Running from the Law

Monday, November 30, 2015

Mad Science Winter Party

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! I took some time to unplug a little bit over the holiday, so I have very few photos of our Thanksgiving celebration. It was nice to be able to put the camera/phone down and not feel the pressure to get the perfect shot or document every moment of the day, but I'm kicking myself a little bit that I didn't at least get one shot of the kids in turkey hats or a photo of the insane amount of food we consumed! Three turkey dinners plus leftovers for days (weeks?)! Mim has taken it upon herself to single-handedly eat the remaining 10 pounds of mashed potatoes. Mac has been eating rolls like he's carb-loading for a marathon. The sweet corn didn't make it past the second meal. The stuffing was my best yet. And Ryan deep fried his own bird, just so he could eat as much as he wanted. We have a ton leftover and he only really likes the dark meat, so I'm planning on turning the white meat in a spicy hipster turkey ramen soup this week (recipe coming soon, I hope). 

Anyway, I previously mentioned that Mac and I had the opportunity to attend a Mad Science winter/holiday event for bloggers last weekend, so I thought I'd share those photos instead of more photos of food. I'd never heard of Mad Science before we were invited, but I'm really impressed with what a fun concept and great idea this is. The premise behind the company is simple: get kids excited about science. And they really deliver. The holiday party was a cross between a magic show and a hands-on science lab. It had a bit of a "winter" theme, so some of the experiments were things like making fake snow, melting a styrofoam snowman and some fun stuff with dry ice. The kids got to see experiments done by the scientists, but they also got to participate in their own projects, like making slime and popping bubbles made from dry ice and soap, which released fog when popped (trust me, it was cool). 
Mac was a bit on the young side of the attendees (recommended for kids age 4-12), but it definitely held his attention (and mine). He's not much for sitting still, but he did a great job and was fascinated by the experiments. The older kids were able to participate a lot more, since they had a better understanding of science and the questions, but I'm glad we went. It sparked a lot of curiosity from him about snow, fog, fire, slime and ice. This has me thinking that we need to start doing some fun experiments at home, like making a volcano, rock candy and the oil/water mixture ocean. 
Mad Science doesn't have a physical location in St. Louis, so instead they come to you and can make any classroom, gymnasium, living room or conference room into a science lab. They offer summer camps, host special events and even do birthday parties. How much fun would a "science" themed birthday party be? All the kids could have safety goggles and lab could serve food and drinks out of test tubes and beakers...decorate with periodic tables and equations.  I love it!
Oh, and did I mention they make cotton candy for you on the spot?! It was fresh, warm and delicious. I may have eaten my serving and Mac's. That alone was worth it!
So yeah, we had fun! I think this would be a blast for any school-aged kid, particularly if they're into science or magic. It looks like they're based out of Quebec, but have franchises all over the US, so it's not just a St. Louis thing. However, if you are in St. Louis and are interested in booking a party/event, just mention this blog and you save $20! 

Are your kids into science?  
Are there any science experiments you love doing with your kids?

*I attended this event free of charge in exchange for a review. All thoughts, opinions and original photography are my own. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope you are all having a lovely Thanksgiving weekend. We've had a bit of a rough week, but we're hanging in there and getting through, slowly but surely. I haven't been on social media much this week, which has actually been a nice change of pace. We are choosing to focus our attention on each other face-to-face this holiday and have been counting our blessings everyday. If you have the opportunity to spend time with friends and family over the weekend, be sure to give your loved ones a big hug and let them know how much they mean to you. Life is short, nice to each other out there.  Love you.  

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Holiday Blog Hop :: Peppermint Bark Rice Krispie Treats

Hi friends! The holiday season is officially here and all the Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts are coming together to share the best of holiday treats, decor, crafts, drinks and more! Not only are we sharing our favorite holiday content, we'd love it if you joined us and linked-up your favorite holiday posts from your blog each week. This week, from November 22-28th, we’re featuring all of your best holiday sweet treats! If you have a post that fits the bill for this category, directions on how to link up with us are below! This is a great way to discover some new blogs, get new ideas and make your posts accessible and pinnable for others!  I hope you'll join us!

This week's hostesses:
The kids and I decided to make Peppermint Bark Rice Krispie Treats for our holiday sweet treat. Peppermint bark is one of my absolute favorite holiday indulgences and I thought this might be a fun way to mix things up a bit and combine it with one of the kid's favorite items - Rice Krispie Treats! It might sound too good to be true, but trust me, it's a match made in heaven!
I love getting the kids involved in the cooking process.  Mac is convinced that he can read the directions off the box and tells me step by step how to make everything. He not only loves bossing me around, but he loves coming up with ingenious directions like, "everybody has to eat 6 marshmallows before we cook" and "it says that Mac gets to lick the chocolate spoon anytime he wants." He's a tricky one. 
I let Mac open the butter, pour in the marshmallows, stir the mixture, measure the cereal and stir it all up. He's quite a good little helper when I let him play a part in it. I've even found that when he helps me make dinner, he tends to eat quite a bit more of the food he helped make because he's so proud of it. This is how I've gotten him to eat meatloaf, broccoli casserole, lasagna and curry. 
Obviously, he doesn't need much assistance in getting motivated to eat rice krispie treats (which he calls, "Rice Christmas Treats"). For all his help and patience I let him "lick" the spoon! 

