Easy Oven Baked S’Mores for a Crowd

Easy Oven Baked S’Mores for a Crowd

So, you planned an awesome camping party in your backyard complete with hot dogs and s’mores. Of course, Mother Nature can’t help but throw a wrench in your carefully made party plans and decides to rain at the very start of your party. A few things immediately happen: 1. You do a happy dance that all of the tiny humans will fit snuggly on your basement sectional and an air mattress for “indoor camping”. 2. Be thankful you have a Crock-Pot for hot dogs to feed a crowd. 3. Be thankful you have an oven so the much anticipated s’mores are still a possibility.

This recipe is for the latter. All you need is a sheet pan and an oven and you’re in business!

Ingredients and Materials

  • Hershey chocolate bars
  • Graham crackers
  • Marshmallows
  • Parchment paper (optional, but helps with cleanup!)
  • Sheet pan

Directions

  1. Set oven to “Broil” and allow to heat while preparing the s’mores for baking.
  2. While the oven is heating, prepare all s’more ingredients by breaking the graham crackers in half and breaking the chocolate bars into thirds and set aside.
  1. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Add desired amount of Graham cracker halves according to the number of s’mores you plan on serving. Add a marshmallow to each graham cracker half. **Note: Depending on the heat of your broiler, it is advised to wait to add the chocolate AFTER roasting the marshmallows as the heat of the oven could completely liquify the chocolate.**
  2. Place the pan in the oven to toast the marshmallows. This should only take 30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on the temperature of your broiler. Watch the s’mores carefully as the marshmallows heat very quickly and can burn. Remove from the oven when the marshmallows start to turn a golden color on top.
  3. Add chocolate to each marshmallow and top with another graham cracker half. Serve immediately or allow to cool and store in an airtight container.
Easy Kids’ Crazy Hair Tutorials

Easy Kids’ Crazy Hair Tutorials

There are always spirit days at school, VBS, and camps. Our kids always get into spirit days and crazy hair day is no exception! I’ve pulled together a few styles that have been fairly easy, use mostly things we already had around the house, and the kids love. So, get ready to get CrAzY!

The Lizard

This hairstyle is great for boys whose hair is a little longer on top and shorter on the sides. It’s also much easier for older kids since their hair is a little less fine and soft than younger kids.

Materials

  • Hair spiking glue (we love got2b Glued and purchase it at Target, but it’s available at most grocery or beauty stores)
  • Firm hold hairspray
  • Green spray temporary hair color
  • Green and pink pipe cleaners
  • Large googly eyes

Directions

  1. Create a mohawk using the spiking glue. Create a pointed “nose” in front and down the forehead. Create a “tail” in back by allow the spiked mohawk to drift to one side.
  1. Spray the mohawk well with heavy hold hairspray and allow to dry well.
  2. Create legs and feet and lizard tongue while the hair dries. Create two legs/feet by bending both ends of each of two green pipe cleaners into the shape of feet. To create the tongue, cut a pink pipe cleaner in half and curl one end in the shape of a spiraled tongue. Bend the opposite end of the pink pipe cleaner into a hook shape to hook onto the hair when inserted.
  3. Once the hair has dried, insert the legs through the mohawk where lizard legs would be. Insert the tongue into the front “nose” of the lizard and hook on the hair inside so it will stay in place.
  4. Spray the “lizard” part of the hair with the green temporary hair color.
  5. Use the spiking glue to glue googly eyes onto the head of the lizard and allow to dry well.

The Surfer and the Wave

This is another great style for a longer boy’s cut. Longer hair on top creates a better “wave” effect. Everybody’s surfin’ now!

