Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nutella's in the House

Who doesn't love Nutella? You simply can't go wrong with it's chocolate-y, hazelnut-y, perfect combination of savory-sweet goodness. It's incredibly versatile, much more so than you might, and it's DELICIOUS.

I recently received a Nutella Party Pack full of goodies from Nutella to share with friends. I was surprised that several recipients of my Nutella swag bags had never tried Nutella before! A few others hadn't had Nutella in years and had never thought to pick it up for their kids to try. The rest, like myself, were already big-time Nutella fans. 

I picked up a jar of another brand of hazelnut spread at the store, we did a blind taste test and Nutella won hands down. Sometimes there's just no substitute for the real deal. Here's what you need to know about Nutella:

*It's made with simple, quality ingredients, including roasted hazelnuts, skim milk and a hint of cocoa.

*Each 13 oz. jar contains more than 50 hazelnuts.

* It does not contain any hydrogenated oils or trans fat and it's lower in sodium compared to other nut butters.

*It contains no artificial colors or preservatives.

*It does not contain peanuts or peanut ingredients and is not exposed to peanuts during the manufacturing process, so it's safe for kids with peanut allergies.

*It retails for around $3.50 for a 13 oz. jar and $6.50 for a huge 26.5 oz. jar and can be found at grocery stores nationwide. 

*It's incredibly versatile! There's way more to Nutella than the peanut butter and Nutella sandwich that I've enjoyed myself for years. 

You can get more information on Nutella, The Original Hazelnut spread on their website at On their website you can print a coupon for $1.00 off your Nutella purchase, enter to win a case of Nutella, get nutrition information and tips for Moms. They also have a fun breakfast builder tool to help you customize your own Nutella breakfast.

Remember me saying how versatile Nutella is? Don't believe me? Ha, click here for a list of more Nutella recipes than you could ever know what to do with!!

In the meantime, here's (3) super simple, yummy Nutella breakfast treats you can whip up in a hurry:

Breakfast Roll-Ups - Spread a whole wheat tortilla with Nutella, sprinkle with dried cranberries and chopped apricots, roll it up and enjoy it on the go. You can also use other dried or fresh fruit.

Breakfast Sandwich - Toast a whole grain honey oat english muffin, spread one half with Nutella, top with strawberries and make a unique breakfast sandwich.

Waffle Sandwich - My kids LOVED these when we tried them! Toast two whole grain waffles, spread one with Nutella, top  with strawberries and bananas, put the other waffle on top and cut in half like a sandwich.

One of the things we noted about Nutella is that a little bit goes a long way, so you can keep a healthy breakfast healthy, adding just a touch of sweet, without adding unwanted calories. 

SO, jot Nutella down on that shopping list and see what you (and your kids) have been missing!! 

**Thanks to Nutella and Mommy Parties for the Nutella Party Pack!**

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Meet Home Made :)

I'd like to introduce you to Home Made, Cape May County's new craft shop and studio. It's located on Route 9 in Swainton, just a sneeze down the road from Cape May Wicker, Woodland Village and Tea Berry Antiques. My Aunt and I took a Beginner Sewing Class at Home Made this afternoon and walked out the door with super cute Wine Tote Bags that we made. I had never used a sewing machine before today. Ever. In. my. life. 
 The studio is really cute, the atmosphere is relaxed and Julie (Home Made Owner and Instructor) will make you feel right at home. She was extremely patient with a pain in the ass novice like myself. Home Made is currently offering a variety of classes including the Beginner Sewing for Adults class that we took today, as well as Beginner Sewing for Kids and Teens and knitting classes too. Click here for more information on classes. 
Home Made sells supplies to help you keep your creative juices flowing once you get home. Fun and funky fabric, yarn and other tools and necessities of the trade. 

I'm looking forward to taking another class soon.

Stop in the studio, check it out and meet Julie Tuesday - Sunday from 11 AM - 7 PM (Get directions here.)

Visit Home Made online: 

"Like" Home Made on Facebook:


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Matt Cole Bowling Ball Jewelry Review & Giveaway

Matt Cole is a designer and creator of sterling silver beads and clasps and an avid bowler, He's combined these two passions and created a totally unique line of jewelry made from recycled bowling balls. Seriously, how cool is that?

The process begins with a very, very large and vertical band saw and unwanted bowling balls that would otherwise have wound up in a landfill. The end result is gorgeous jewelry! Available on his website are earrings, bracelets, pendants and rings. You'd think that jewelry made from bowling balls would be heavy, but it's not at all, it's actually incredibly light weight.

I have absolutely fallen in love with Matt Cole Jewelry! It's original, affordable and just plain fun. I'm super excited to offer YOU a chance to fall in love with it too! I'm giving away a pair of Matt Cole Teardrop Earrings like these: 

It's quick and easy to earn a chance to win. You can:

A) Visit Matt Cole's website and check out the line for yourself. Then leave a comment on this post and tell me why Matt Cole Jewelry "bowls you over"! (Cute, right?) Be sure to use your email address when commenting so that I can contact you if you win. (Your email address will not be published with your comment.) 

