Bring the Family Together this Thanksgiving with Disney's #PixarCOCO!

The anticipation was real when it came to Coco. From the moment we heard that Disney and Pixar were going to be taking on the traditional Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos. Personally, I could not wait to see how they were going to add their magical touch to an already beautiful Mexican tradition. Through all of the doubt and skepticism, Disney and Pixar came out on top and proved all of the doubters wrong. #PixarCOCO

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Very Berry Gelatina Dessert

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SienteGlade #CollectiveBias

The wonderful thing about being a Latina, is that we proudly live our life in color. We live and breathe every aspect of our life with as much color as possible. From the clothes we wear, to the foods we eat, and even the scents we surround ourselves with. Everything is bright, bold, and full of life.

The first thing that someone notices when they walk into a Latino household is probably the aroma of food in the air. As proud as we are of our delicious foods, it's also nice to welcome guests into a home that smells bright and bold. As I walk the aisles at Target for my weekly shopping, I always like to stop and check out the different scents of Glade®'s Candles and PlugIns® Scented Oils. This week I chose the Glade®'s Radiant Berries.

See those berries? That's what led me to create a Radiant Berry dessert of my own. Everyone has had gelatin at one point, but not everyone has had Gelatina. This dessert is delicious, fresh, and con sabor latino.

Here's what you will need to create a delicious Gelatina:
● Raspberry flavor gelatin
● Gelatin packets
● Condensed Milk
● Chopped berries

1. First, follow the instructions on the box for the raspberry flavored gelatin, you will need to boil water. After mixing the hot water and cold water into the raspberry gelatin, mix well and refrigerate until set. This usually takes anywhere between 2 hours and overnight.

2. Once the gelatin has set, remove from the refrigerator and cut into small cubes, set aside.

3. Chop the fruit that you want to add to the gelatina, and set aside. I chose blueberries and strawberries.

4. Next you will follow the instructions for the plain gelatin, except this time after adding the boiling water, you will also add your can of condensed milk and let chill.

5. Now it's time to combine all ingredients to create a yummy dessert. Add pieces of the cubed gelatin and chopped fruit to a cup and pour the milky gelatin over. Note: Do not fill to the rim, because the gelatin tends to expand a bit as it cools.

That's it. So beautiful and delicious. Of course, we love our bright flavors, colors and scents and with Glade® Radiant Berries™ we can Feel Bright. Feel Glade® in all rooms. For more ideas about how to add more brightness into your life, visit Glade Latino Facebook page here!

New CVS/Pharmacy y Más- Coming Soon to LA!

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with CVS and Latina Bloggers Connect, however all opinions and photos are my own. 

There are BIG changes coming to a CVS/Pharmacy near you. Keep an eye out for the newly remodeled CVS/Pharmacy y más- a new shopping experience that provides more personalized service to the Hispanic community in the Los Angeles area.

Just a few of the new services and products you can look forward to include: Fully bilingual associates and signage throughout the store, more than 1,500 NEW products (including popular Hispanic brands) of which 300 are locally sourced, a fragrance counter with trained beauty associates and lower prices on more value-sized products. Sounds great right?!

I was at the official Grand Opening of CVS/Pharmacy y Mas in Bell, CA last week to learn all about the amazing things that CVS/Pharmacy y Mas will be offering to the community. Part of the ceremony included a celebration of the accomplishments of the CVS Health and its Foundation.

Here you can see CVS Health and its Foundation presenting a $50,000 grant to St. John’s Well Child and Family Center to support under-served pediatric asthma patients in South Los Angeles, a majority of whom are Hispanic. 

The goal of the program is to help families manage the child’s asthma to ensure optimal health and reduce emergency room visits. This grant was part of the “Innovations in Community Health” grant program, a three-year, $3 million partnership between the CVS Health Foundation and the National Association of Community Health Centers.

