock Farms Calcium Plus Milk and eggnog to make multiple recipes.  This also frees up that much needed fridge space for leftovers since each ingredient container can make numerous recipes all in the same day.  So from breakfast to snacks to the main meal to dessert, check out these ideas that will have you working smart so you have more time for holiday cheer and less time hovering over the stove.  How about adding Zesty Jalapeno sour cream to your eggs for a little spice or making eggnog fudge for a scrumptious dessert?  These ideas and more are all here, so check this out…

 

shamrock farms nov 2014 (1) from Rachel Harris on Vimeo.

 

 

This delicious segment was sponsored by Shamrock Farms.  My opinion about how much I love Shamrock Farms foods is 100% my own. 

Keeping Kids Entertained At The Holiday Table

Manic:  Restless kids at the big holiday table resulting in stressed parents, bored kids and chaos.

Managed:  Brainstormed with the folks from Shamrock Farms and one of my gal pals about how to keep kids entertained at this holiday season’s big meal and we came up with some good stuff for parents everywhere.

It’s hard to believe that my teenagers are past this stage now, but I do remember those days!  Recently, one of my gal pals with younger children asked me for tips to keeping kids entertained at the holiday table so that they are not disruptive.  Here are a few tricks that I put to use with my son and daughter, as well as other clever ideas from my friend, Suzie.  Take a look…

*Consider a Kids Table – I know some of you want your children to learn dinner table etiquette (and I agree with that), but having a separate and nearby kids table can work well.  This way both the kiddos and the adults can converse with their own age groups about topics that all will find fun. Have their table set ahead of time with kid themed plates, holiday napkins and a drink that will make them cheer, like Shamrock Farms Chocolate Milk.

*Crafty Crafts for Festive Fun – Have a fun holiday craft ready for the children to do right after the meal.  Kids typically finish eating first, while adults may want to linger and enjoy the holiday fare and company.  Lexi gingerbread manOffering the kids pre-baked mini gingerbread cookies that they can frost and decorate to their hearts’ content gives them something fun to do while the grownups continue with dinner.

*Letters to Santa – Invite children to write a letter to Santa while they wait at the table before or after the meal.  Give them fun decorations, stickers and washable markers to decorate their note.  The letter will also make a great keepsake for the child’s scrapbook.

*Make Christmas Cups – Give the kids red or green Solo cups and materials to decorate the cup.  This becomes their drinking glass during dinner and they will be proud to show off their creation.  milkFill the finished cups with fun and festive Shamrock Farms Santa’s Choice Calcium Plus milk for their own special occasion drink.

*Older Kids Read – Ask the older children to read a holiday story to the younger kids.  And don’t forget to videotape to have this memorable record of the kids at different ages.  It goes by so quickly!

*Sing Along – Let each child select their favorite holiday tune and ask everyone at the table to sing it together.  This gets everyone in the holiday spirit and kids will love leading all in song.

*Holiday Eye Spy Game – Eye spy is a great game to keep kids engaged while also staying put.  Ask them to look for holiday themed items in the room, such as a wreath, something red and white or something sweet.

*Holiday Share – Whisper in the child’s ear to ask everyone at the table to share what they like most about the holiday.  Festive, fun and memorable.

What are your ideas for keeping kids happily busy and content at the holiday table?  Share in the comments section because we like to share ideas and help each other out when it comes to taking the manic out of the holiday season to make it more managed and enjoyable for all!

 

This article was sponsored by Shamrock Farms.  My opinion about how much I love Shamrock Farms foods are 100% my own. 

Sour Cream Banana Bread, Pumpkin Supreme & More Delicious Holiday Recipes

Three of my favorite recipes are featured in my most recent Shamrock Farms video that we filmed in my very own kitchen, so take a look to learn about Sour Cream Banana Bread, Pumpkin Supreme (my sister-in-law Stephanie’s amazing recipe from her South Texas family cookbook) and a super simple and smart breakfast idea called Sausage Breakfast Bake from my gal pal Amanda’s family.  I especially appreciate how the breakfast recipe is whipped up the night before and simply placed in the oven to bake Christmas morning.  Your company will wake up hungry so you can’t forget breakfast.  This recipe takes care of that for you.  Check it all out here…

 

 

This post was sponsored by Shamrock Farms.  My opinion about how much I love Shamrock Farms delicious foods are 100% my own. 

