Take a Road Trip from NYC

Sometimes you just need to get out of the city, even if that city is as awesome as New York City. Living under the lights of skyscrapers and hearing the ever-present sound of sirens and walking down busy streets is second nature in NYC. But where do you go when you need to disconnect from city life and be grounded by a good drive? It is easy to take a road trip from NYC and leave city-life behind in as quickly as an hour. If you have more time, consider taking a one or two-day road trip and reconnect with yourself along the way.

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Take a Road Trip from NYC

Hudson Valley, NY

Hudson Valley can be anywhere from a 1-3 hour road trip out of the city. On the west bank of the Hudson River you have Bear Mountain State park that is the perfect place to have a midday picnic. During the summer you can go swimming or head over to the Trailside Museum and zoo. If you want to stretch your legs, hike the Shawangunk Ridge Trail and really see a different side to New York.

Litchfield Hills, CT

Who knew that just two hours outside of the city you could be wine tasting? A short 2-hour drive over to Connecticut and you can sip the afternoon away at Hopkins Winery and Haight-Brown Vineyard and Winery. These are not country wineries, but growing award-winning grapes for refreshing whites and sultry reds. The wineries have vineyard tours and some pretty awesome chocolate and cheese pairings. No need to head to Napa or Sonoma when you have these two little gems so close to home.

Bucks County, PA

Less than two hours outside of Manhattan, you could be soaking up a bit of history in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. If you like to drive and see covered bridges, Bucks County has you covered with 13 all along scenic back roads through the country. Stop in at The Moravian Pottery and Tile Works where you can watch local artisans at work in a living history museum. If you are an American Impressionist art fan, you have to stop in at the James A .Michener Art Museum which has one of the best collections found in the US. This area is so lush and beautiful as it is accented by the picturesque Delaware River.

 

Check out places to pitch a tent in New York

Green Veggie Crockpot Quiche

I got a new Slow Cooker for myself at the holidays and it’s made me a changed woman.  I guess I never had a great slow cooker before. I do now. Worth every penny.  Regardless, I find I am using my crockpot more and more, for all kinds of things.  Even breakfasts, which I hadn’t done much of.  Being a Sunday School teacher and having kids in a lot of activities means I often have meetings on weekend mornings, and frequently have been asked to bring a warm dish.  This Green Veggie Quiche is healthy, waist friendly, AND you pop it in the crockpot, set the timer, and voila! Wake up to fresh quiche.  Easy, peasy!!

Green Veggie Crockpot Quiche

green-veggie-crockpot-quiche

Ingredients

8 eggs

¾ C water

2 handfuls of fresh spinach

2 C frozen broccoli

¼ tsp onion powder

¼ tsp pepper

Pinch of salt

WW shredded cheese (optional)

green-veggie-quiche-ingredients

Directions

First, whisk the eggs and water in a large bowl.

green veggie quiche whisk

Now add in the rest of the ingredients until it’s all combined.

Spray the crock pot very well with olive oil.  If you don’t then your eggs could get burnt!

Once crock pot is sprayed, pour egg mixture into crock pot and cook on high for 4 hrs.

final green veggie quiche process 4

About 30 minutes before eggs are done you can add ½ C of WW shredded cheese for some extra goodness.

That’s it! Enjoy!

 

5.0 from 5 reviews
Crockpot Green Veggie Quiche
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 8 eggs
  • ¾ C water
  • 2 handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 2 C frozen broccoli
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • WW shredded cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. First, whisk the eggs and water in a large bowl.
  2. Now add in the rest of the ingredients until it’s all combined.
  3. Spray the crock pot very well with olive oil. If you don’t then your eggs could get burnt!
  4. Once crock pot is sprayed, pour egg mixture into crock pot and cook on high for 4 hrs.
  5. About 30 minutes before eggs are done you can add ½ C of WW shredded cheese for some extra goodness.
  6. That’s it! Enjoy!