If you're like me then, the first stop while visiting CVS/Pharamcy is in the beauty department. I love being able to pick up whatever I need and even throw in a new nail polish or two. I mean, you can never have too many. Well at the new CVS/Pharmacy y Mas the first display I noticed was ETERNAL Nail Enamel. This is one of the new Hispanic brands that you can expect to see at CVS/Pharmacy y Mas. I found these polishes on sale, 2 por $3! I loved the colors and their names: Bellisima, Tormenta, Loco Por Ti and Sirena. 

So much of what CVS/Pharamcy y Mas offers is tradition and I like that. One of my favorite go-to first aid items is Vitacilina- an antibacterial ointment. My mom has used this on every single cut, scratch, or rash for as long as I can remember. Now, when my girls have a boo-boo, we use it too. It's tradition. You will also be able to find classic herbal remedies that your abuela swears by and so many of the traditional Hispanic ingredients needed for any delicious meal.  

I have noticed that as I get older, I find joy in my shopping trips. Gone are the days of shopping for hours on end at the mall- for one item. Now, I like my shopping trips to end in success. I like to feel like I've successfully remembered every item I need and saved money. At CVS/Pharmacy Y Mas you can easily achieve success. You can pick up your prescriptions, a gift for that party this weekend, the sauce for the enchiladas, Fabuloso- since you just ran out, a bag of chips for the husband, some cute chanclas for you and the kids, and since you saved money a couple new ETERNAL nail polishes.

HINT: Another way to achieve success is to sign up for the CVS Extra Care card. I speak from experience, you will save so much money. Recently, my mom used hers and saved 95% off of her total! Check out my video above, it's just a few snaps from my day while touring the new CVS/Pharmacy y Mas. Are you following me on Snapchat? I'm easy to find, kindasillymommy.

The new CVS/pharmacy y más format will launch in 9 existing CVS/pharmacy stores throughout the greater Los Angeles area through August. Check out CVS.com/ymas for more information and keep an eye out if you are near South El Monte, Bell, Walnut Park, Santa Ana, Los Angeles, South Gate, Pico Rivera, Lynwood and Norwalk.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of CVS. The opinions and text are all mine.

Adding a Twist to Pasta with Pasilla Chiles

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PinThatTwist #CollectiveBias

One of my favorite things about cooking is taking a familiar recipe and putting a twist on it. As much as I love tradition, I love to add my own touches to traditions even more. The recipe I am sharing with you today is a twist on a recipe passed on to me from my Nina Margaret. My Nina Margaret is one of the sweetest people (and best cooks) you will ever meet and I think she would enjoy my twist on her recipe.  

When I first read my Nina Margaret's recipe for her famous pasta dish, I was a little bit intimidated because I didn't want to mess with it too much. I had never roasted chiles before and I must admit it was kind of exciting and definitely different from my day to day cooking. 

To make this savory Pasilla Chile Pasta here are the ingredients that you need:

2 Cups of Kraft Natural Cheese Mexican Four Cheese

1 brick of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened)

2 large Pasilla Chiles 

2 tsp Chicken bouillon

 1 large bag of uncooked Pasta 

(I used Egg Noodles)

1 cup of Milk

Boil large pot of water for the noodles. 

Roast the chiles over a flame until the skin blackens. I would have preferred to have roasted the chiles over a real grill, but the stove top flame worked just fine. Set aside.

Once the chiles have cooled, peel the skin from the chiles. 

Open the chiles and remove seeds. (If you like spicy food, then leave the seeds.)

Slice the chiles and saute them in a pan with a drizzle of oil.

Once the chiles are tender, add them to a blender along with the Philadelphia Cream Cheese, chicken bouillon, and milk. Blend until smooth. 

Pour cooked noodles to a casserole dish and add the sauce to cooked noodles. Top with Kraft Natural Mexican Four cheese. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until warmed through.  

This is easily an any day of the week recipe. The few ingredients that you need, including Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Kraft Natural Cheese, are already weekly staples. I love shopping at

Albertson's

 for my weekly groceries, especially in their produce section, everything is always so fresh. 

