Mommy Recipe: Strawberry Lemonade Mimosa

Summer is quickly approaching and so are weekend brunches. Change up your mimosa game with this Strawberry Lemonade Mimosa. It’ll cool you down, without the overbearing champagne taste.

I love this combination and figured I’d try to make a mimosa with it. It’s a light drink and the Italian ice elevates it even more.

This drink would be perfect for a mimosa bar or anything brunch!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Champagne
  • Strawberry Lemonade
  • Strawberry Italian Ice
  • Pink Sugar
  • Fresh Strawberry

First, coat the rim of your flute by cutting a strawberry and putting it around the rim. Then, pour some sugar on a plate. To coat, just roll the rim around the sugar.

Next, put your Italian ice in the bottom of the cup.

Then, fill your flute to your discretion with champagne. It’s really up to you how much champagne you’d like. I’m not one to limit your drinking (haha). Then fill the rest up with the strawberry lemonade. Again, it’s up to you how much you want to drink.

While I was making this drink, Mila was obsessed with the pink salt and the bubbles. So, I threw together this little mix for her too. It’d be great for other littles too.

The Kid Version:

  • Strawberry Lemonade
  • Strawberry Italian Ice
  • Pink Salt
  • Fresh Strawberry
  • Carbonated water

This little spin on a classic mimosa is great for strawberry lemonade lovers and is just perfect for summer months too. The champagne taste isn’t too strong and it tastes really great. Being creative with drinks can be so much fun!

I absolutely loved making Mila one too. She felt like a ‘big kid’ and it was so easy to make her special drink.

Next time, I’d love to try a grapefruit mimosa. I’ll share when i do.

What’s your favorite type of mimosa?

Toddler Activity: Dino Dance!

Happy National Dinosaur Day! To celebrate, Mila wanted to share her one of her favorite books and dinosaur activity: Dino Dance!

Mila has just now taken an interest in dinosaurs. Books about them have really helped broaden her imagination about them. We also have a few great dinosaur toys that she loves playing with. When we went to the zoo, there was a dinosaur there so she was able to understand they were huge. She’s been asking about them since.

Dino Dance! hands down is her favorite way to look at dinosaurs and think about movement. She loves to dance, so when she saw that dinosaurs danced too, it helped her connect.

Plus, it helped create a fun little activity too.

Normally, we read books over and over again (oh the toddler stage). Instead of just sitting and reading some, we find ways to act them out. Dino Dance! gives us the dance moves to do, while learning too!

We took our learning outside and Mila showed me her dino moves.

Her favorite was the ‘cha cha cha’ move and the t rex stomp! It was also so fun to watch her come up with her own interpretations of the dance moves. We ended up dancing and singing along with the book for a little while. While dancing their moves, I had her say the dinosaurs names too.

Mila asked me to show her how I would do certain dance moves too! It was great to mimic each other and see how we both were creative.

In one little book, there was a ton of learning! From dinosaur names to being creative, Dino Dance! is a great way to introduce your child to dinosaurs.

It also sparked other conversations about dinosaurs. We have other books that have more realistic descriptions and images of dinosaurs. To make a connection, I remind her of the dinosaurs dance moves in the one book and show her in the other. I can’t wait to take her to see the dinosaurs in the Columbus Zoo soon!

Another dinosaur song Mila loves right now is from Blippi. Whenever she has screen time, she asks to watch his channel. So, The Dinosaur Song has been a great way for her to learn about dinosaurs while dancing and watching her favorite show too.

If you’re looking for other fun activities from creative moms and their kids, check them out here:

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

One of the best and most classic desserts are chocolate chip cookies. They’re gooey and make you feel all warm inside. Up until now, I didn’t think they could get any better, until we added one ingredient: strawberries.

This new to us recipe is one I HAD to share with everyone, especially before National Chocolate Chip Day. Not only did we enjoy the finished results, Mila had a blast making these too.

Maybe a little too much fun with the extra flour!

Anyways, here’s what you’ll need to make these delicious cookies:

  • 2 1/4 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of chopped strawberries
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips

Before making the cookie dough, preheat the oven to 370 F. Then line two large baking sheets with wax or parchment paper.

In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Next, in a large mixing bowl, use your mixer to cream the butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. I let my butter warm up a little bit to help it cream. Honestly, I just popped it in the microwave for 20 seconds.

Then, add eggs in one at a time. Mix in between eggs.

After it’s mixed, slowly add the flour mixture in. Just mix it until combined and don’t over mix.

Once you get a good dough consistency, fold in strawberries and chocolate chips. I used a spatula for this.

Now it’s time to place them on the cooking sheet. You can use an ice cream or cookie scoop to help with this part. I just used my hands and made little balls. It was way easier for me this way than using a spoon or anything.

