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1.04.2016

Best Ever Banana Blueberry Smoothie Recipe


If you are looking for easy healthy smoothie recipes to kick off the new year and even if you aren't, you'll love this banana blueberry smoothie recipe. It's simple and delicious. While we made this over the summer and during my son's chemotherapy treatment, it's a tasty choice for any time of the year. And with only 3 ingredients, you can't really go wrong.

Here's what you'll need:

1 cup Fresh Frozen Blueberries
1 cup Fresh Frozen Bananas
11 oz. (give or take) Pure Coconut Water 

Directions:
Comine blueberries and bananas in a high powered blender. Add coconut water, until fruit is just covered. Blend until smooth.

I like the 900 watt (affiliate link)  Nutri Ninja Pro or the Vitamix 5200 ( I couldn't find the exact one we use - but this one is pretty close and was a gift.) Any blender would work, but when it comes to frozen ingredients, the higher wattage ones are best. The higher powered the blender, the smoother and finer the blend. I used the nutria ninja for my son when he was in the hospital.

I prefer to purchase my frozen fruit fresh and flash freeze it for use at a later date. But off season, it's not always an option. Luckily, this week blueberries were on sale!

When I make smoothies, it's sometimes difficult to remember my smoothie recipes since many of our concoctions are "a little of this and a little of that" all mixed together. This 3 ingredient dairy free blueberry banana smoothie recipe is so simple, you won't have to worry about exact measurements. The ingredients you see in the photo below are the exact amounts I used in our healthy smoothie.



Pin it for later.
Hope you enjoy! Let me know in the comments if you make the is smoothie recipe. I would love to know!

12.14.2015

Celebrate New Year Eve at Knott's Berry Farm


Christmas is just around the corner and that means it's about time to start thinking about New Year's Eve. Growing up, I can remember trying so hard to stay up until midnight only to fall asleep. A few years, I made it to twelve and loved banging on pots and pans for all the world to hear. Last year, we had a fun family night in the middle of Luke's chemotherapy treatments. We were discharged just in time to be home for the new year and unfortunately had to return on New Year's Day.

This year, we are so excited to be visiting Knott's Berry Farm on New Year's Eve! Our favorite California theme park has so much going on at the park to help guests usher in a festive 2016.

Longer Hours
Knott's will be open from 10:00am to 1:00am on New Year's Eve. So if staying till the very last minute the park is open is your thing, you will have plenty of time to spend at the park.

Fireworks show and One of a Kind Countdown
As the final moments of 2015 countdown, look skyward towards the signature "K" tower. The Knott’s Sky Cabin will rise to the top of the “K” tower with special lighting effects on the countdown to twelve o'clock. When the cabin reaches the top of  the famous  "K" tower, the skies above Knott’s Berry Farm will ignite with a spectacular fireworks show! The New Year’s Eve Celebration is included with regular daytime admission.

Music, Dancing, Entertainment, Oh My!

Jumpin’ Joz Band and Memories Swing Dancers  Jump and jive to the sounds of Jumpin’ Joz. Swing into the New Year with style as you cut a rug with Memories Swing Dancers.  You will even have the opportunity to learn a few moves from the experts.

THE REFLEXX is the best 80’s new wave cover band around who cover songs from bands such as Depeche Mode, Simple Minds, Tears for Fears, A-Ha, The Cure, Duran Duran, and more.  

DJ Howly will be rocking it out in Calico Square. His eclectic mix of high energy music will have you ready to count down the clock. And Calico Square offers a great view of the Midnight Fireworks Spectacular. 

Family friendly comedian, Taylor Hughes Don't miss Taylor and his hilarious comedy, magic and fun audience interaction at the Boardwalk Ballroom.

Midnight Fireworks Spectacular Bang, Pop, Pow! Look to the western skies for an aerial fireworks display just off the well beloved "K" tower. And don’t miss the spectacular countdown to midnight on the Sky Cabin tower.