No More Hectic Holidays: 4 Things You Can Do Now to Streamline the Season

Manic:  Holiday planning!  Be honest: How often do you actually sit back and kick up your feet between November and January? Does the “most wonderful time of the year” feel more like a nonstop cycle of bake, clean, shop, wrap and repeat?!  Most years it does for me, especially since I had kids!

Managed:  These four tips that will get us ahead of the game!  Let’s do it and enjoy a managed, not manic, holiday season where we moms, hosts and holiday planners actually get to relax, too!

1.  Be prepared for guests. Help out-of-town guests feel at home with a welcome stocking filled with toiletries, non-perishable snacks, reading material and their favorite coffee or tea. stocking stuffAssembling everything ahead of time will free up those final precious moments for last-minute chores.  Also, keep a secret stash of snacks on hand for unexpected company. Stock the pantry with nuts, popcorn, crackers and chips, which is the perfect accompaniment for any variety of the Shamrock Farms delicious assortment of flavored sour cream.  Keeping a bottle of Shamrock Farms delicious eggnog on hand will also instantly up the festive factor of even the most casual get together.

bananabread_withpackaging

2.  Make-ahead meals. Who wants to cook after a day of battling holiday crowds? Avoid going overboard on take out by putting aside a few hours now to create make-ahead meals. Some family- and freezer-friendly options include chicken and sour cream enchiladas, Roxie’s easy lasagna  and Hungarian goulash.  (For best results, freeze the enchiladas and lasagna before baking. When ready to eat, pop the frozen dish into the oven for about 50 percent longer than the original cooking time.)

3.  Create go-to gifts. Avoid the last-minute dash for forgotten gifts by stocking up on several of one item – from candles to gourmet coffee to holiday tea towels. If you’re feeling particularly domestic, try your hand at preparing homemade vanilla extract in vintage bottles or a DIY body scrub.

My teen daughter actually made this DIY body butter.  We found the recipe online.

My teen daughter actually made this DIY body butter. We found the recipe online.

 

4.  Wrap it up. You may be weeks away from wrapping, but who needs the added stress of a midnight run for Scotch tape? Take an hour this week to take inventory of your wrapping supplies and stock up on scissors, tape, paper, tissue paper, gift tags, ribbon and bows. Keep it simple by using just one or two gift wraps for everyone on your list (it really doesn’t get much easier – or chicer – than brown craft paper wrapped in colorful twine).

Now, sit back, relax and actually enjoy all of the fabulous memories you’ve worked so hard to create. You deserve it!

 

 

This helpful holiday article was sponsored by wonderful Shamrock Farms.  My opinion about how much I love Shamrock Farms foods is 100% my own. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shop & Think Pink With Products That Give Back To BCA Month

Every October, I look for holiday gift ideas, and other items, that give back to Breast Cancer Awareness month.  I found some terrific and unique items, so take a look and think pink to support a good and important cause….

Time For Holiday Gift Ideas!

Manic:  The holiday season is sneaking up on us, as usual!

Managed:  Found some cool and unique gift ideas for the different personalities on your list and some of these items are personalized and can be ordered online.items hday  Do it now to avoid those costly last minute shipping fees as we get closer to December.  Here are gift ideas for all ages and for the hard to shop for person, too.  Take a look and happy holiday shopping…

Fun & Festive Family Holiday Traditions Ideas

Lately my festive daughter has been into starting new and carrying on existing holiday traditions, so as I discussed this with my gal pals, we started sharing each other’s seasonal traditions and they had such good ones, that I decided to make a segment out of it.  Check it out because I’m guessing that you will want to do the Thanksgiving tablecloth, the blessings jar and a few other fun ones to help kids cope with their excitement on Christmas Eve.  I also cover New Years traditions, too.