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The End Always Sneaks Up On Us

The beginning of the school year is my favorite. New books, projects and topics. The end of the year is always awkward. School books with different numbers of chapters than weeks, don’t line up. You finish math three weeks early, but have extra language arts and history that go beyond the school year.

Summer will be relatively short, since we’re doing summer school, again.

The kids resisted at first, thinking they’d miss out on playing with their friends, but living in the desert you don’t get out as much outside time during the hot part of the year, and they were lured in by the promise of horseback riding lessons and a trip to the Grand Canyon. Who could resist that?!

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Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse

I was first introduce to hazelnut spread by our neighbor (I was 12) and it was love at first bite. Fast forward a few years and I was in Europe, then shortly afterward living in England, and I couldn’t get enough chocolate and hazelnut. It really has to be one of the most delightful combinations possible! I’ll eat it in any form, but spread, especially with fruit or fresh bread is always my favorite. As our diets have drastically changed in the last decade, we needed a cleaner alternative to the more well know spreads, and Once Again Hazelnut Spread fit the bill!

We’ve been eating Once Again Nut Butter Amoré Hazelnut Spread on toast as a treat ever since it arrived, but today we decided to whip up some Mousse! The kids just ate all of it in one sitting along with cartons of strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries.

1 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream

1/2 teaspoon sugar

6 tablespoons Amore Spread

+++++

Whip heavy whipping cream and 1/2 teaspoon sugar on high until peaks form.

Add 6 tablespoons Amore Spread and whip again, only until mixed.

+++++

The Once Again Nut Butter website has so many recipes to try. Their company is incredible! Both fair-trade and non-gmo, with the highest quality products on the market. We can’t wait to try this mousse in a cake as we have a couple of birthday’s coming up!

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain af liate links.

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Jude Salad: The Easiest Italian Salad

When Jude was little, he was so in love with this Italian salad, that he learned how to make it himself, and would even serve it to the babysitter when she came over.  We started calling it “Jude Salad” hoping the flattery would keep him interested cooking. So far, it’s worked!

Need I mention it’s a vegan salad!? (I’m hoping that is obvious, but just in case, haha!)
easy Italian recipes for kids

Ingredients:

1 medium cucumber

1 pint of cherry tomatoes

1 avocado

1 lemon

2 tablespoons of EVOO (I like a nutty EVOO and used Zucchi. Incredible flavor!)

Fresh Basil

recipes for elegant toast

Instructions:

Slice cucumber. Halve tomatoes.  Try your hardest to make pretty squares out of the avocado. If you can’t, no problem. It never looks perfect. Drizzle the lemon juice of 2 slices of lemon, along with the 2 tablespoons of EVOO over everything in a bowl.

I personally don’t even salt it, just pepper, but I think most people prefer salt, so you can try both and tell me what you like best.

We use the remainder of the lemon to flavor our Pellegrino. (Jude’s also obsessed with Pellegrino.)

This salad is ALSO a yummy Italian twist on avocado toast! 

(I know this is a major trend right now, but we’ve always eaten avocado toast, and even when the trend dies out, or should I die first, it will be served at my funeral.)

cucumbers tomatoes basil extra virgin olive oil

Authentic olive oil is a staple in our house, and can we use just any old olive oil? Nope! Because I’m addicted to the flavors of the oils of Europe. There is so much variety, so you neeeeeddd to find one you love!

Spanish oils are typically golden with a nutty flavor. Italian is often dark green with a more earthy flavor. French oils are typically pale with more mild flavor.

If you still need more help choosing an oil, visit Flavor Your Life – it’s extremely educational! Their mission is to educate North Americans about the benefits of Authentic EVOO, and more specifically European oils!

I’ve followed these general rules for the last 10 years and they haven’t failed me yet:

It must be in a dark glass bottle, and then stored in a dark, cool place.

I only buy small quantities, since I like it to be as fresh as possible since we eat it mostly uncooked and I am a taste snobbbbbbb.

COLD-PRESSED, Extra Virgin. Always.

And European (aka “real”) oils are my most favorite of all! After all, olive oil originated from the European olive trees. The centuries old practices in Europe have clearly perfected the oil process!

how to choose the perfect olive oil

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affliate links.

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Park it right here

Impromptu photos in the parking lot. With some random car,  a couple walls, and four cute kids.

old cars in photo shootposes for four kidsvintage mercedes photoshootgetting good vintage photosadoption is love siblingsorange county photographer

No one tell Ever she looks like a mime in her favorite outfit. She’s afraid of mimes, so she’d probably never wear it again!

how to make your kids love each othersiblings playinggirls Louis and Louise clothescrazy sibling lovesiblings who fight but still love each other#adoptionrocksparking lot vintage photos

 

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One Out Of Two Ain’t Bad

The girls wake up incredibly different; Zara is slow and calm, Ever is… scary. It’s like she just recharged for the new millennium. I don’t know how you can wake up laughing,because I hate waking up, but she is dynamite immediately.

Isn’t it funny how different kids look in the morning? The girls got these pajamas for our upcoming Disney Cruise – wait?! Did I mention the cruise yet?! I can’t even begin to tell you how excited we are!! Our Godparents are taking us on a DISNEY CRUISE to Mexico. We already have the countdown app running on our phone and have watched every YouTube on it out there so we can make the most of every moment on the ship. If you have any tips for us, please let me know – we’ve never done a cruise, let alone with kids, so I want to know everything there is to know!

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