B) "Like" Matt Cole Jewelry made from Recycled Bowling Balls on Facebook. Then leave a comment on this post telling me you've done so. "I like Matt Cole Jewelry on Facebook!" 

C) Share this post on Facebook in a status and encourage your friends to enter to win too. Leave a comment telling me you've done so. 

D) Subscribe to my blog and leave a comment on this post to tell me you did.

A, B, C and D are each good for one entry to win. Entries excepted until one week from today, next Wednesday, March 30th at Midnight. Winner will be announced the following day. If I don't get a response from the winner within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen.

P.S. - Who's coming to Cape May Mom's Family Wing Night at Mousetrap this Friday night? Details here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Easy Science Experiments for Little People

I was never a big fan of science class in school. When I think science I think long, impossible to remember formulas, beakers, test tubes and the dissection of frogs (barf). Fortunately I haven't had to use the Periodic Table of Elements in my adult life. Not yet anyway. Heaven help me when my boys get older. My ability to help with math and science homework will end long about the 4th or 5th grade I'm sure. 

At the Preschool age science is awesome! Little people are natural scientists. Science involves observation of events that occur naturally and experimenting in controlled environments to test a hypothesis (See? I retained some science vocab. from school). That's where Preschool Science begins! Little people are curious by nature and love to ask questions about what goes on around them in their day to day lives. Think about all the questions you answer for your preschooler on a daily basis, you're preschooler might have more science in their world than you would have thought.

Your job in raising a little scientist is to encourage your child to observe and ask questions about what goes on around them and to ask your child questions that will stimulate them to come up with a hypothesis, figure out a solution, summarize and evaluate situations. Adding more science to your child's life doesn't have to be pre-planned or an ordeal. 

Recently my 4 year brought me a tissue and asked me to wet it for him so he could wipe off his face. I explained that tissues didn't hold up well when wet and that it would fall apart. Later that night, as he was finishing up his bath, he asked if we could put a tissue in the bathtub to see what happens when a tissue gets really wet. So we did. We also dropped in a paper napkin and a paper towel to see what would happen to them. We compared them to what they looked and felt like when wet and dry and talked about which held up the best when wet. It took 5 minutes. That's preschool science! 

Here are some ideas for fun and easy science experiments and activities for you to do with your little people:

Chemical Interactions - You'll need a small cup or bowl, vinegar, baking soda and old, dirty pennies. Your child can measure and pour two tablespoons of vinegar and a half a teaspoon of baking soda into a cup. They can then drop a penny into the cup and stir the solution with a popsicle stick. You and your child can then watch the penny magically become clean. Have your child explain what they just did and what happened. Talk to them about chemical reactions and explain why the penny became clean. Repeat the process again with a new penny. You can then do some more experimenting. Ask your child if they think the penny will become clean by just dropping it in vinegar or plain water. Then test out their theories. You can then have your child draw a picture showing the before and after of the experiment. 

Surface Tension - Explain the idea of surface tension to your little scientist, that there are forces of attraction between the molecules of a liquid and how soap and detergents work to break or weaken these forces and help other substances work with them more easily. Talk about how surface tension works with cleaning and washing things like dishes, clothing and their bodies. Then you can experiment and see surface tension in action. You'll need cooking oil (like vegetable oil or olive oil), water and dish washing soap. Pour a teaspoon of cooking oil into your child's hands and have them rub it in all over their as if it were soap and they were going to wash their hands. (You can shake a little cinnamon or another spice into their hands before they rub the oil in. This can make it easier for smaller kids to not only feel it but see it as well.) Have your child rinse and rub their hands in running water in the sink to see if the oil is easily removed. Needless to say, it will not be. Now pour a drop or two of dish washing soap into your child's hands. Have your child rub the soap into their hands and then rinse their hands in the water again. Talk about surface tension and how the soap helps the oil to mix with the water and be removed with more ease.

Light and magnification - Explain to your child how objects look magnified when immersed in water. Have your little scientist place a pencil in a glass of water and observe how it looks like it bends where it enters the water. Talk about why this happens, have your child draw a picture of the pencil before it's placed in the glass of water and a picture of what it looks like after it's in the water. Talk about how light is bent by the lenses of glasses. Experiment with a magnifying glass, binoculars and the zoom function of a camera.

Buoyancy - Explain buoyancy to your child. While they are taking a bath, let them experiment with different objects to see which will sink to the bottom of the tub and which will float on the water. Before they drop the object into the tub ask them for a hypothesis as to whether they think that object will sink or float. You can also talk to your child about "swimmies" or "floaties" and how they help children who can't swim stay afloat in a pool. 