This dish is a great twist to an everyday pasta side by mixing the roasted Pasilla chiles and Philadelphia Cream Cheese, the flavor is AMAZING! 

Check out some other fun Twists to recipes by clicking

here

 and below:  

My Holiday Traditions: Tamales, Baby Jesus and Santa!

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Sears and Latina Bloggers Connect.
I am so thankful to have only wonderful memories of the holidays. As a kid you mostly look forward to the presents, but the gifts aren't what last. The memories are what last a lifetime. I feel so blessed to be able to remember and share some of my fondest memories with you all, starting with one of my favorite holiday traditions: shopping for that special dress just for Christmas. A few days before Christmas, my mom would take me and my sister to Sears to buy our special Christmas dress, tights, and shiny new shoes. Going to Sears is a tradition, since my Grandpa Lara worked there for more than 50 years, Sears was also where mi abuelita would take my mother and her siblings as children. 
Each year of my childhood, Christmas Eve was spent with my Mother's side of the family, my grandparents, many aunts and uncles and about 20 cousins. The house would burst with the laughter only cousins could share, the smell of my grandmas tamales, and the alcohol induced adult conversations that as a child, made no sense whatsoever. At 11:45 p.m on Christmas Eve, one of the older cousins would pass around a ceramic baby Jesus doll for all of us to kiss. I don't know the origin of this tradition of ours, but it is still alive. All these years later, our children now kiss baby Jesus before any presents are opened. 
Christmas morning was spent with just our immediate family and since I was the baby of the family, I would wake everyone up shouting "Santa was here!" The rest of Christmas Day was spent with my Dad's side of the family complete with another set of traditions. After dinner all the kids would gather around the Christmas tree and sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and just as we were finishing up Jingle Bells, Santa would come bursting through the door and everyone would take turns sitting on Santa's lap and taking pictures. 
I love that for the most part our family still gets together to spend this special time together. Although some have grown and gone down their own path, it seems that Christmas always brings us back together and now the next generation, our children, are making their own memories. Each family has their own traditions that they hold close to their heart. The article How My Latino Family Does Christmas Differently, talks about the different ways this particular multi-cultural family celebrates and how they have adapted over time.

Let's talk Christmas, tell me: 
What traditions do you hold close to your heart? What traditions have been passed down from past generations? What is your favorite holiday memory? 

Must See Movie of the Year: The Book of Life! (Now In Theaters)

The Book of Life is now in theaters and I must admit, I've already seen it twice! It has taken me a week to really be able to put into words how much I love this family friendly, culturally rich, beautifully animated movie for all ages. The Book of Life produced by Reel FX Creative Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox is written and directed by Jorge Gutierrez and produced by Guillermo del Toro, the film stars the voices of Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, and Channing Tatum with supporting roles by Kate del Castillo, Ice Cube, Ron Perlman, and Christina Applegate.
The film tells the amazing story of friendship, love, courage and family. Yes, the movie talks about death, in fact one of the funniest lines of the movie is "What is it with Mexicans and death?" but don't worry. This movie is not just about the day of the dead, it is about the Book of Life, it is about remembering your loved ones who have passed away and the importance of keeping their memory alive. I don't even want to spoil the movie by telling you the whole story, you really just have to go see it for yourself for that.
Before the movie premiered I was invited to screen the film with some of my fellow Latina Bloggers and had a fun afternoon of face painting and cupcake decorating. Here I am with La Muerta herself, the Goddess of the Land of the Remembered. 
My girls have been impatiently anticipating the release of this film for a while now, and now that they've seen it, they just can't stop talking about it. You can only imagine how excited my girls were when they saw their happy meal came with a bucket and stickers featuring the characters from The Book of Life. They just love Maria.. and Chuy, her beloved pig.

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Just saw #BookOfLife and I'm in the spirit. The movie was amazing! Beautiful, colorful, romantic, sweet and funny!

I had an amazing makeup artist by the name of Ericka Agosto who gave me this fun look for the day.

