Running from the Law

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!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Shop Small - Holiday Gift Guide

I'm not sure what's up with me these days, but I've jumped on board the holiday bandwagon much earlier this year than ever before. Maybe it's because I have a kid that is old enough to "get it" this year or maybe it's because the world seems to be such a sad and scary place lately and thinking of the holidays at least makes me happy. But whatever the reason, I'm in the mood for the season! And I'm really excited to get a jump start on my holiday shopping in the hope that December might not be as crazy as it's been in years past if I'm not struggling to buy ALL THE THINGS at the last possible minute. Ideally, I'd love to have all my shopping done by the end of November, leaving the last month free to focus on family, holiday activities and fun. We're once again doing an activities advent calendar (which I'll share) and have some really fun things planned. 

And speaking of shopping, I'm also vowing to make a conscious effort to #ShopSmall this holiday season. I have a say in where my money goes and I'd really like to be sure to support small shops and boutiques run by individuals and parents and families. Instead of going to a giant corporation, I want my money to go towards a child's education, dance lessons or a family's mortgage. Shopping small means that more money goes back into the economy, into our cities and neighborhoods. Shopping small encourages individuals and creativity and entrepreneurship. So, in that spirit, I've put together a quick list of some of my favorite little shops, boutiques and creative minds to support. I hope you'll consider shopping small for some of your gifts this year too.
Sugar Bit - My dear friend Natasha runs this amazing and absolutely adorable online children's boutique. She carries ALL of our favorite brands, like KicKee Pants, Toobydoo, Hatley, Babiator, Flit & Flitter, Silkberry, Zutano and Pink Chicken. She's also got a great selection of gifts, accessories and stocking stuffers. The most fashionable stuff for every kid on your list. 

Z Dough - The most amazing, silky and vibrant homemade play dough you'll find on the market. Available in at least 12 different colors and scents. Stays softer way longer than any store bought play dough and comes in adorable little tins for quick and easy storage. I love this Fun Pack, set of your choice of 6 colors. Don't forget that you can also add GLITTER to the dough! Use the coupon code YAY10 for 10% off all orders placed before December 18th. 

StampJoy - I'm madly in love with the return address stamps from this little Etsy shop. Choose from a huge variety or amazing designs or work directly with the shop owner to create your personalized custom stamp. Comes in a self-inking stamper or a traditional wooden stamper. This one is my personal favorite - so classic and pretty.

Dolce Ave - Another shop run by a friend (and former blogger), Megan has the most gorgeous and affordable jewelry and accessories for all your girlfriends, co-workers and family members. Personally, I own quite a few of her necklaces and get so many compliments on them. I've already purchased a number of gold and black tassel keychains for everyone on my Christmas shopping list (sorry to ruin the surprise). 

Head Hand & Heart - This shop will create the most adorable custom-made family portraits, cards or family trees.  If you can't get things together for "official" Christmas card photos, do this instead! Guaranteed that everyone will be smiling and look adorable! I love these prints - you might remember the portrait Christina did of our little family when we announced we were expecting Mim. I love the idea of doing a custom family tree for your parents/grandparents or a wedding party portrait for newlyweds.

The Wheatfields - Although she's been getting tons of publicity lately, Katie Daisy has the most gorgeous, colorful and inspiring watercolor prints around.  Based in nature and focused on all things flowery and beautiful, the designs are perfect for gifting. I've given my stepmother this print, given this one to a few friends and this one is hanging in Mim's nursery. I can't get enough of them!

Margaux Makes - I discovered this adorable shop on Instagram and have already ordered a set of their amazing and colorful fabric magnetic letters and numbers for our playroom magnet board. This shop specializes in handmade plush learning and sensory toys (letters, numbers, phonics, spelling, reading, counting, math, etc.). Their products are bright, colorful, functional and make learning fun. These letters/numbers will be perfect stocking stuffers for Mac. 

cuddle + kind - This is a family run business out of Canada that recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to promote their adorable hand-knit dolls. There are 9 dolls to choose from, each with their own story, name, personality and birthday. But even better, for each doll purchased, 10 meals will be donated to hungry children through the World Food Program USA and the Children's Hunger Fund. You will not find a cuter doll with a better cause. Mim was lucky enough to receive a cuddle + kind doll and we immediately fell in love with them. Boy and girl versions of the dolls available. 