Get New Year's Eve Admission Free with a 2016 Season Pass
2016 Knott’s Berry Farm Season Passes are a great way to visit on New Year’s Eve. 2016 passes offer a year of family fun and includes one free visit in 2015, including New Year’s Eve!! For a limited time, Season Passes can be purchased online for just 6 easy low payments of $13.50 each. This is the best price of the year so I am told. And if you do decide to do the season pass, be sure to get the meal pass - it's a great deal!

You can follow the Knott's Berry Farm New Year's Eve fun on Social Media, by following the hashtag #KnottsNYE on your favorite social media platform!


*Disclaimer: I was provided with tickets to Knott's Berry Farm New Year's Eve event in exchange for sharing with you about all that Knott's has to offer. Thank you to Gigasavvy. All opinions in this post are my own, but if you've read any of my previous posts - you know I have been a Knott's fan since I was a little girl.

12.13.2015

Stuffed Sourdough French Toast

Stuffed French Toast is like the grilled cheese of breakfast. It's super delicious and can be made in so many different ways. 

I really didn't follow a specific recipe as we tend to kind of wing it when it comes to making breakfast, but I will share with you my steps, ingredients and as much of a recipe as I can. 

Ingredients:
1 loaf French bread
4 Eggs
Cinnamon 
Vanilla Extract
4-8oz. of cream cheese, softened.
Fruit jam of your choice (I used homemade strawberry fig jam)

Directions:
Start with a stale (fresh works too) loaf of sourdough bread.
Cut the loaf into inch thick slices with a serrated knife.
Set aside.
Beat eggs together in a shallow dish ( i used an 8x8 casserole dish), 
add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup of milk, and several dashes of cinnamon.
Set aside.
Preheat skillet to medium heat
Smear softened cream cheese and jam on a piece of bread.
Add a piece of bread on top of that and soak it on both sides in the egg mixture and cook both sides until golden.






Enjoy!

11.13.2015

What Not To Miss at Knott's Merry Farm 2015 #MerryFarm

It's hard to believe that a year has passed since last year's Knott's Merry Farm event. It was soon after Merry Farm that our lives changed forever and Luke was diagnosed with cancer. This post is a little bittersweet to write. However, I am so so glad we were able to attend that event and create wonderful family memories. Knott's holds such a special place for our family and has since I was a little girl.


We are going to visit Knott's at Christmas time again this year and I am sharing what not to miss from our many years of experiencing Knott's Merry Farm. Knott's Berry Farm is a Southern California Theme Park that is steeped in history and hometown charm, and Christmastime is no exception. While thrill rides dot much of the park's landscape (and delight my children), the park also creates so many opportunities for family memories during the holiday season.

Knott's Merry Farm begins November 21st through January 3rd.

Here is some can't miss family fun at Knott's:

Snow in Ghost Town
Last year, Snow in Ghost Town debuted to a resounding success and it's back this year! Every hour, snow will fall in the streets of the iconic Knott's Berry Farm Ghost Town. The snow fall is timed to a holiday light and music show and you won't want to miss it! And unlike that other theme park in Orange County, the snow falling at Knott's happens every hour! Tons of Christmas photos ops with falling snow.




Christmas Cabin of Awesome 
Okay, that's not it's real name, but it might as well be. One of our favorite yearly traditions at Knott's is Santa's Christmas Cabin. Get in line for a picture with Old Saint Nick, savor holiday treats, or grown ups can even sit and sip on some beer or wine. 



Snoopy's Annual Ice Show - Merry Christmas, Snoopy. 
Another annual Knott's tradition is the Snoopy ice show that is equal parts charming, nostalgic and just plain fun. Professional ice skaters wow the audience every year with fantastic ice stunts and tricks. The Ice Show only runs on select dates, so if want to see it, be sure to visit the website before purchasing tickets. Definitely worth making time for.


Yummy Holiday Food
Try the warm roasted nuts in Santa's Christmas Cabin, the boysenberry funnel cake or the gourmet coffee and pastries in the Christmas Cabin.

Seriously, these are so good!