Check out the trailer for the movie and go see it. I promise you, you will not be disappointed. In fact, you will laugh, cry, be amazed and probably recognize a song or two that were hidden little gems that totally made me smile. I've already downloaded the soundtrack! It's so fun! 

Have you seen The Book of Life? What did you think? Do you celebrate Dia de los Muertos? 

Raising Awareness for Domestic and Financial Abuse with my #PurplePurse

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Allstate Foundation® and Latina Bloggers Connect, however, all opinions are my own. 

This is not an easy thing to talk about, in fact, it's one of the hardest topics to address. As difficult as it may be to talk about, it is a topic that definitely needs to be addressed. I'm talking about domestic violence. Domestic violence affects 1 in 4 women in her lifetime. What a scary statistic right? How about this: 1 in 4 women is more than women affected by breast cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer combined. 
To be clear, I've never been a victim of domestic violence. Although I've never been a victim myself, both my husband and myself have been witness to domestic violence and have our own very different personal experiences with it. (Out of respect for our families, I have chosen not to go into the unfortunate details.) However, I feel that within my culture, domestic violence and financial abuse has been all too common in the past. For a long time, women would start families and get married before they were financially stable and would have to rely solely on the man in the relationship. Most people only think of the physical abuse, however, financial abuse happens in 98 percent of all cases of domestic violence.
Allstate Foundation Purple Purse is bringing awareness to financial abuse. I had never considered financial abuse as a form of domestic abuse before now. But in 98 percent of all cases of domestic violence, it is financial abuse that traps women in abusive relationships. The number one reason domestic violence survivors stay, leave or return to an abusive relationship is that they don’t have the financial resources to break free. The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse is working hard to change that. By raising awareness and funds for more than 140 national, state and local domestic violence organizations, Allstate Foundation Purple Purse aims to break the cycle of violence in our nation, one family at a time.
PurplePurse.com has important tips and tools to help you recognize domestic violence and financial abuse, talk about it and end it. You can help ensure domestic violence survivors are not financially trapped in an abusive relationship by joining the Purple Purse Challenge. Open your heart and wallet to stand up for survivors and the organizations that serve them at PurplePurse.com.
If you or someone you know needs immediate help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline
at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

We are Back to School with #NoMoreTangles and a fun #Sweepstakes

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with JOHNSON’S® NO MORE TANGLES® and Latina Bloggers Connect.

Are you back yet? We are about to end Week 2 of this school year and I am proud to say, we are getting back into the swing of things around here. For us, morning time can get a little hectic, but our morning routine, goes something like this:
First, I wake everyone up as gently as possible, hoping for good moods.
Second, we brush our teeth and use the restroom. They are finally old enough to do this on their own.  
Third, it's time to get dressed. This has gotten easier since I started picking out their clothes the night before. 
Fourth, we have a small snack to help get us going. Usually, half a pop tart and some milk, oatmeal, or toast. 
Fifth and last before we leave the house is the brushing and styling of the hair.
A few weeks ago as we prepared for back to school, our family hairdresser Aunty Tricia cut about 10 inches off of this soon to be kindergartner's hair. She agreed to a "big girl" haircut, but for me, I was happy it would be less hair for me to manage. 
We are a #NoMoreTangles family and use the 3 step regimen every day to help their hair stay healthy and manageable. 
The three-step regimen is essential for maintaining healthy-looking and nourished hair.
● Step 1: JOHNSON’S® NO MORE TANGLES® Shampoo & Conditioner leaves hair beautiful and easy to manage.
● Step 2: JOHNSON’S® NO MORE TANGLES® Leave In Conditioner controls wild frizz and tangles for silky, shiny hair.
● Step 3: JOHNSON’S® NO MORE TANGLES® Detangling Spray instantly unlocks stubborn knots in wet or dry hair.
Now let me share with you one of our favorite easy hair styles for back to school. Back to school hair has to be quick and easy but of course, stylish right?
  1. I part her hair from both sides of her temple, back and across the back of her head. I like to tie back the rest of her hair to keep it out of the way.
  2. Part a section from the top of her head and tie with a rubber band. 
  3. Part another section and grab that and the previous little pony tale and tie with another rubber band. 
  4. Grab the last section of hair and the previous pony tale and tie with the last rubber band. Let loose the rest of the hair and that's it! An easy and cute way to style your hair for back to school. 