Then, place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the cookie sheet after and place back in the oven for 4-6 more minutes. Your cookies should have holden brown on their edges.

Once it’s done, remove from the oven and let them cool down… or not.

We enjoyed these cookies a little too much. I have a feeling it’ll be a recipe we make over and over again.

Let me know in the comments if you end up trying this recipe… you most definitely should!

Check out these other chocolate chip creations too:

Toddler Activity: Moon Rock Toss

Mila is a kinesthetic learner. So, when she learned about the Moon, we had to do a Moon Rock Toss.

This simple activity is fun for active toddlers who are curious about learning. Plus, it’s easy to set up for busy parents that keeps your child’s attention for a long time.

Lately, Mila has been into the moon and loves looking at the stars. For the longest time, she thought she could jump up to the moon and eat it. Thanks Sesame Street! We’ve done a few activities from Fluff Pieces Space Unit and I’d love to order some of the puzzles and items she used too.

Now she knows that the Moon isn’t a cookie! But it was cute when she did.

Anyways, here’s what you’ll need for this activity.

  • A basket
  • Aluminum foil
  • Construction paper
  • A ‘backboard’

Since we have a chalkboard door, we used that as a blackboard. You can use whatever you’d like. I can imagine a huge poster board or pieces of paper helping too.

I decorated our backboard to be like stars on the moon

Then all the other set up I needed to do was crumble up aluminum foil and paper. That’s it!

Mila’s been loving Blippi so his space song really hit home. She listened to that as I set up. It really set the activities mood.

We walked about the moon and how there are moon rocks there. I told her these were our moon rocks. Since there’s no gravity on the Moon, the rocks are lighter than Earth rocks. Obviously this isn’t how it works, but it’s okay.

I told her to try and make it in the basket and she had a blast. She kept refilling the moon rock bowl to start over the activity.

Since Mila is really into space, I plan on continuing teaching her more about it during summer. I have a feeling she’ll love stargazing and would love to talk about the constellations with her.

For now, she’s obsessed with her moon rocks and making them in the basket. Maybe she’ll be a basketball player too!

Let us know how you liked this activity in the comments below or let me know what your favorite planet.

Check out how these other moms introduced space to their kids.

Motherhood freed me.

Last month, I saw a post by Avery’s Garden asking for submissions of creative grief. The prompt was, “What does motherhood look like to you?”

For me, motherhood has been complicated and full of ups and downs.

In the beginning, I was stripped away from physically mothering Jensen. I will never be able to fully explain that pain and how it will always linger. I’ve tried hundreds of time, but there are no words.

As the months and years have went past, my motherhood has evolved.

I have Mila and we remember Jensen each day. With the two of them, I parent and honor them so different. I’ve changed the way I look at my motherhood too.

Here’s how I see my motherhood this year…

Through the grief and nakedness
of losing the biggest part of me,
planted a seed.

Out of that pain and emptiness
came all the growth and beauty.
Motherhood freed me.

I’m definitely not an artist, but I enjoyed painting and creating. When I look at this piece, I think of how far I’ve come and how much love I give every day.

Motherhood isn’t a pretty thing. It’s hard and is never perfect. Somehow through it all, it’s freed me.

I couldn’t imagine a life without them. Everyday I’m glad they chose me to be their mom.

Mommy Recipe: Pink Whitney Lemonade

If you’re looking for a cool summer drink to enjoy during the hot months, you’ll love this Pink Whitney Lemonade.

Funny story, Mila calls any ‘drink’ I have ‘on my juice.’ It’s a really hilarious way for her to know not to drink what I’m drinking. I think it’s also nice that she thinks it’s just my juice and she has her juice.

Thankfully, she’s not that curious and respects that it’s mine. A little parenting win, right?

Anyways, back to the goods. You’ll love this mommy juice recipe that’s good for anyone who likes adult beverages that you can taste the alcohol.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup of Pink Whitney Vokda
  • Ice
  • 1 cup of Lemonade
  • 1 Pink lemonade Kool Aid mix pack
  • Lemon
  • Blender

Honestly guys, I pretty much eyeballed this drink so the measurements aren’t exact. When I make drinks, I do a lot of taste tests!

All you have to do is put a ton of ice in your blender, then all of the other ingredients.

Mix them all until they’re the consistency of a slushee. For extra tartness, I put lemon slices around the glass and to garnish.

This drink is easy to make and goes down smoothly. I feel like they will be DANGEROUS this summer while by the pool or around fires. It’s so yummy, I’ll take the chance though.

Let me know what your favorite parent juice or summer drink is in the comments.