crockpot-green-veggie-quiche 

 

Mini Cheddar Meatloaf Recipe

This Mini Cheddar Meatloaf recipe will introduce your kids to mixing ( by hand- gross and they will love it! ) and measuring, as well as using the timer for cooking duration and following directions. This meatloaf is simple but flavorful and gives your child a big confidence boost when they are “in charge” of dinner preparations.  Be sure to add a starchy side like potatoes and a green vegetable to round it out.

mini-cheddar-meatloaf

Mini Cheddar Meatloaf

mini-cheddar-meatloaf-recipe-card-img

Ingredients:

1- 1 ¼ lb. ground beef

1 cup shredded cheddar

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

¼ cup bread crumbs

1 Tbsp. Worcesteshire

¼ cup ketchup

1 egg

1 tsp. ground black pepper

1 tsp. onion flakes

½ tsp. garlic powder

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375℉.

In a large bowl combine all ingredients with your hands until well mixed. Remind little hands to wash well before and after.

mini meatloaf mixf

Divide into 4-5 pieces.

Form into a oblong/football shape.

Press 2 Tbsp. shredded cheese inside each and form patty around it.

mini meatloaf stuffed

Place mini meatloaves in a baking pan.

Drizzle with ketchup and sprinkle with shredded cheese.

mini meatloaf pan

Bake for 40-45 minutes until cheese is melted and edges are nearly crisp.

 

 

 

5.0 from 3 reviews
Mini Cheddar Meatloaf Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
1- 1 ¼ lb. ground beef 1 cup shredded cheddar ¼ cup Parmesan cheese ¼ cup bread crumbs 1 Tbsp. Worcesteshire ¼ cup ketchup 1 egg 1 tsp. ground black pepper 1 tsp. onion flakes ½ tsp. garlic powder
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1- 1 ¼ lb. ground beef
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcesteshire
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. onion flakes
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375℉.
  2. In a large bowl combine all ingredients with your hands until well mixed.
  3. Divide into 4-5 pieces.
  4. Form into a oblong/football shape.
  5. Press 2 Tbsp. shredded cheese inside each and form patty around it.
  6. Place mini meatloaves in a baking pan.
  7. Drizzle with ketchup and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
  8. Bake for 40-45 minutes until cheese is melted and edges are nearly crisp.

Bunny Cupcakes

It must be fun cupcake week around here.  We’re just getting ready, ready ready for the bake sale and having all kinds of holiday fun with these little cute cuppies!!  If you aren’t into the Sheep Cupcakes, check out these super cute Bunny Cupcakes! bunny-cupcakes-grass-label

Bunny Cupcakes (from scratch)

Cupcake Ingredients

(you could also use a box mix to save time) –

1/2 C. butter, softened to room temperature
1 C. sugar
2 large egg whites
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 C. milk

bunny-cupcakes-ingredients

Directions –

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the softened butter, sugar, egg whites and vanilla mixing
well. Slowly fold in the flour, salt and baking powder. Lastly, add
the milk continuing to stir.

Pour into greased muffin tins (or liners) and bake 20-25 minutes.
Insert a toothpick around 20 minutes and if it comes out clean the
cupcakes are done.

*Recipe is adapted from allrecipes:
http://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/simple-white-cake/

*Makes approximately 12 cupcakes

Bunny Ingredients/Directions –

White Cupcakes
White frosting
12 large marshmallows
pink Wilton sugar crystals
pink candy hearts (I used leftover Valentine sprinkles, you could
easily substitute a pink M&M if needed)
Wilton black gel icing
Candy eyes

Directions –

Generously frost each cupcake with white frosting and set aside.
Use a pair of kitchen scissors to snip of both ends of the large marshmallows.