I love this hairdo and it can be dressed up with rubber bands to match the outfit of the day or add a bow! 
What are your favorite back to school hairdos? I know you took pictures of your little ones on their 1st day of school, everyone does! So why not share their hair back to school hairstyles?

Enter #NoMoreTangles sweepstakes for a chance to win $5,000! Share their hair! Take a picture of your littles back-to-school hair style and share it via Instagram using the hashtags #NoMoreTangles and #Sweepstakes. One lucky winner will win $5,000, you have until September 15th to enter. Fun! 

Let's Celebrate Bilingual Literacy Month with Read Conmigo and a Giveaway!


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Read Conmigo and Latina Bloggers Connect. As always, all opinions are my own. 
We have all heard the importance and benefits of being bilingual and raising bilingual children. I have learned this the hard way. I am a Latina, born and raised in East LA and although I can understand and follow along with a lot of Spanish conversations, and know a good amount of vocabulary, I never learned to speak it fluently. My mother never really focused on teaching me and my sister how to speak in Spanish, and because of that, we were never able to fully communicate with our own abuela. 
 This is where I take responsibility: When I was in high school and had to take a foreign language I opted to take 3 years of French. I know I was such a rebel. Well, when I got to college and attempted to take Spanish, I failed it. I had the hardest time going from the Spanglish that I knew, and the "proper" way to speak Spanish. It is unfortunate and it is something that I regret. I vow to not pass on this disadvantage to my children. 
My girls will learn to speak Spanish. Although, I've done my part, I have to thank Dora the Explorer for helping make learning a new language fun. Now, as my girls are getting older and in the beginning reading stages, I am ready to help them, with Read Conmigo.
Read Conmigo, sponsored by Infinity Auto Insurance, is a parent-focused bilingual literacy campaign that encourages Hispanic parents to read to their children at home through the distribution of free English-Spanish children's books. The program has already distributed more than 750,000 free books to classrooms and Hispanic families, and receives support from more than 9,200 educators. The campaign creates opportunities for new Hispanic authors and illustrators. Infinity Auto Insurance employees, along with Read Conmigo authors and illustrators, engage their communities at special events, schools and libraries to foster bilingual literacy in young readers.
The other day I was lucky enough to attend a celebration of #BilingualLiteracyMonth at Ford Blvd Elementary School in East Los Angeles, not too far from where I live now. We were treated to a bilingual reading from renowned Latino children's author Antonio Sacre. Sacre also shared some great tips on how to engage your child while reading together. 
  • Discuss the illustrations and ask you child what they think is going to happen in the story.
  • Be excited when reading and your child will be excited too! 
  • Stop and discuss what just happened in the story, and how they feel. 
The Los Angeles Board of Education declared that Read Conmigo and Bilingual Literacy Month for it's commitment to education and for promoting bilingual literacy. 
Look at all of those happy faces holding up their new book!



 
This is an example of a book you can download and read to your child. Read Conmigo also offers so many resources like personalized printables, reading charts, activity kits, flash cards, memory, and coloring pages. 


La Familia de Hoy and Johnson's Healthy Essentials

Hola! Just an FYI: This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson and Latina Bloggers Connect, but all opinions are my own.