But first, check out these other moms go to drink recipes:

Toddler Activity: Frida Kahlo Portrait

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, femininity, and art, Mila learned more about one of my favorite historical woman: Frida Kahlo. Of course, we had to do a craft of a Frida portrait; just with a toddler spin.

If you don’t know about Frida, she’s truly an amazing woman. Her history was tragic, but her perseverance to keep going against all odds really speaks to me. Through everything, she became one of Mexico’s greatest artists. She did a ton of self portraits, which is why we honored her this way.

Now, I understand Frida has NOTHING to do with Cinco de Mayo. This holiday commemorates Mexico’s unlikely defeat over France in 1862. Since then, it’s turned into a huge celebration.

With Mila being three, I don’t feel completely comfortable talking about war with her yet. It’s still a great way to teach her about Mexican culture. Frida is a huge cultural icon and since we love learning about art, it felt perfect.

Anyways, you can look up all kinds of information about CInco de Mayo and Frida all over the internet. Now it’s time to get to our little craft.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Honestly, i wish I had a free printable for everyone to make this craft a little easier. The elements in this project are a little detailed, but the end result is worth it.

To prep for this craft, I drew the different elements of Frida’s face on the construction or craft paper. They don’t have to be perfect. I think the more unique it is with its imperfections, the more it connects with Frida and her work.

I drew Frida’s hair, nose, eyes, and unibrow on black construction paper. Her lips on red scrapbook paper. The accessories on yellow scrapbook paper. Her body is made out of brown construction paper and the dress out of floral scrapbook paper.

Once everything was drawn, I cut them out.

Since we used a canvas, I hot glued Frida’s body and part of her hair down. Then, it was all up to Mila.

She has seen Frida and her artwork for her entire life. We read books with her in them, but I showered her a picture before she started. After, I asked if she could make her face.

Honestly, she did a great job. She loved talking about the different parts of her face and was in love with the flowers. I think she said Frida about a thousand times too. It amazes me that she picks up on all these new words.

I think she did a really good job. She put it in a prime spot for all to see! I love that she loves all her hard work.

Plus, it was a fun way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

Tonight we’ll be enjoying tacos and I’ll have a margarita. We love to celebrate these holidays and learn all about new culture.

Let us know what you think about this Frida craft and how you celebrate Cinco de Mayo!

Before you go, check out how these moms celebrate Cinco de Mayo and Mexican heritage.

Toddler Activity: DIY Star Wars Slime

May the Fourth be with you… okay, Happy Star Wars Day! To celebrate this fun little holiday, Mila and I made slime for the first time. We had a blast with our little DIY and I loved introducing her to slime and the force.

If you’ve never made slime or hate how sticky some recipes are, this one was actually great. It was a few simple steps that’ll make you actually want to make slime with your kids.

Here’s what you’ll need:

The first thing to do is empty out the entire bottle of glue in a bowl. We did glow in the dark glue with sparkles in it. I thought it would be unique and it reminded me of Star Wars.

To get all of the glue out, I cut the bottle in half and spooned out what wouldn’t come out.

Then, add the baking soda to the glue. You’ll need to mix this up and it starts to get really thick. Mila loved helping mix it at this stage, as well as pouring everything into the bowl. I did end up having to help her at this point because it did get difficult.

After it’s mixed together, add food coloring to it. We chose purple because it’s on of Mila’s favorite colors, but it’s reminds us of space and galaxies. Of course, we added more sparkles too.

Next, add the contact solution.

This will make the slime almost impossible to mix. It immediately clung to the spoon when we started mixing it. After a minute, I ended up mixing the slime with my hands. It was way better kneading it with both of my hands.

Although our slime wasn’t sticky, you could add more contact solution if needed.

Mila was a part of the entire process, but it was still fun to present it to her with Star Wars stickers. She loved pressing the stickers into the slime and asking what all of their names were.

We talked about the characters being in space and that’s what the slimed looked like. It’s great because she knows that the moon and sun are in space. She might not grasp the entire concept of space yet, but it’s fun seeing her learn more about our universe each day.

As much as we had fun talking about Star Wars and space, Mila really just had a blast playing with the slime!

With how well our first slime making experience went, we will definitely be making more in the future too. It was also such a fun way to get Mila started with the Star Wars universe. I’ll love it when she is old enough to watch the series with me. If I had to guess, Princess Leia buns will be next.

What’s your favorite slime recipe and do you enjoy the Star Wars films?

Before you go, check out how strong the force is with these DIY moms and their kids.

Making Over Motherhood: My Battle with Maternal Mental Health

With the Mother’s Day soon, everyone is celebrating motherhood. Yet, there is a side of motherhood not a lot of people talk about. It’s the maternal mental health challenges that 1 in 5 women face each year in the U.S. This statistic is why Maternal Mental Health Week is so important to recognize.

