Scrub Your Face Happy With Apple Cider

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I found this simple little face scrub recipe in Woman's World Magazine. All you need to scrub your tired face happy apparently is some apple cider and baking soda. Who Knew?

I am game for trying new things to make my tired skin look radiantly healthy and shiny with happiness, especially when there is literally one step involved!

Make this face scrub by mixing 1 Tbs. baking soda and 1/2 tsp. of apple cider together. Massage the paste over you face (works best if you have washed your face first and your skin is damp.) Then rinse.

Then you should have glowing happy skin. Mind you, I am by no means promising anything here.....and if you are by chance allergic to apples, cider or baking soda, please DO NOT TRY THIS!! But if you have a few free minutes and are up to a little pampering, then here you go!

Happy (gentle) Scrubbing!!

Pumpkin Sauce For Pasta - Who Knew?

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I have been finding all kinds of fall recipes that use pumpkin in them, mostly desserts that sound delicious. But this recipe for a pumpkin sauce that I found online is a first for me! I have truly never thought about using pumpkin filling in a pasta - maybe that's just me though??

Anyway, I thought the recipe sounded very fall-like, so I may just have to give it a try (though something tells me this one might not go over big with the kids. Maybe a dinner for two with the hubby??)

Pasta With Pumpkin Sauce 

Ingredients:

1 pound(s) radiatore or other short pasta
1 1/2 cup(s) broccoli florets
8 ounce(s) turkey breakfast sausage, casings removed (**I will be using veggie sausage instead**)
1 teaspoon(s) pumpkin pie spice
1 1/4 cup(s) non-fat half and half
1 cup(s) canned pure pumpkin
2 tablespoon(s) brown sugar , packed
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
1 teaspoon(s) olive oil

To Make:

Cook pasta according to package directions, adding the broccoli to the pot during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain the pasta and broccoli and return it to the pot.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Drain off any fat.
Sprinkle the spice over the sausage and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the half and half, pumpkin, sugar and 1/4 tsp salt and bring to a simmer; simmer for 1 minute.
Add the pumpkin mixture to the pasta and broccoli and toss to combine.

I am so interested to try this because I just can't decide if it sounds good or not. Hopefully it will be delicious - either way I will report back after our taste-test!!

Kids Books To Replace Happy Meal Toys

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Starting next month, McDonald's says they will be replacing those 'coveted' happy meal toys with kids books. The big switch will only be for the first two weeks in November though, and is being done in conjunction with the literacy advocacy group, Reading is Fundamental.

Ironically enough, the books, which will be distributed in McDonald's kids meals from Nov. 1 to Nov. 14, are going to feature original characters in nutrition-themed plots. So while they munch on their happy meals, kids can learn about making healthier eating choices.

The books that will come with the meals were all created specifically for McDonald's and include characters like a voracious goat who struggles to eat right and a diminutive dinosaur who grows tall with good nutrition.

No matter what parents might think of McDonald's happy meals in general, getting kids to read is always a good thing. So I am hoping that the book idea is a big hit and sticks around longer than planned. Or at least makes  return appearances frequently.

If you want to read some tongue in cheek book titles people are coming up with for this campaign, check out the hashtag, #McBooks, on Twitter.


Autumn Love: Baked Apple-Cranberry Dessert

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Nothing says Autumn has finally arrived like baked apples bubbling in a casserole dessert in the oven.. Add in some juicy good-for-you' cranberries, and this should be a perfect contender for one of the yummiest fall desserts ever.

This baked apple-cranberry dessert recipe had my mouth watering before I had even finished reading the directions. I decided that the kids and I would try making this as soon as we got back from our library trip this afternoon - and I can't wait. I am sitting here imagining the awesome aromas that will fill the house when the apples and cranberries start to bake....oh my!

Plus, this looks like a pretty easy-peasy recipe - the kind I heart:


Ingredients 

1. 5 medium-sized Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch slices
2. 1 cup fresh whole cranberries
3. juice from 1/2 a lemon
4. 1/3 cup sugar
5. 1/2 cup flour 

TOPPING
6. 1/2 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
7. 3/4 cup brown sugar
8. 1/4 teaspoon salt
9. 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
10. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
11. 1/3 cup cold butter, cut into cubes 

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a large bowl toss together apple slices, cranberries, lemon juice and sugar. Pour into a greased 8x8 inch baking dish.

3. Make topping. Mix flour, oats, sugar, salt and spices in a large bowl. Blend in butter, using a pastry cutter or your fingers, until the mixture resembles small peas. Sprinkle over apples.

4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until apples are bubbling and topping is brown and crisp. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

Recipe comes from Shine - and they have lots more Autumn dessert ideas to check out as well!!

Halloween Buzz: Chris March Spooktacular Wigs At Target

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Chris March from Project Runway is teaming up with Target (my all-time happy place to shop!) this Halloween! He will be showcasing his foam Halloween wigs for adults - and from what I have seen, these are some pretty Spooktacular looking creations.

March's collection features eight very large foam wigs, all priced $20 and under, that can easily turn any parent into an instant Halloween hit. There are eight wig styles you can choose from: Geisha, Greaser, Starlet, Witch, Medusa, Monster Bride, Mohawk and Afro.

These will make such easy-peasy Halloween costumes for us tired moms and dads all on their own. Really, they look awesome. Being that they are made out of foam, I am assuming they will be lightweight and comfy enough to wear while out with the kiddos trick or treating.

Plus, for the parent that has the energy and wants to go all out this Halloween, these wigs make an excellent starting point for some outrageous costumes - just add face paint and the right fun clothing!

Look for Chris March's Halloween Wigs at Target and Target.com starting September 15 (and get a sneak preview here!)

Citrus Lane Delivers Fun Toddler Gifts To Your Front Door!

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If I still had toddlers at home, I would be so intrigued by Citrus Lane. This is a company that delivers surprise packages to your front door every month. Inside are awesome kids products especially selected for your child.

Tofu Popsicles - Healthy Vegan Style Treats

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We try to eat a vegetarian diet as much as possible around here, and I actually cook a lot with tofu. It is really a very healthy inexpensive food that can be used in so many recipes. So here is a tofu Popsicle recipe my kids love on hot days. I promise these taste way better than they sound!!

Tales of a 4th Grade Mom

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As of tomorrow, Thursday August 15, I will officially be the mom of a 4th grader. Again. I have been a 4th grade mom 4 times before. There is something about this grade that hits me hard - like a punch in my stomach. This grade - the 4th grade - signals big changes to me.

Happy Books Make For Happy Eats!

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I have always noticed that when I read a happy fun type of book, I always feel better. I mean, I do enjoy a good who-done-it mystery (heart Agatha Christie so much!!) and even once in a while I will indulge in a real tearjerker