Last year, I told you all about Johnson & Johnson's search for La Familia de Hoy. All families involved were really great representatives of values that many consider important, but only one family could win the title. The results are in and last December, Johnson & Johnson revealed the lovely Jiménez familia as 
Juan (padre), Biviana (madre) and their three children: Elisa, Diego and Benicio are a modern, active, multicultural family – representative of all the values that Hispanics consider to be most important.
The Jimenez family is part of a larger family, including brothers that live right next door and abuela living in the house with Juan and his family where she raised her children. Pretty much exactly like my current situation. My husband and I are raising our family, in the same home that I grew up in, along with my parents. We are a multi-generational household and that is what make us also la familia de hoy. 
My daughters are being raised in a household with many people that love them. I love that I get to share everyday moments, like bath time, with my parents. Although, I am the one bathing my girls, everyone can smell them when they are nice and clean from across the house.
 Managing hair is a big deal when you are raising two daughters. I spend a lot of time washing, brushing, combing, styling and taming two heads full of long and wild hair. We love Johnson's No More Tangles line in this household, it definitely helps make my life easier and it smells so good. I love everything about Johnson's Baby Shampoo and Conditioner, especially it being super gentle, so if it gets in their eyes, and it always does, there will be no tears. Also, with their long "Rapunzel" hair, we use Johnson's No More Tangles Leave In Conditioner, which helps controls frizz for silky and shiny hair. It is a total life saver around here.
Tell me: Do you consider yourself la Familia de hoy?

"When life gets tough, Women rise above it"

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with the makers of Pine-Sol® Products and Latina Bloggers Connect, however, all opinions and commentary are my own.

Who is your role model? According to a recent survey* 86% of women ages 35 plus, say their biggest female role model is someone they know personally, not a celebrity or political figure. Women see the best female role models as a family or community member. To recognize and celebrate the remarkable women among us, Pine-Sol® has teamed up with actress and activist Rosie Perez to launch the ‘When Life Gets Tough, Women Rise Above It’ campaign.

As part of this awesome campaign, Pine-Sol® donated $25,000 to Women Empowered, a nonprofit based in Los Angeles that connects, educates and supports women of all ages and backgrounds, inspiring them to give back to their communities.

From now until January 31, 2014, women across the country are encouraged to contribute their own stories of triumph to Pine-Sol’s® collection of stories by visiting www.WomenRiseAboveIt.com or www.LasMujeresNoSeRinden.com.

Here is my story.
I rose above... grief and heartache. 
I am rising above and I am staying strong. 
It has been 6 years since my son was born and passed away. The thought of not bringing my son home was never even a possibility in my mind. His room was ready for him, his clothes were washed, the car seat was in the car. After he was born, the doctors discovered an inoperable heart condition and told us he could not be saved. 
As most could only imagine, as a first time mother, I was heart broken. I was able to spend a week straight holed up in our apartment with my husband, just being together. Once my husband returned to work, reality hit that I was on "maternity leave." I spent the day in bed or on my couch with my dog and cat. I even needed my mother to come drive me to the grocery store, because my focus was just gone. 
The hardest part of my healing came a few months later when I had to return to work. I worked at a school, and the last time my students saw me, I was very pregnant. I had to return to work and explain to a bunch of 12-17 year old's what happened. It was really tough for a few days, because for each absent student, I had to explain it again the next day. 
Now, 6 years later, I write about my son on my blog and share my story hoping to give other grieving mothers hope that it will get better. I have two beautiful, smart and healthy daughters that fill my day with fun. This is my story of triumph. When life gets tough, Women rise above it. Although, my heart will always ache for my son, I am proof that things will get better. 
So, what's your story? Here's your chance to share what it is that you went through to make you stronger today.  Pine-Sol® encourages you to share your story of triumph and be entered to win some amazing prizes. Check them out!

- Once a week for 12 weeks, Pine-Sol® will award one lucky winner small tokens of appreciation. (Flower bouquet + Pine Sol coupons) ARV: $150
- Three first prize winners will receive complimentary house cleaning services for a year ARV: $2,400
- One grand prize winner will be awarded an all-inclusive trip to enjoy a peaceful spa experience at a deluxe hotel. ARV: $5,000

English
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States & D.C. 18 years and older. Ends 1/31/14 at 11:59 a.m. PT. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, and prize descriptions, visit www.womenriseaboveit.com. Void where prohibited.