Dip the sticky side down into the pink sugar crystals and place on the cupcake as the bunny’s ears.

bunny-cupcakes-horizontal

Next, give each bunny 2 candy eyes and a nose.

bunny-cupcakes-face-horizontal
Finally, use the Wilton black gel icing to make the bunny’s mouth. Simply make a J and then put a 2nd J on the other side (as shown).

bunny-cupcakes-grass
Cute and easy!

bunny-cupcakes-grass-close

For more fun Easter/Spring ideas, visit a few of my favorite bloggers:

5.0 from 7 reviews
Bunny Cupcakes
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Cupcake Ingredients
  • (you could also use a box mix to save time) -
  • ½ C. butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1½ C. flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¾ C. milk
  • Bunny Ingredients
  • White Cupcakes
  • White frosting
  • 12 large marshmallows
  • pink Wilton sugar crystals
  • pink candy hearts (I used leftover Valentine sprinkles, you could
  • easily substitute a pink M&M if needed)
  • Wilton black gel icing
  • Candy eyes
Instructions
  1. Directions -
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Combine the softened butter, sugar, egg whites and vanilla mixing
  4. well. Slowly fold in the flour, salt and baking powder. Lastly, add
  5. the milk continuing to stir.
  6. Pour into greased muffin tins (or liners) and bake 20-25 minutes.
  7. Insert a toothpick around 20 minutes and if it comes out clean the
  8. cupcakes are done.
  9. *Recipe is adapted from allrecipes:
  10. http://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/simple-white-cake/
  11. *Makes approximately 12 cupcakes
  12. Bunny Directions -
  13. Generously frost each cupcake with white frosting and set aside.
  14. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to snip of both ends of the large
  15. marshmallows. Dip the sticky side down into the pink sugar crystals
  16. and place on the cupcake as the bunnie's ears.
  17. Next, give each bunny 2 candy eyes and a nose.
  18. Finally, use the Wilton black gel icing to make the bunny's mouth.
  19. Simply make a J and then put a 2nd J on the other side (as shown).
  20. Cute and easy!

 

Four Cool Ways to Celebrate College Graduation

Attending college is one of the hardest yet most rewarding things you can do in your life. If you go straight to college from high school, you are already used to getting up early, cramming for those exams and taking them every semester. If you have a break from going to high school and then going to college, it can be difficult to get back into the swing of going to class and juggling your course load. Once you graduate, you want to celebrate that accomplishment, right?

Here are just 4 ways to celebrate college graduation:

ways-celebrate-college-graduation (1)

Take A Trip:

After 4+ years in college, you deserve a break! Take a trip to a place you have always wanted to go but did not have the time. Think big! Go for a European vacation. There are a ton of great deals you can take advantage of.

Sign Up For A Career Related Activity:

Now that you have studied hard for the career of your choice, you will be ready to get a job in your chosen field. Attend a conference, buy a business related journal or get a membership to an elite organization.

Spoil Yourself:

After all that hard work, your stress levels are probably through the roof. Why not sign up for a spa weekend to get your batteries recharged.

Show Off Your Diploma:

That piece of paper will be one of your most prized possessions. To keep it safe and show everyone your amazing feat, get yourself a nice diploma frame from Church Hill Classics.

 

My niece is graduating from college with a double major and we are so proud of her. I wanted to get her a really special gift that I knew she may not think to get herself. I knew getting her a diploma frame from a professional company like Church Hill Classics, she would really treasure it. Now she will have those valuable pieces of paper preserved forever and they are showcased in a lovely frame made especially for her diplomas.

church-hill-diploma-frame-features

All the frames from Church Hill Classics are handcrafted in the USA, and they offer a huge selection of custom frame styles for more than 1,500 colleges and universities. You can choose a frame that features a unique, color-enameled medallion from your school seal, your school’s athletic logo, a pretty photo of your campus, foil embossing of the school name and/or seal and there can even be an opening for your tassel. The attention to detail is key when you are investing in a frame for your diploma- and Church Hill makes sure to create a quality, lasting piece for you or your graduate that is made to last.