Materials

  • Hair spiking glue (we love got2b Glued and purchase it at Target, but it’s available at most grocery or beauty stores)
  • Firm hold hairspray
  • Blue spray temporary hair color
  • Blue pipe cleaner or other wire
  • Surfer Lego or other ocean toy (sharks, fish, or other beach toys work great for this wave hairstyle, so work with what you have!)
  • Hot glue and glue gun

Directions

  1. Create a “wave” hairstyle by a slightly off-centered, curled mohawk type hairstyle. Allow the style to dry well.
  1. While the wave hairstyle dries, prepare the ocean item that will be the wave by hot gluing a pipe cleaner to the toy. Cut the pipe cleaner shorter and create a hook shape at the end to hold onto the hair inside the wave.
  1. After the hairstyle has fully dried, spray all of the hair with blue temporary hair color.
  1. Insert the ocean toy into the wave hairstyle and hook the pipe cleaner around hair inside the wave. Spiking glue can also be used to help secure the item onto the hairstyle.

Crazy Colored Spikes

This is another great style for longer hair and is easily customizable with whatever color(s) you can find.

Materials

  • Hair spiking glue (we love got2b Glued and purchase it at Target, but it’s available at most grocery or beauty stores)
  • Firm hold hairspray
  • Colored spray temporary hair color (any color combination you like!)

Directions

  1. Create spikes with an even amount of hair in each section all over the head using spiking glue.
  2. Spray each slime well with firm hold hairspray and allow to dry well.
  3. After the hairspray has dried thoroughly, spray each spike with the desired hair color spray.

Pigtails and Pom Poms

This hairstyle is great for kids with very fine, soft hair. Our son’s hair had grown longer than normal and this style worked perfectly for his soft, fine hair that wouldn’t have spiked very well with a lot of product in it.

Materials

  • Small rubber bands
  • Hair spiking glue (we love got2b Glued and purchase it at Target, but it’s available at most grocery or beauty stores)
  • Pom poms
  • Goggly eyes
  • Any other light craft item such as pipe cleaners or sequins that can be pasted onto the hair

Directions

  1. Create several pigtails by looping or twisting hair in small sections with small rubber bands.
  2. Glue Pom poms, sequins, googly eyes, or any other small craft items onto the hair with spiking glue.
  3. Twist pipe cleaners or other craft wire into the hair for a little extra creative flair!
How to Tie Dye a Children’s T-Shirt

How to Tie Dye a Children’s T-Shirt

Well, I bought a tie dye kit from Michael’s over two years ago and I’m pretty sure our oldest has asked me to make t-shirts at least once a week since I purchased them. The youngest? Well, he’s a typical second child and says “I don’t want to do that…”. Anyways, for a first time tie dye experience this was pretty painless, so I figured I’d provide some tricks and tips I found helpful during the process. Happy dying, everyone!

Supplies

  • T-shirt or item you wish to tie-dye
  • Bottles of dye (I purchased a kit that make it pretty painless from most craft stores-if you would like to use the same one we used, you can find it here on Amazon)
  • Fork
  • Rubber bands
  • Rubber gloves
  • Large baking sheet
  • Large cooling rack
  • Large piece of cardboard

Directions

  1. Begin by sticking a fork in the middle of the shirt or item you are dying and twisting until the entire piece is twisted around in a type of cinnamon bun shape. **Note: If you want a very solidly colored tie dye, soak the shirt in water prior to twisting the shirt into a bun shape. If you’d like a shirt that has some white left in the pattern like ours is shown above, do not soak the shirt yet.**
  1. Place rubber bands evenly around the bun shaped fabric.
  1. Soak the bun shaped fabric in water. The more saturated the piece, the more solid the dye will be. The less saturated, the more white there will be. If you want solid color tie dye, soak the shirt prior to twisting and placing rubber bands around it.
  1. Sit the soaked shirt on a wire cooling rack over a large baking sheet. Apply the dye one section at a time saturating the shirt as much or as little as you’d like. The more saturated, the darker and more solid colored the shirt will be.
  2. Allow the shirt to sit and soak in the dye. You can allow it to soak overnight for a very saturated and blended look or allow it to sit for an hour or so before opening the shirt to dry.
  1. Using gloves, cut the rubber bands off of the shirt.
  1. Open the shirt and place the wire rack and pan on a large piece of cardboard to dry. Allow the shirt to dry for 24 hours. After the shirt has fully dried, place the shirt in a dryer and tumble dry on low for 30 minutes to set in the dye.
  2. Enjoy your new shirt!
Copycat Starbucks Bacon, Egg, and Gouda Breakfast Sandwich (Freezer Friendly!)