Capillary Action in Plants - For this experiment, you'll need a stalk of celery or a daisy, food coloring or ink and a glass bottle. Explain capillary action in plants to your child. Pour a generous amount of food coloring or ink (roughly 1/4 cup) into a glass bottle. Place a stalk of celery or a daisy into the jar and let it sit for 4-5 hours. If you're using celery, cut a slice of the stem. You should see colored dots where the liquid has traveled up the capillaries of the celery. If you're using a daisy, you'll see that the color has traveled up the stem as the flowers sucks up the water. You can have your child draw a picture of the experiment or take before and after photos with a camera. 

Leave a comment if you've got a cool experiment for little people and share it with my readers. :) 

*Image at top courtesy of:*

Friday, March 18, 2011

Cape May Moms Family Wing/Bowling Night!

SAVE THE DATE: Next Friday, March 25th @ 5:30

Cape May Moms and Mousetrap Bowling Alley are hosting a family night in honor of the Philadelphia Wings Lacrosse Team!  

Mouse Trap is offering Buy One Game for $5.50 and get 1 Game FREE. If you only want to play one game that night, you can get a coupon for a free game to redeem on your next visit. Mouse Trap will also have a special on their wings, $1.00 off each order. 

Cape May Moms will be giving away (2) Family 4-Packs of tickets to see the Philadelphia Wings Live! 

For more info. on this event go here. If you'd like to RSVP and secure a spot for your family, email with your name and the number of people playing. 

I'll be there and I can't bowl to save my soul. Should be fun....and fun to watch. :)

AND...speaking of bowling, I have a bowling related giveaway coming up next week! Check back on Wednesday for details. :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

St. Patrick's Day is just three days away. Here's an easy crock pot recipe for a traditional Irish feast, Corned Beef and Cabbage.

Here's the stats:

Prep. Time: Not bad at all.

Cook Time: 8 hours and 30 minutes

Feeds: At least 5 or 6

Cost per person: Right around $2.50

Here's What You Need:

1 1/2 lbs. small red potatoes
4 cloves of garlic, chopped up
1 3-4 lb. corned beef brisket, rinsed and trimmed (Make sure you get one that comes with the little seasoning packet, most do.)
Apple juice
4 whole cloves
1 small yellow onion, quartered
24 baby carrots
1 small white cabbage, cut into 8 wedges

Here's What You Do:

1) Plop your potatoes and garlic in the bottom of your crock pot. I don't peel my red potatoes, you can if you want. I think it gives the meal a little more color. To each her own. :)  Place corned beef brisket on top of potatoes and garlic. (Trim most of the fat off the meat before you put it in the crock pot. The apple juice will serve as a broth for the vegetables and will flavor both the veggies and the meat itself. If you leave too much fat on, it'll get greasy and gross.)

2)  Quarter onion, stick a clove in each quarter, place onions in rock pot. Pour in just enough apple juice to cover the meat. If you think apple juice is weird, you can use water, but I promise you it's delicious with the apple juice. Cover and cook on Low until nice and tender, usually around 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 hours. 

3) Once the meat has cooked, remove it from the crock pot, plop it on a cutting board and cover it with foil to keep it warm. Scoop potatoes out of the crock pot, put them in a bowl and cover with foil to keep them warm also.  Add cabbage and carrots to crock pot, put the lid back on and put that baby on High. Cook until the cabbage and carrots have softened, anywhere from 1/2 hour to an hour depending on your crock pot. 

4) You can throw the potatoes and corned beef back in towards the end of cooking (10-15 minutes before the cabbage and carrots are done) to heat them back up if you like.Be sure to cut the corned beef across the grain when it's ready to be served. 

May those who love us, love us. 
And for those who don't love us, 
May God turn their hearts.
And if he cannot turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we may know them by their limping.  

Believe it or not, this is the music I grew up on: 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Happy Birthday, Bologna Head!

Three years ago today, I had the incredible good fortune to become this little guy's Mom.

Dear Daniel,

Today is your birthday. You are three years old. Or "three mores old" as you are telling everyone. All day today when someone said "Happy Birthday" to you, you wished them a happy birthday back. I gave you a Scooby-Doo coloring book this morning. You would have thought I gave you a million dollars. You were so excited and thanked me over and over again. It's my hope that the simple things in life will always bring you such joy and that you'll always appreciate everything you have. It's simple things that are the best things. 

Last week you finally mastered opening the refrigerator. I came out of the bathroom to find you had covered your entire head in bologna. "Daniel! What are you doing?!", I shrieked. You smiled that smile of yours and said, "I made  a hat!" You were pretty proud of that processed meat creation. I let you leave it on for a few minutes before fighting you to take it off and throw it away. You smelled like bologna for the rest of the day. 

You have a unique outlook on life, my sweet baby. Not many people would see a stack of bologna and think, "Gee, this would make a cool hat." But apparently that's exactly what you thought...that or you were attempting to make me crazier than I already am. I tend to think it was a little bit of both. Mommy needs to be kept on her toes and you're just the right man for the job.

I love you more than you'll ever know, my little bologna head.
Now and forever,