BTR Woodworks - If you're looking for a cool and manly gift for the dad/husband/grandpa in your life, check out the awesome wood products from this shop. I think the barrel stave bottle opener would be perfect for any beer drinker and the iPad stand would be awesome to use while viewing a recipe in the kitchen. They do custom orders and some items can also be personalized. 

Fish Kiss - If you have love for California, Colorado, Florida, New York, Texas, Montana or Wyoming, you absolutely must check out this adorable shop. Their state collection consists of the most adorable products (from baby leggings to pillows/blankets to prints), featuring gorgeous hand-drawn state maps. Personally, I'm obsessed with the entire Wyoming line, since we got married in Jackson Hole and I want this print to hang on my map wall. The baby blanket is also on my list for my friends with new babies in Colorado and Texas (there's another surprise ruined). 

Name In A Wooden Box - I am beyond obsessed with this shop and their awesome personalized shape sorters for kids. I love that you get to pick your colors, letters, shapes, etc. and each box is hand-made to order. While not local (Bulgaria) and may not be available in time for Christmas, keep this idea in mind for future toddler birthdays or baby shower gifts. This one might be coming our way soon for Mim.

Sweet Auburn Studio - I recently discovered this shop through a friend that lives in Alabama and have fallen in love with the adorable products they offer. I'm slightly obsessed with the tassel bracelets and necklaces and the personalized monogram leather bracelet. If you're looking for something to get me this year, I'll take anything from this shop!

Habitat Imprint - If you've got a super-cool hipster husband, brother or nephew to buy for, this is where you should be shopping. This SoCal shop offers the coolest environmentally-friendly bamboo skateboards, sunglasses and speakers. And of course you can personalize it to your heart's desire. 

Sadie Sky Boutique - This is my go-to boutique for all the adorable bows and headbands that Mim wears. The owner Jess is amazing and has perfected the little leather bow. She's recently branched out to some apparel and other accessories that I can't wait to get my hands on. I love the denim bow and Mim wears this platinum leather bow all the time. You can bet that her stocking will be filled with Sadie Sky bows this year. 

Hello Apparel - While not exactly "small" anymore, Hello Apparel is an independent company that started out as a way for artists and musicians to design, manufacture and sell their own merchandise. I still love their signature Hello shirts, which now comes in the uber-trendy buffalo plaid and their I'm So Tired/I'm Not Tired mama/baby merch. 

Wooden Caterpillar - Another not local (Russia), but amazing small shop that specializes in beautiful hand-carved wooden toys for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. All the items in the shop are organic and are designed to help children develop creativity, pattern recognition and fine motor skills. They offer a variety of baby toys, wooden teethers, teething rings, rattles, stacking toys, balance toys, lacing toys, sensory toys and farm/forest animals. I love this set of leaves lacing toys and the Waldorf animals

Southern Trade Mark - If you're shopping for any Southern lady that loves a good monogram, this is your shop for all things trendy, personalized and monogrammed. Personally, I love the tassel clutch, the blanket scarf and the faux leather travel tote, but I don't think you can go wrong with anything in this shop. 

Drake Designs Jewelry - Of course I love personalize jewelry for moms, but I my favorite two products from this shop are for dads. This really cool copper keychain would be a perfect way to memorialize your children's names or birthdays, your anniversary or any special words or numbers that mean something to you. It's subtle, yet sentimental. I also love the hidden message tie clip that can be personalized on both the front and back. 

Gray Monroe - Last, but not least is this awesome women's clothing boutique, run by the always fashionable Jenny Collier (blogger extraordinaire and mom of two). I love Jenny's blog and I'm totally smitten with the items in her shop, particularly the Alicia dress, the Laura vest, the Allison top and the Angela cardigan
And because I love you, I'm joining up with some of my favorite blogging ladies to give away a little extra cash for your holiday shopping! Just use the Rafflecopter below and you could win $60 cold hard cash! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you have plans to shop small this holiday season?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Leaves of Autumn

Leaves of autumn flutter down, 
red and yellow, orange and brown. 
Cool crisp winds begin to blow
Colored leaves fall fast and slow.
In the air they swirl around 
landing softly on the ground. 
How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground.
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care.
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun.
At other times, they wildly fly
Until they nearly reach the sky.
Twisting, turning through the air
Till all the trees stand stark and bare.
Exhausted, they drop to earth below
To wait, like children, for the snow.
In the breeze they swirl around 
landing softly on the ground. 
Whirling, twirling all around,
red and yellow, orange and brown.