I kind of want to get one for myself.  I would probably need to dig up my diploma from Plymouth State College though!

 

Currently, Church Hill Classics is offering one of my readers a diploma frame valued at up to $200! Enter on the Giveaway Tools form below!

 

Disclosure: This post is part of the blogger program by Church Hill Classics and The Motherhood, who compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are my own, and I hope you enjoy them.

Twitter Party Recap : #AmazingInside

This post brought to you by Florida Department of Citrus. The content and opinions expressed below are that of this mama loves.

There is something Amazing Inside every serving of 100% Florida Orange Juice. A powerful mix of wholesome nutrients like vitamin C and potassium that give you long-lasting get-up-and-go. So drink in the natural sustained energy and stay in step with all of life’s amazing moments.

Thanks to all who joined us for the #AmazingInside Twitter Party on March 4. We had tons of fun!  I think those of us who live in the northeast were a little jealous of those who live in warmer climates, but that’s kind of been a theme all winter this year. 

The lucky winners! 
(1) $200 Visa Grand Prize + Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) swag
@susan1215

(1) $75 Visa Gift card + FDOC swag
@vampiregoddess8 

(2) $50 Visa Gift cards + FDOC swag
@negronsara @caseyberto 

(6) $15 Visa Gift Cards + FDOC swag
@spartygreen53 @clarissa_xplain @frugaliscious @cjsmom10 @awwlaylablu  @dits21

LOTS of partygoers had favorite citrus recipes to share. 

Join the #AmazingInside Twitter Party! Wednesday 3/4 at 1-2pm EST #ad http://t.co/Dyt8nfBK2K pic.twitter.com/wJAWxuOU0G

— Jamie Harrington (@jamieharrington) March 3, 2015

Who doesn’t love a smoothie?

Try this #floj #smoothie #recipe! It’s easy and delicious! http://t.co/4bqbOPBhd3 #amazinginside #ad pic.twitter.com/bkUN2C5hWJ

— Krystal (@KrystalS) February 25, 2015

Lots and lots of fun serving ideas were shared…

Goodness in every glass! Vitamin C, folate, potassium & no added sugar #amazinginside @AmazingInsideOJ #cl http://t.co/H5ANKNN0hi

— Christy Brissette RD (@80twentyrule) February 23, 2015

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What’s your fave way to drink 100% Florida Orange Juice as part of your daily diet?! We love to make slushies with ice and the juice.  That’s it.  So simple but SO delicious! Remember the health benefits of 100% Florida orange juice- and how refreshing it tastes!! Get your Folate, Vitamin C and Potassium in your juice glass! 

Visit Sponsors Site

Sheep Cupcakes (From Scratch)

Do you know one thing that’s just fun?  Cupcakes.  One thing that makes cupcakes so fun is the versatility.  You can do anything with a cupcake. Plain, frosted, colored, flavors, surprises, fun character and holiday themes…the possibilities are endless.  These sheep cupcakes are will make ewe smile and are great for Easter, spring, Communion, Timmy Time, Shaun the Sheep and farm theme parties.  Or maybe you just really like fun cupcakes.  I won’t judge.

We are making these s-ewe-per cute b-aaaa-aaad boy sheep cupcakes for our Sunday School Bake Sale on Palm Sunday. I’m pretty sure they’ll be a hit- what do you think?

sheep-cupcakes

Sheep Cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients –

1/2 C. butter, softened to room temperature
1 C. sugar
2 large egg whites
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 C. milk

Directions –

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the softened butter, sugar, egg whites and vanilla mixing
well. Slowly fold in the flour, salt and baking powder. Lastly, add
the milk continuing to stir.

Pour into greased muffin tins (or liners) and bake 20-25 minutes.
Insert a toothpick around 20 minutes and if it comes out clean the
cupcakes are done.