Copycat Starbucks Bacon, Egg, and Gouda Breakfast Sandwich (Freezer Friendly!)

I frequently make copycat Egg McMuffin sandwiches in large batches, so I thought, why not Starbucks Bacon, Egg, and Gouda sandwiches? They are hands down my favorite breakfast sandwich and really, it wouldn’t be all that different than the Egg McMuffin sandwiches to make in a large batch. This recipe includes a batch recipe for scrambled eggs, which can be used to feed several people breakfast as well, so it’s a win-win!

Ingredients

  • 8 Ciabatta rolls (I found them in packs of 4, so I used 2 packs-some are smaller than others, but these happened to be fairly large, so adjust your recipe accordingly)
  • 8 slices of aged Gouda cheese (double the amount of cheese if you are a cheese lover!)
  • 12 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 lb bacon, cooked (I cook mine on a microwave bacon pan, but use any method you prefer)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook bacon using any preferred method. Set aside.
  1. Add melted butter to the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish and coat evenly.
  2. Crack all eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add salt and slowly whisk milk into eggs.
  1. Pour egg mixture into the glass baking dish and bake uncovered for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the egg mixture from the oven and stir well. Bake uncovered again for an additional 10-15 minutes until eggs are cooked to desired doneness.
  1. After eggs have fully cooled, cut into 8 equal rectangles.
  1. Lay the bottom part of ciabatta rolls on a large sheet pan and assemble sandwiches with egg, gouda, and bacon and replace the top half of the ciabatta rolls.
  1. To Freeze: Wrap each sandwich in foil and place in a Ziploc freezer bag. Place in freezer.

Thawing Directions

Microwave

  1. Remove sandwich from aluminum foil and wrap in a damp paper towel.
  2. Microwave 1 minute at 50% power. Flip sandwich over and microwave 30 seconds – 1 minute on high power until warmed through.

Oven

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Bake frozen sandwich in oven for 25 minutes or until warmed through.
How to Clean White Converse All Stars

How to Clean White Converse All Stars

Although I love how white Chucks look with a multitude of clothing options, white is not kid friendly. Or accident prone friendly. So, off I searched for a great way to clean these babies. Well, it turns out there isn’t really one great way, so I combined a few that seemed to work well for me, so I hope this method works well for you, too!

Ingredients/Supplies Needed

  • Rubbing alcohol (or nail polish remover-just be careful of the red and blue writing… nail polish remover can remove it!)
  • Cotton Ball
  • 2 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 Tbsp warm water
  • Old toothbrush
  • Oxy Clean White powder laundry detergent
  • Lingerie laundry bag or pillow case
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels

Directions

  1. Remove shoestrings from both Converse.
  2. Soak a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and rub scuffs or marks on the rubber toe or around the sole to remove any stains or marks.
  3. Rinse shoes well with cold water.
  4. Prepare the cleaning solution/paste by mixing the baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and warm water in a bow. Mix this solution well and add water slowly until it forms a paste. The full amount of water may not be needed or you may need more to create the paste. Apply the paste to each shoe and shoelaces, covering the entire surface of the shoes. Let the shoes and laces sit for 30 minutes with the paste applied.
  5. Rinse the cleaning paste off of both shoes and shoelaces with cold water.
  6. Place shoes and shoe laces into a lingerie bag or pillow case and place into the washing machine. Add Oxy Clean White and wash per package instructions in a cold, delicate cycle.
  7. Promptly remove shoes from the washing machine. Hang the shoelaces to dry.
  1. Stuff paper towels into each shoe to keep the shape while drying. Wrap a thin layer of toilet paper around each shoe. The thin layer absorbs water, allowing the shoes to dry more quickly, which prevents yellowing of the shoes. Replace the paper towels and toilet paper after a few hours and repeat this process 1-2 more times throughout drying.
  2. After shoes have dried at least 12 hours, remove the toilet paper and paper towels and allow to fully air dry. Replace laces and wear those beautifully white shoes!
Green Macaroni and Cheese