The Christmas Craft Village
Did you know The Ghost Town area originated out of a need to keeping guests waiting in line for Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant entertained? Almost every single building in that area of the park is an original old west building! No wonder it feels so authentic. Lining the streets from the school house past the glass blower's shop in the Christmas Craft Village. Last year, my daughter chose a beautiful glass blown swan from the craft fair to give me for Christmas. 

The glass blower in action

Vintage Christmas on Engine No. 41
The beautiful train that winds it's way around the theme park is deck out during the Christmas season and filled with characters that help spread Christmas joy. This is always a fun one and a really great way to take a break from the crowds.



Stay connected to the Knott's Berry Farm holiday fun online by following the #MerryFarm hashtag on the social media platform of your choice. 

Disclosure: I am attending Knott's #MerryFarm media event later this month, thanks to GiggaSavvy. I was not compensated for this post, all opinions are my own. 

11.04.2015

6 Fun Ways to Celebrate Opening of the New Peanuts Movie!

Fans of the Peanuts Gang are eagerly awaiting this Friday, November 6th, when the Peanuts Movie hits theaters. The brand new Peanuts movie follows lovable Charlie Brown and his gaggle of pals through an all new big screen adventure. Blue Sky Studios helms the project, with the blessing of Charles Shulz's son Craig Shulz. Both the studio and Shulz have taken great care to preserve the elder Shulz's timeless legacy and bring the Peanuts Gang to the big screen. As a Peanuts fan goring up and still to this day, I can't wait to see the film.


Here are a few ways to get into the Peanuts spirit:

Get to Know the Cast
A talented group of actors voice the cast of the new Peanuts Movie. This past weekend, I got the chance to meet some of them.

Noah Schnapp plays the iconic main character Charlie. When Noah is not acting he likes playing basketball,riding his bike, and playing with his dog. Noah can also be seen Tom Hanks' son in the cold war thriller Bridge of Spies, which is currently showing in theaters.

Marliek Marmar Walker, who plays charlie's BFF Franklin, is no newbie to voice over work, he is also in the popular disney show Bubble Guppies among his many other acting credits. Mar Mar is a triple threat when it comes to entertainment - he can sing, dance and act. Mar Mar, along with his dad, even came up with a dance for the movie called the "Charlie Brown".

Francesca Capaldi Francesca voices the character of the little red haired girl. Francesca has been acting since the age of four and  may recognize her from her portrayal of Chloe on Disney's hit T.V. Show Dog with a Blog.

Alex Garfin He plays Linus, the blonde haired, blanket loving brother of Lucy. Alex has been acting since age 3 and enjoying acting, singing and playing the saxophone and trombone.

Practice your "Charlie Brown" Dance
Mar Mar ________ came up with this catchy and fun dance called the "Charlie Brown". He even has an instructional video to help your child (or you ;-) ) lean the steps. Mar Mar enlists the help of his whole family in the video and it's a treat to watch!

Mar Mar Charlie Brown Instuctional Video 1080 from marleik walker on Vimeo.

Peanutize Yourself
Wondering what it means to be "peanutized"? When you visit the Peanuts Movie Official Website, you can create your very own Peanuts Character!  Why stop there, go ahead and peanutize your entire family! You will love how your very own character turns out! Here's me with Snoopy - He's my favorite character. ;-)



Have fun with this free Peanuts activity page!
Our friends at Highlights Along the Way are sharing a free Peanuts activity page this week that is sure to get your in the movie watching mood! It would even be a great idea to bring one to do in the movie theater while you wait for the movie to start.

Visit Camp Snoopy
Camp Snoopy is a Peanuts themed play area in a number of Cedar Fair Parks including Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA.

Create a "Snoopy Selfie Collage"
If you have a stuffed Snoopy, take him along for a ride around town. Visit your city's attractions like the movie theater, library, park, beach, or special monuments and snap photos of Snoopy about town. See how many fun and creative places Snoopy can see. Preserve the fun by creating a collage on Pixlr of all the places you- ahem, I mean, he visited).

Will you be seeing The Peanuts Movie?