UPDATE!! For those that mentioned always having rock hard Rice Krispie Treats or wondered how I got big unmelted chunks of marshmallow in mine, check out the recipe below for a top secret baking tip! After I melt the marshmallows and butter and mix in the cereal, I mix in MORE marshmallows and then put it all in the pan to cool before they can melt completely. 
Since I was in the spirit of being an awesome mom and letting him help in any way he could...and since I did need the peppermints broken up into smaller pieces...I just may have let Mac go at the candy with a hammer. Looking back now I suppose this might not have been the best idea I've ever had - not because he didn't do a good job, but because he did too good of a job.  Instead of broken into little pieces, my peppermints ended up smashed to smithereens! A normal human being could break the candies up into pieces without pulverizing them into candy dust, but a three-year old with a real hammer just doesn't have that delicate touch needed. Oh well, they still tasted just as good!  
That look of surprise above is when I told him we were going to put chocolate and the crushed candy on top of the rice krispie treats. It blew his mind. 
We doubled our recipe and made a TON of treats to take to nursery school and to give to all the kids in the neighborhood. It was so much fun making this with the kids and seeing how proud they were of their creation. And it was REALLY good, if I do say so myself!  (I ate at least three large pieces.)
- 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 10 cups mini marshmallows
- 1 bag semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 bag peppermint candies (or candy canes), broken/crushed

1.  Spray pan lightly with cooking spray (or butter), set aside.
2.  In a large pot over low heat, melt the butter. Once butter in melted add in 8 cups mini marshmallows, stirring constantly.

3.  Once the marshmallows are melted, remove from heat and stir in your cereal and salt until coated in melted marshmallow. 
4.  Stir in the remaining 2 cups of mini marshmallows until mixed, but not melted.
5.  Pour mixture into prepared pan and press in evenly.
6.  Melt chocolate chips in a double broiler or in microwave until smooth.
7.  Drizzle chocolate on top of rice krispie treats and spread evenly with rubber spatula.
8.  Sprinkle broken peppermint candies on top of melted chocolate.
9.  Allow to cool completely before cutting. 
10.  Enjoy!!

How to Participate:

  • Link up your favorite holiday sweet treat by putting the URL and name of your blog post into the InLinkz widget below.
  • Visit 3-5 other blogs in the Holiday Blog Hop and leave a comment on other posts.
  • Share this Holiday Blog Hop with your friends and readers on social media using the #SavvySassyHoliday hashtag.
  • Don't forget to head over to Savvy Sassy Moms next week to link up for Week 3 which is all about Dazzling DIY (decor, gifts, etc.)!

Friday, November 20, 2015

5 on Friday - Volume 18

ONE. I was looking for a photo last night and came across some pictures of me as a kid. I can't help but laugh at the one on the left, where I'm wearing my grandmother's curlers and makeup. And now I know where Mac gets his love of cake batter. I posted another one on Instagram last night that looks so much like Mim that I thought it was her for a minute. Genetics are so cool. 

TWO. I found myself the perfect Christmas present. Now I just have to figure out how to get on Santa's "nice" list. Wish me luck.  (yes, that's my hand and that ring is totally real and costs like a bajillion dollars)

THREE. Exactly two years ago today I found out I was pregnant with Mim. And I was shocked. I'd been seeing my fertility specialist after our loss and subsequent cycle drama, but hadn't even started the fertility drugs yet. I'd just spent a long weekend on the beach in Naples with Mac, another long weekend with friends and family in Chicago, gone to a couple happy hours, a wedding and a Pink concert! After all of that, I was convinced that it was a false positive or a chemical pregnancy, but by the grace of God it stuck. I can't even begin to tell you what an emotional wreck I was both before and after we found out. Well, I wrote this post two days before I found out, so it was like hitting rock bottom and then getting the best news of my life all within the same week. This week will forever be etched in my mind as one of the best ever.  

FOUR. Tomorrow, I'm taking Mac to a Mad Science holiday party and I'm so excited! He's been doing some science projects in nursery school and has been asking a lot of science-based questions lately, so I'm hoping this will be right up his alley! Last week he told me that bats and owls were nocturnal and when plants die they decompose! Color me impressed! I love that he's interested in this stuff and am excited to encourage him to have fun exploring science. I just recently heard of this company, which sounds amazing. They do birthday parties, workshops, events, camps, etc. Stay tuned next week for photos of the event and all the fun details. 

FIVE. This December I'm joining up with some of my favorite bloggers to bring you a super fun link-up called, "Visits With Santa." It's exactly what it sounds like - a place to link up your posts and photos of your children's visit with Santa. You all know I'm a sucker for a great (terrible) Santa photo and I'm really excited about taking the kids to visit Santa this year. The link-up will open December 10th on my site (and the others listed above) and run through the end of the month. I can't wait to see all your awesome Santa photos and hope you'll link up with us! No worries if you don't have a blog, just use the #VisitsWithSanta15 hashtag on the social media platform of your choice!

Happy Friday!!