Green Macaroni and Cheese

I was searching for some good St. Patrick’s Day foods to go with corned beef and cabbage and while this doesn’t exactly “go” with it, I thought the recipe was pretty interesting, so I decided to try it. The original recipe is from Food Dolls. While this recipe is delicious, it makes A LOT of mac and cheese. The recipe I’ll provide below is the full recipe, but I recommend halving this recipe if you’re not feeding many people. This makes a very large portion, but it’s absolutely delicious!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh spinach, packed
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 3/4 cups whole milk, divided
  • 1 lb cooked macaroni pasta
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup monterey jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup white cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. In a food processor or blender, add spinach, olive oil, parsley, garlic cloves, and 3/4 cup milk. Process until smooth.
  2. In a large pot, add butter and flour on medium-high heat, cook for about 1-2 minutes or until mixture is a golden color.
  1. Add WARM milk, and seasonings. Stir until it starts to thicken. Turn heat to low and add cheeses.
  1. Add “green” sauce and mix until it comes together. Add cooked pasta.
Rainbow and Pot of Gold St. Patrick’s Day Waffles

Rainbow and Pot of Gold St. Patrick’s Day Waffles

Target’s marketing department must love me… seriously, guys. So, I keep putting the Dash Mini Waffle Makers in my cart. At first I was like, “Why? Why am I doing this?”, but I have to tell you… I’m glad I did. I’ve realized how easy waffles are to make and how much the kids love them on holidays. I have officially cut myself off from buying more mini waffle makers, BUT… I’m continuing to look for new recipes. By recipes I mean thinking about what I can add to boxed waffle mix. Hey… the kids like them, they’re easy, and they’re fun!

Ingredients

  • Boxed waffle mix
  • Fruity Pebbles
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate coins

Directions

  1. While preheating the waffle iron, mix the waffle mix per box instructions. Add desired amount of Fruity Pebbles to the mix. Reserve some Fruity Pebbles in a small bowl for topping waffles.
  2. Pour waffle mix onto waffle iron. Sprinkle some Fruity Pebbles on top of the mix before closing the waffle iron.
  3. Add whipped cream to your waffles, sprinkle with Fruity Pebbles, and add chocolate coins on the side.
Cold Foam Cold Brew in… 3, 2, 1!

Cold Foam Cold Brew in… 3, 2, 1!

I love coffee. Hot, cold, large, small, flavored, unflavored, in an IV… you get the point. This recipe is the easiest I’ve found for cold foam for cold brew. I love it because it’s ingredients I keep on hand and requires minimal effort. If you’ve never made cold brew, you can find my favorite cold brew maker here!

Ingredients

  • Cold brew, any amount according to caffeine need 😉
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 2 Tbsp half and half (heavy cream will work, too!)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla syrup (or other flavored syrup of choice)

Directions

  1. Pour cold brew over ice in a glass.
  2. Combine milk, half and half, and flavored syrup in a cup and mix with milk frother. I typically use my Keurig K-Cafe to froth the mixture using the iced latte setting and it works great!
  3. Pour frothed milk mixture over cold brew and enjoy!
Curly Haired Girls, Rejoice! The BEST Blowout Hair Tool is Here to Save the Day and it’s ON SALE!

Curly Haired Girls, Rejoice! The BEST Blowout Hair Tool is Here to Save the Day and it’s ON SALE!

You guys… YOU GUYS! I haven’t blow dried or straightened my thick, wavy hair since our oldest child was 2… that was over 6 years ago. Why? My hair is THICK… like, thick thick. And wavy. Not a good combination. Sometimes it looks great air-dried with an oil (slight, loose curls) and other times it’s just like, “nope… you ain’t looking cute today without effort”. It takes 45 minutes (and sometimes longer) for me to blow dry it myself and when I do it’s a frizzy hot mess, which requires product, straightening, and a lot of crossed fingers and prayer to make it look somewhat decent. You know what? Ain’t nobody got time for that, so it’s usually a piled bun on top of my head as soon as I exit the shower, or air dry and hope it curls well (which it typically does, so I am thankful for that). If it doesn’t curl well, I add some loose waves and curls with my curling wand or straightener. If you want to see that technique and the products I use, I gotcha covered! Check it out here.