*Recipe is adapted from allrecipes:
http://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/simple-white-cake/

*Makes approximately 12 cupcakes

Sheep Ingredients & Directions –

1 package of mini marshmallows
White frosting, any brand
2 small packages of Wilton black fondant (I found mine at Walmart in
the bins in the Wilton aisle near the party decorations- my fave fondant is Satin Ice fondant)
Candy eyes
Toothpicks

DSC_0120

Directions –

Generously frost each cupcake with white frosting and set aside.
Cut the black fondant into 1″ squares. Mold the fondant gently pinching the top to make the sheep’s ears (see photo).

DSC_0130
Use one of toothpicks to spread a tiny bit of frosting onto the back fondant and give you sheep 2 eyes.

DSC_0142
Use another toothpick to make 2 nostrils (simply press the toothpick into the fondant) and then make a mouth.

DSC_0153
Place the Sheep’s head on the cupcake and gently press the mini marshmallows into the frosting surrounding his head working your way to the outer edges of the cupcake.

DSC_0225

Repeat with all the cupcakes. :)

 

Love Easter fun?  Check out our Bunny Crunch and Lamb Cinnamon Rolls– or Bunny Salad!

5.0 from 7 reviews
Sheep Cupcakes (From Scratch)
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Cupcake Ingredients -
  • ½ C. butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1½ C. flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¾ C. milk
  • Sheep Ingredients
  • 1 package of mini marshmallows
  • White frosting, any brand
  • 2 small packages of Wilton black fondant (I found mine at Walmart in
  • the bins in the Wilton aisle near the party decorations- my fave fondant is Satin Ice fondant)
  • Candy eyes
  • Toothpicks
Instructions
  1. Directions -
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Combine the softened butter, sugar, egg whites and vanilla mixing
  4. well. Slowly fold in the flour, salt and baking powder. Lastly, add
  5. the milk continuing to stir.
  6. Pour into greased muffin tins (or liners) and bake 20-25 minutes.
  7. Insert a toothpick around 20 minutes and if it comes out clean the
  8. cupcakes are done.
  9. *Recipe is adapted from allrecipes:
  10. http://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/simple-white-cake/
  11. *Makes approximately 12 cupcakes
  12. Sheep Directions -
  13. Generously frost each cupcake with white frosting and set aside.
  14. Cut the black fondant into 1" squares. Mold the fondant gently
  15. pinching the top to make the sheep's ears (see photo).
  16. Use one of toothpicks to spread a tiny bit of frosting onto the back
  17. fondant and give you sheep 2 eyes.
  18. Use another toothpick to make 2 nostrils (simply press the toothpick
  19. into the fondant) and then make a mouth.
  20. Place the Sheep's head on the cupcake and gently press the mini
  21. marshmallows into the frosting surrounding his head working your way
  22. to the outer edges of the cupcake.
  23. Repeat with all the cupcakes. :)



How to set up a blog

If you asked me in college what I would be doing after graduation, I’d have told you without hesitation, teaching preschool.  Then I graduated, and though I had a degree, excellent references and a full time position with benefits, I could not make ends meet.  Ever.  I ended up doing 2-3 jobs and babysitting at any chance I could just to attempt to break even. I got burnt out from this and ended up running a psychology practice for about 5 years until kid #1 came and I stayed home full time.  Fast forward to kid 3 being born and a few months later, I started this blog… a few months after that I started posting on it… and within a  year, I found myself helping to support our family working from home as a blogger!  Now, 5 years after starting, we have been able to continue to have me blogging from home, which allows me to help at the kids’ activities and classrooms, be a Girl Scout leader, and so many others things- because I’ve got this amazing gig where I work from home.  Could I ever have forseen this?  NO way. Would I change things?  Not at all.  I feel like one of the luckiest people I know.

set_up_blog_final[1]

How to Set Up a Blog

set_up_blog_1[1]

Start by purchasing your domain. You can do this at GoDaddy, 1&1, NameCheap, and many other websites that offer domain sales. Usually, you can get your first domain for just $.99 for the first year!