Spanish
SIN OBLIGACIÓN DE COMPRA. Abierto a residentes legales de los 50 estados de los Estados Unidos y D.C., mayores de 18 años. Termina el 1/31/14 a las 11:59 a.m. PT Para participar y consultar las Reglas oficiales, incluyendo las probabilidades y las descripciones de los premios, visitewww.lasmujeresnoserinden.com. Nulo donde esté prohibido.


*Wakefield Research conducted a survey among women across the U.S. on behalf of Pine-Sol® Brand Cleaners.

Peanuts! Peanuts! Get your Peanuts here! #EnergyToBurn

*This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and The National Peanut Board. However, all opinions and recipes are my own. 

The most difficult time of day for me is right about noon. At noon, I have just gotten home from picking up my monsters from two (yes two) different preschools, we all sit down at the kitchen table and begin working on homework. At this point my morning coffee has worn off, and like clockwork and practically in sync, they both say, "Mom! I'm hungry!"

I find it to be a challenge to come up with new, healthy, and creative ideas for food every day. Not only am I trying to keep it interesting for my girls, but for me too! I've noticed that around this time, we are all in desperate need of energy to help us get through the rest of our day. 

Peanuts are considered a Superfood with more than 30 essential vitamins and nutrients, including 7 grams of protein per serving. Adding peanuts as an energy booster to our day really helps get us over that difficult time of day. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate peanuts into your day. 

Instead of the usual Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I try to mix it up a bit. Here are some of my favorite ways to make a PB&J more interesting: 
  • Peanut butter and jelly sliders 
  • Peanut butter and jelly wraps 
  • Grilled peanut butter and jelly 
  • Peanut butter on celery 
  • Apples with peanut butter
  • Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Spread on a Whole Wheat Bagel thing, topped with sliced bananas. (Pictured)
One of my daughters' favorite snacks is cream cheese won-tons. As a treat I decided to try something new and came up with a Creamy Peanut Butter and Banana Fluffed Won-Ton.
1 tsp Peanut Butter
2 tbsp Cream Cheese (softened) 
2 tbsp Marshmallow Fluff
1 Banana sliced
1 pack of Won Ton wrappers
Oil for frying

Step 1: Mix the Peanut Butter, Cream Cheese and Marshmallow Fluff. 
Step 2: Place a dollop of the mixture on the center of a Won-Ton wrapper and top with a slice of banana. 
Step 3: Close the won-ton and place in the oil to fry. 
Step 4: Remove from oil and place on a paper towel to soak up the excess oil. Let cool and sprinkle with some powdered sugar.
Enjoy! I would say to be careful because they are really hot, but, you won't be able to help yourself. So, go ahead. 
So, this one is pretty classic. It's a very easy, super yummy peanut butter cookie recipe. This recipe was the very first recipe I learned when I was 8 years old. I remember thinking how awesome and easy it was to be able to bake cookies on my own and not in an easy bake oven. 

Peanut Butter Fluff Cookie Sandwich
1 cup Peanut Butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 jar of Marshmallow Fluff

Step 1: Cream together the egg and the sugar.
Step 2: Mix in the peanut butter
Step 3: Grab about a tsp of cookie dough, form into a ball, place on the baking sheet and flatten out a bit with the back of a spoon.
Step 4: Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes.
Step 5: After letting the cookies completely cool. Add about a tsp of Marshmallow Fluff on the bottom of one cookie, and top with another.

Ta-da! See, super easy. That is what I love about Peanuts and Peanut butter, it is just so easy and versatile. Considering the health benefits, how good it tastes and just how convenient it is, it's such a great addition to your daily diet. Next time you are looking for a quick, healthy snack, grab a bag of peanuts and go! 

If you want to check out some more recipe ideas or more nutritional information, you can find more information at the National Peanut Board.

What is your favorite way to eat Peanuts? Let me know in the comments below, I'd LOVE to hear more ideas for snack time for my girls. Thanks!