Enter the REVLON One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer Hot Air Brush. GAME. CHANGER. I’ve tried hot air brushes in the past and not one has met my expectations, so I was very skeptical on this one. Man… not only were my expectations met, but they were exceeded! The total style/dry time was around 30-45 minutes and it was sleek and perfect at the end. I think if I was going anywhere in public (thanks, COVID… I sit and rot at home even when I’m having a great hair day…) I would’ve run a flat iron through a few portions that I didn’t hit that well, but I was experimenting and going quickly, so overall, I’m definitely a fan! Here are some style tips and products I used for an (almost) effortless blow-out style:

Styling Tips

Pre-Styling

To start, shampoo and condition your hair as you normally would. If you need suggestions on great products, check out some Verb products I reviewed here. Towel dry your hair to remove any excess moisture.

Apply a good heat protector or blow-out product. I’m a fan of John Frieda for protection/volume. I also love a flat-iron spray to help protect my hair and eliminate flyaways post-style. I recommend Garnier’s products for heat protection. Comb these products through your hair with a wide-tooth comb to evenly distribute product and remove any large tangles or knots prior to styling. Allow your hair to air dry approximately 30 -45 minutes if you have thick hair. The air dry time will depend on the thickness of your hair. Allow it to dry until it’s still damp and you’ll be able to style/blow dry it. Don’t allow it to dry too long, otherwise the blow-dry heat won’t style it if it’s dry.

Separate your hair into three sections if it’s very thick: bottom (style this first), middle, and top/crown. Clip the top two sections up and focus on small sections of the bottom layer of hair. If you want your hair to curl under, start with the REVLON brush under the roots of your hair, concentrating for 2-3 seconds to fully dry the roots while pulling tightly through your hair slowly to fully dry/straighten. Curl the brush out down to create an under curl on ends. Do the same for the following two layers.

If you prefer a flipped out style on the bottom, do the reverse and use the REVLON brush on top of the section of hair you’re drying/styling and curl the brush up to create a flipped style.

If you have very long hair and want the loose wave, blowout style, use the brush on the side of the hair and alternate flipping directions to create loose waves.

When you’ve completed your style, finish the look off with a small pump of Verb Ghost Oil. Pump a small amount onto your fingertips and run it through your hair to prevent flyaways or frizziness.

Easy Naan Pizzas

Easy Naan Pizzas

This is definitely one of my weeknight go-tos when I don’t have anything thawed or planned. I buy naan when it’s on sale and keep them in the freezer. They go from freezer to oven and bake for 5 minutes. YES… 5 minutes from frozen! You can customize them any way you like-my favorites are traditional and Mediterranean or Greek. You can find mini naan or regular sized naan in most grocery stores in the bread/deli section. The best part about naan pizzas is you can use anything you already have on hand!

Ingredients

  • Naan (frozen or fresh)
  • tomato sauce (I use Basil Garlic pasta sauce because I usually have it on hand, but pizza sauce will work, too)

Toppings

You can use any toppings you typically like on your pizza. Here are some combinations we’ve tried that have become our favorites!

Traditional

  • Shredded mozzarella
  • Pepperoni (we prefer turkey-it’s less greasy than traditional)
  • Black olives
  • Mushrooms

Mediterranean/Greek

  • Fresh sliced mozzarella
  • Fresh basil
  • Kalamata olives
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Feta cheese
  • Dried oregano

Directions

  1. Preheat oven according to naan package instructions.
  2. Place all pieces of naan on a baking sheet (fresh or frozen).
  3. Add sauce to each piece of naan. Top each piece of naan with desired toppings.
  4. Bake naan pizzas in oven according to package heating instructions or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.
  5. Enjoy!