You can also purchase hosting through these websites. For example, in the image above, 1&1 offers hosting from .99 a month.

Note: I do not recomment purchasing a “website” through any of these companies. We’re going to install WordPress, and website builders aren’t always as “user-friendly” as they claim… so it’s best to use WordPress.org and learn it sooner rather than later.

RFE Hosting

Use the directions on your host’s website to install WordPress. While the process is similar across the board, there are different cPanels, navigation items, etc that are unique to your host’s settings. I like to use 1&1 because it’s simple for domains, but GoDaddy is simple because it walks you through the entire process of installing WordPress.

If all else fails, do a search for “how to install WordPress” and it will walk you through it. Be sure you are installing on wordpress.org, as wordpress.com does not allow monetization – and it doesn’t have many of the features .org does.

set_up_blog_2[1]

Log into your WordPress admin. yourwebsite.com/wp-admin is the website you will use each time you log in, so it’s best to bookmark it to save time. I put mine on the bookmarks bar so it’s super easy to access.

set_up_blog_3[1]

Look to the left on your dashboard. You’ll see “Appearance”. Hover over that, then click “Themes”. There are many FREE themes available to use, so don’t feel like you have to spend money at this point. Just be careful to choose a theme that has good ratings.

set_up_blog_4[1]

 

Once you choose a theme, you need to install it – then click Activate (or live preview if you want to see it in action first).

set_up_blog_5[1]

Now that your theme is chosen, it’s time to write your first post. I do this before installing any plugins, just to get the hang of where everything is at.

set_up_blog_6[1]

After your first post is published, you’ll notice that a few things are missing. You need to add “categories” (look on your dashboard to the left, and click “posts”), tags, pages, and plugins. With plugins, less is more. Choose a few that you “must” have, and leave it at that for now. I recommend using an SEO plugin like Yoast, as well as a spam blocker like Akismet.

set_up_blog_7[1]

Just like with the theme installation, you’ll click “install” and then “activate”. Outdated plugins can crash your website, so again, be careful and remember that less is more.

After you’ve chosen your theme and plugins, added some categories, and written your first post, now it’s time to write several more posts before going LIVE. Think about the reason you’re starting a blog, and write a list of blog post ideas. I recommend writing at least 5 posts before going LIVE, and advertising your blog.

Don’t forget to set up your social media accounts. Try to match your blog name, so it’s easy to find you across all platforms.

Want more blogging tips? Check out How to write your first blog post , 7 ways to be a more efficient blogger, and blog post ideas that get good traffic!

 For more tips for promotion and blogging, visit a few of my favorite bloggers:



Bubble Gum Muddy Buddies Recipe

Muddy Buddy mixes are always a fun treat.  We usually do just holiday themed, but sometimes it’s fun to have a special treat for no reason at all.  That’s where the Bubble Gum Muddy Buddies recipe idea game from! bubble-gum-muddy-buddies

Bubble Gum Muddy Buddies

Ingredients:

9 cups Chex cereal

2 cups white chocolate chips

1 Duncan Hines Flavor Creations Bubble Gum Flavor

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

Place Chex into a large bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, microwave chips on high for a minute, stir and microwave again for about 45 seconds more or until melted and smooth when stirred.

Pour Chocolate over cereal and stir until evenly coated.

Mix together flavor packet and powdered sugar in a small bowl.

pink muddy buddy flavoring

Combine sugar mixture and cereal in a large resealable plastic bag and shake until well-coated.

Spread onto a baking sheet to cool.

pink muddy buddy on tray

Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

bubblegum muddy buddy

4.8 from 9 reviews
Bubbgle Gum Muddy Buddies
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Ingredients:
  • 9 cups Chex cereal
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 Duncan Hines Flavor Creations Bubble Gum Flavor
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Place Chex into a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, microwave chips on high for a minute, stir and microwave again for about 45 seconds more or until melted and smooth when stirred.
  3. Pour Chocolate over cereal and stir until evenly coated.
  4. Mix together flavor packet and powdered sugar in a small bowl.
  5. Combine sugar mixture and cereal in a large resealable plastic bag and shake until well-coated.
  6. Spread onto a baking sheet to cool.
  7. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

 

4 Fun Ways to Skype

If you have a computer or mobile device, you have probably heard of Skype. This free and easy software application has connected people with one another all over the world. In addition to making calls with other people, you can also instant message and share files. This is the perfect application to use for both personal as well as professional uses. In addition to making calls, texting and sharing those files, you can use Skype for a ton of fun uses. Here are just a few:

fun-ways-use-skype

Fun ways to use Skype

Meetings, Collaborations and Presentations:

Because you can add up to 25 people to a Skype call, you can have that conference call or presentation without leaving your house or hotel room. If you stay seated, you can even Skype in your pajamas. I’ve Skype’d in to Girl Scout leader meetings a few times when I  didn’t have a sitter. Take collaboration to another level. Share screens and create together. Send photos and files of any size and keep the ideas flowing.

I’ve spent time on Skype collaborating with one of my blogging BFF’s, Janel.  She’s marvelous. It’s been a great way to keep connected with one another!

skype chat

Learn a New Language:

Can you imagine learning a new language from someone who is a native of the country you would like to learn? With Skype, you can take classes or one on one training from anywhere in the world.

Long Distance Dating:

Do you have a significant other not living nearby? With Skype, you can say goodbye to those text messages and phone calls and have actual face to face time with your honey. With super low rates and no peak times you really can call home the moment you start to miss it…or your honey the moment you start to miss him/her.

Mystery Skype:

This mystery game invented by teachers is a way to get kids to have fun while learning. By using Skype, your classroom will connect with another classroom and by asking questions, you will try to figure out where the other classroom is located.

Learn to play an instrument:

Don’t have a convenient place nearby that will get you the instrumental instruction you are looking for?  Not able to drive?  Just don’t want to head out?  No worries.  This one’s very exciting in our house, because we are starting to look for Acoustic Guitar lessons for my husband and son to take together, via Skype.  It’s what works best for our family schedule right now.  But who would have thought you could take lessons from anyone, anywhere, in real time, and see one another?  Amazing!

If you want to take Skype on the road, you can download the free Skype Qik app.

You can have a lot of fun using this app because with the touch of one button, you can take and share videos with your friends. You can create groups from your contact list and send messages to them privately. With Qik Fliks you can pre-record up to 12 short videos and then share them at a later time.  You’ll also be “in” with the kids- lots of middle and high school aged kids are using Qik these days.  Who knew I’d be hip at this old age of 40? Get Qik from the Windows Phone Store, Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

skypeqik-challenge

 

 

I did a two week #SkypeChallenge last month.  While it had a great concept, it kind of bombed.  I think I jumped the gun.  I thought doing a sort-of Fitness Scavenger Hunt using Qik would help keep me motivated (it did) and maybe help motivate others (I don’t think people were ready to try the app yet). I still love the idea, and am still playing around with Qik!  It’s a really fun way to send a quick message to someone- I’ve sent my husband several quick videos of the kids at an event if he was at work or we were split up in different directions that day.  It’s a way to share things quickly and not a lot of download time. If anyone would like to do a Scavenger Hunt with me using Skype Qik (or Skype) please let me know! I can always use another motivator and way to be held accountable!!

 

How are YOU going to use Skype (or Qik) this week?

Thanks to Microsoft for teaching me the ins and outs of Skype and Skype Qik and to the kids who use Skype Qik in town who were shocked that I knew how to use it for inspiring this post.  The Skype webinar was part of my participation in the #MicrosoftBloggers program. Opinions are my own.