Mothers all over the U.S. are sharing their stories of maternal mental health and making over motherhood.

In the picture of Mila and I, you might see me as a mother who is comforting her child. We’re all dressed up for pictures and beautifully done. The things that you can’t see are what makes motherhood so challenging. You don’t see my son who should be five and helping Mila take pictures. There’s an endless amount of tears that I’ve shed to get to this point. You’d never understand the turmoil and challenges it took to get to this one moment.

No one can outwardly see mental health issues. As a mother, we instinctually put our children’s needs before ours. Our mental health can slip and slide away.

I am the 1 in 5 who have faced maternal mental health disorders.

Throughout my time on this blog, I haven’t been shy about talking about my anxiety, depression, and PTSD that I faced after Jensen’s birth. What I didn’t expect was postpartum depression after having Mila.

How could I not be happy and joyous after having a living child? I didn’t have to plan a funeral or never see her again. All the things I had wished for after Jensen’s birth was happening with her. She would be growing and learning. It felt so unnatural to not be in love with the time after she was born.

But, I wasn’t. I loved her and wanted all the best things for her, but I couldn’t be happy.

I think I cried more than I smiled that first year. It was hard to even get on a schedule or do certain things. If I wasn’t sad, I had horrible anxiety.

There were constant thoughts of her dying and all the scenarios that could play out. I honestly felt crazy. It didn’t feel like anyone else had these thoughts with their newborn. It was isolating, just like I felt after Jensen’s birth.

Except, after I had Jensen, I gained a community that helped and uplifted me as much as they could.

With Mila, I felt completely alone.

Now that she’s three and Jensen would be five, I’ve lived with anxiety and depression for quite a while. I’ve talked to my new therapist for a year and she’s been a big help with my mental health. It makes me wish I would have gotten help sooner.

We all live in a world where social media rules all. People can project to you happy faces and times, but there’s a side to a people’s lives we don’t see. Not talking about maternal mental health and the challenges of motherhood can be especially damaging to new moms. They might think their emotions to how they’re handling motherhood is wrong, but it’s not.

As a mother who has lived through their child die and then dealt with intense mental health issues after their living child, I’m here to tell all mothers, they’re not alone.

It’s time to make over motherhood. That doesn’t mean putting our best foot forward on social media or how we present ourself to the world. It means showing the struggle and letting others know there is help out there.

Please know you’re not alone in your maternal mental health struggles. Reach out for help if you need it. You deserve the same love and care you give your child.

I promise, you’re worth it.

Here’s some information about Maternal Mental Health Week. If you can, share some information to help another mom out. If you’re feeling brave, you can share your story too.

You are never alone.

Resources:

DIY Fairy-Tale Garden

April shower bring May flowers. To celebrate just that, we’re welcoming May with our very own DIY Fairy-Tale Garden.

Mila is obsessed with fairy gardens. My parent’s neighbor has the little fairy figurines in their garden and Mila goes to play with them every day. I figured she should have one of her very own since she likes them so much.

Since we love our fairytales, I thought a little spin on the idea would be fun for Mila’s imagination.

One day after work, we went to our local Lowe’s and picked out flowers that made her smile. She loves pink and purple so all the flowers are just that. I also encouraged her to pick some non-flowering plants as well.

I also purchased filling snd too soil at Lowes’s. At our dollar store, Mila picked out a princess castle to place in her fairytale garden.

Then we started digging.

I most definitely should have taken before pictures, but we were too excited to start.

We picked the tree in our backyard to make the fairytale garden. It has a few hosta and wildflowers already there, so we left them. We did clean up the area by taken out the weeds.

The area also needed built up. We used a ton of fill dirt and top soil so our plants and flowers could thrive.

One word of advice for all toddler parents is to buy your toddler their own little shovel. Mila had so much fun digging holes and helping along the way.

She also found rocks to lead up the the castle. We’re going to try and get more to put around the circle too.

We brought out plastic toys that won’t be impacted by the weather out. Mila was also gifted a gnome set to place here too. It’s going to be a mixture of all things magical.

Just like a fairytale.

I’m so excited to see how the garden and Mila’s imagination grows this summer. We are constantly outside, so I know this little area will be well loved. She’s even already showed it off to her friend who lives close.

With a little hard work, there will be a summer full of fun.

Some key items we needed to make our fairytale garden were these:

I hope that if you want an outdoor place space like this, you’re able to make one. It could have easily been made into a big pot that could be brought inside for winter too!

If you end up making a fairy or fairy-take garden, I’d love to see or hear about it!

Do you have any gardening memories that you did with a parent, grandparent, or any other important individual in your life?

Before you go, check out how these moms incorporated fairytales in their children’s play: