Magical Reindeer Food

Magical Reindeer Food makes for the perfect last minute activity with the kids. Make this within a moments time and the memories will last for many years of what is sure to become a new tradition for your family on Christmas Eve!

It is Christmas Eve! We are ready for time with family, lots of great food and of course, the arrival of Santa!

This year, the kids and I are making this fantastic and fun Magical Reindeer Food to sprinkle on our lawn before we drift off to dream, complete with visions of Sugar Plums dancing in our heads.

I made a lovely printable too, you can grab it for free, right here! Add this to the ziploc baggie you are going to store the food in and maybe share a few bags with neighborhood children, or any Christmas Eve Guests that believe in the magic of Christmas.



Magical Reindeer Food Printable

This is so easy to make. You can make it in a few different ways, depending on what you have on hand.

You will need:
2 tablespoons of Quick Oats per 'serving'
red and green sprinkles, edible glitter or colored sugar
birdseed or squirrel corn makes for a great way to add variety to the delight of the wildlife that visits your lawn.

All you need to do is add the oats to a sprinkling of colored sugar, sprinkles or edible glitter.
If you want to add a little birdseed or corn to the mix,  now is the time to do it. Give everything a good stirring and divide it up into zipper sealed baggies.

At bedtime, have the kids sprinkle their Magical Reindeer Food on the lawn and make a wish.




6 Sweet Santa Crafts

He's making a list and checking it twice, and the kids are losing their minds with the excitement of Santa's upcoming visit. To build on the fun of the Christmas festivities, I have found 6 Sweet Santa Crafts for my kids and I can't wait to share these ideas with you!



These are easy and adorable ways to bring the fun of Santa into your craft time this holiday season!


Santa's Sleigh Fingerprint Craft

Santa Handprint Ornaments

Santa Gift Tags

Paper Santa

Mason Jar Santa

Santa's Face Ornaments


Which of these crafts is your favorite? I think they are all as cute as can be, but I am crazy for the Santa Face ornaments!



12 Cheesecake Recipes to Make for Christmas

Cheesecake is one of those things in life that should be savored and shared. The creamy goodness of the dessert combined with the richness makes it a sweet treat that practically no one can resist!



I have found 12 incredible cheesecake recipes to make this Christmas and I know you are going to find a few on this list that you can't wait to try! From Peppermint varieties to Pecan Pie Cheesecake, this list has something for everyone on it!

No Bake Peppermint Cheesecake

Eggnog Cheesecake

Candy Cane Cheesecake with a Sugar Cookie Crust

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Balls

Raspberry Cheesecake Shooters

Pecan Pie Cheesecake

No Bake Eggnog Cheesecake

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake

Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake

Santa Hat Peppermint Cheesecake Bars

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Easy Lemon Cheesecake Pie

Which of these sounds like the cheesecake of your dreams?
If you have a favorite cheesecake recipe, please do tell me all about it!

You might also enjoy this Blackberry Cheesecake Float recipe.

Everything You Need For The Perfect Family Road Trip

I know a lot of people with children who wouldn’t dream of taking their kids on a road trip. It’s easy to see why - traveling from place to place and always being on the move is a challenge when you have little ones.

But with a little planning, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy a vacation on four wheels. And, in my humble opinion, you should try it! A simple road trip can be a fantastic opportunity to teach your kids about having an adventure, seeing the country, and experiencing wildlife from a close distance.

It’s also worth pointing out that a road trip will cost you far less than a ten-day stay in a hotel! With all this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the things you will need to consider when planning for the perfect family road trip.


Consult a map

First of all, it’s time to go old school, pull out an updated map, and plan your route. While road trips can be fun, you will find yourself under a lot of pressure if you are driving blind.

You will need to stop every few hours with kids in the car, and also nightly - preferably in a child-friendly motel, hotel, or camp site. Finding an RV park or two is also a good idea - they are cheap, and most will have all the amenities you need to freshen up in the morning before you set off again.

Don’t forget to research good places to eat while on the way. Finally, it’s best to underestimate the distances you will travel. Traffic, inclement weather, or even a burst tyre could hold you up, so give yourself some breathing space.


Family packing

The great thing about packing for a road trip is that you can be less picky than if you were flying by plane. The more room you have in your RV, the more you can pack - it’s as simple as that.

Obviously, you need to pack plenty of clothing for the kids, but you should all have a small overnight bag each, too. It will save you a lot of time from carrying all your luggage into a hotel or motel every night. Clothing aside, it’s essential to bring enough toys, games, and books for the kids, so they avoid distractions. At some points, they will be just as amazed by the scenery you drive through as you will be - but they will have moments where they need some other stimulus.

While it’s tempting to let your kids plug into a tablet or smartphone, use them sparingly - it’s a great chance to promote things like conversation and storytelling.


Bring snacks

Don’t forget snacks - and keep them healthy, too. You will be amazed by a number of times your kids complain of hunger and thirst, so plenty of tasty treats and lots of water will be essential.

String cheese, pretzels, vegetable sticks - they can all go in a simple cooler bag. Stock up on some reusable containers, too. They can keep all your healthy snacks fresh while in the cold box.

And there you have it - it’s that simple. As long as you plan your route well and have enough on board to keep the kids interested and satisfied, there is no reason why you won’t reach your destination without a hitch. Good luck - and enjoy your trip!





10 Christmas Tree Ornaments to Make

I have been making a ton of ornaments this year. The kids think it is a lot of fun to get out the glue and the glitter and get creative! Well, let's be honest, I do too! My oldest has been making lots of cute things at school to bring home and share too!



To keep up with the fun of creating at Christmas, I have 10 ideas to share with you from some of my favorite bloggers! All 10 of these are easy and adorable! I hope you get a chance to try them, or any of the ornaments I have made live on the Quirky Momma facebook page.




Felted Wool Christmas Trees

Sparkly Sequin Ornaments

Essential Oil Diffuser Ornaments

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

Stacked Christmas Tree Ornaments

Craft Stick Trees

Pipe Cleaner Beaded Trees

Glitter Clay Trees

Easy Accordion Trees

Noodle Popsicle Stick Trees

Live Video Projects

Etched Glass Jars
Candy Cane Wreaths
Popsicle Stick Ornaments
Christmas Houses
Toilet Roll Snowflakes
Washi Tape Cards
Toddler Christmas Tree Crafts
Tree Ornaments

Gift Ideas for Kids


if you have a child that wants to help in the kitchen, this set and interactive cookbook from Curious Chef makes the ideal gift for kids age 4 and up. I love this because the cookbook is hands on and my early reader has had a ton of fun checking out recipes and completing activities. The 17 piece measuring set is perfect for a beginner in the kitchen to get hands on with.





    If the force is strong with a kid on your shopping list, the Star Wars Lights and Sounds Model Kits are the way to go. Each kit takes approximately 1 hour to assemble and will leave the kids wowed for numerous hours.  Choose from

    ·      Revell Star Wars SnapTite Build & Play Rebel U-wing Fighter
    ·      Revell Star Wars SnapTite Build & Play Imperial Star Destroyer
    ·      Revell Star Wars SnapTite Build & Play Imperial AT-ACT™ Cargo Walker.

    Retailing from $20-$30, these kits are more than just a model because they have the bells and whistles of star wars included.The three plastic model new kits are available at Toys R Us, Target and Hobby Lobby stores and online at Amazon. Batteries are included.







                




    Lava Lamps are kind of like the gift that keeps on giving. You can add a stylish and mesmerizing touch to a bedroom for under $30 that will be used and admired all year long. Perfect for tweens and teens, lava lamps are available in many fun options such as the volcano lamp and the sandcastle lamp to add a groovy soothing touch to any bedroom.





    If you want to encourage learning, you can't go wrong with a STEM kit from Magnaformers. We loved the Robot kit as it encourages hands on learning through play. Featuring 7 geometric shapes and 8 accessories this is a great kit for both boys and girls this holiday season. Retailing at about $80, this is an all in one gift for learning, growing and playing.
        
    Paper trax is a fun and eco friendly gift option for any matchbox enthusiast!  Made with recycled materials, Paper Trax  is a gift that is good for the planet and is even better for playtime, on the tracks.                                              
    If you are looking for a toy to get the kids up and moving, the super wubble ball is a great  gift idea. This is a tear resistant ball that is like a great big bubble. My kids LOVED this toy and they completely exhausted each other chasing the wubble around!





    3 Things People Forget When Moving






    There are all kinds of things you have to deal with when you’re moving house, from preparing large, awkward items for transport all the way to the little details of the paperwork. When you’re tackling such a big project with so many different factors, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by it all and let certain things slip through the net. Here are a few things people tend to forget when moving…

    Image from Flickr
    An Essentials Box
    Hopefully, you’ve been pretty organized with your packing process so far, packing boxes according to the room they’re ultimately headed to and labeling them accordingly. While this is generally good practice, there are certain things which you should keep separate. By the time you’ve gone through all the stress of moving to the new place and making sure everything gets over the threshold, you’re not going to want to start tearing open boxes and getting stuck into the process of unpacking. However, if you throw various essentials in with everything else, you’re not going to have much of a choice. Remember to pack a separate box with everything your family will need for that first night in the house; toothbrushes, hygiene products, pajamas, a change of clothes, and those stuffed animals your kids simply can’t sleep without.
    Setting Sentimental Items Aside
    We all have certain things which may not have a lot of monetary value, but which we wouldn’t trade for the world. Perhaps it’s some torn old sweater your grandmother knitted for you, your kid’s macaroni pictures, the first love letters that you and your spouse sent to each other. Whatever they are, I strongly recommend that you plan to handle these yourself in the moving process, rather than throwing it in with your other items and leaving it to the movers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying movers aren’t to be trusted. The large majority of moving companies go to great lengths to avoid even the most minor damage to their clients’ items. However, moving a whole home’s worth of stuff from A to B is a big operation, and accidents happen. If there’s anything which you simply couldn’t bear to see lost or damaged, take matters into your own hands.
    Collecting the Keys, All of Them

    Obviously, you’re going to remember to collect the front and back door keys from the previous owner or landlord. In all the chaos of moving house, however, it can be easy enough to forget all the others after that. Think back to your viewing. Were there any locks on the windows, the conservatory, the garage and storage areas? It may sound like a freak occurrence, but many people neglect to make sure they have all the keys to the house on moving day. Obviously, this can make settling in and exploring your new home much more difficult than it should be. This should be a big point on your moving day checklist. If the owner isn’t going to be there, be sure to take a look around soon, and call them to see if they’ve missed any keys.

    Where To Stop While Travelling Through Europe



    View the Northern Lights in Iceland
    You can see the Northern Lights from quite a few different places, but Iceland is the winner by far. Winter is the time to watch it, but it also counts on luck. If there are is a sky full of clouds - you're not going to see anything!


    Skinny Dipping in Sweden
    When the sun comes up to say hello at 3 a.m. in summer, and the locals stumble home from a crazy night out on the town, post-club skinny dipping is considered a damn good idea! Some of the best, and most beautiful places to take off your clothes amongst are the tiny coves west of VĂ€sterbron Bridge at the tip of LĂ„ngholmen, Sweden. They’re both private and safe. They're clean, clear, and have deliciously cool water - the perfect thing to wake you up after your long night out. So you won't have to worry about a whole group of people passing by you while you're in your birthday suit.


    Sleep in a Car in Stuttgart
    In Stuttgart, Germany’s automobile capital, (the current home of Daimler and Mercedes-Benz,) you can actually sleep in what once was a real car and now has been turned into a bed! At the car-themed V8 Hotel, you can choose to sleep in a Volkswagen Beetle, Mercedes-Benz, and even a red-engined Cadillac Convertible. So you are not going to want to miss out on the chance to visit the Mercedes-Benz Factory right across the road, where you can watch as it churns out over 2,500 cars every single day.


    Connect with Real Vikings in Roskilde
    This place is probably now best known for hosting crazy music festivals. But this 1,000-year-old town just around the corner of Copenhagen was once the centre of a thriving Viking community. You can go and visit the Viking Ship Museum, where you can try on traditional Viking attire and even ride around on a re-created Viking ship.


    Ski in Andorra
    There are a  collection of three ski areas that make up this Pyrenees resort in the heart of tiny Andorra between France and Spain. Go around and explore ski resorts, that way you can really experience things first hand.


    Soak in a Thermal Bath in Budapest
    One of the greatest things Budapest has to offer is the city’s spectacular thermal baths. These architectural beauties are surrounded by a  labyrinthine of saunas, steam rooms, and natural warm pools, with mineral-infused water springs that come straight from the ground.


    Time-travel in Athens
    The Acropolis is full of tourist, so it's pretty hard to miss. Being able to see the Parthenon up close and personal is a moment that you will never forget. The view from the hill is the best in the city. Get there either super early or super late to avoid crowds. You could even make it into a date night. Just please make sure you wear your sensible shoes.




    Don't Let Your Past Affect Your Present



    Ahh, the frivolity of youth, where everything is fun and nothing matters, right? Well, it might seem that way, but unfortunately, the things we did in the past can still have knock-on effects today. Making smart money decisions now is all well and good, but you might have a few financial wounds to heal from some not-go-great decisions that were made in the past. The good news, however, is that all is not lost. Your financial past doesn’t have to ruin your financial future.


    Learn from mistakes
    The best thing about making mistakes is that we know not to make them again. Sure, they might take hours of hard work and a whole lot of scrimping and saving to get back on track, but you know exactly what not to do next time around. When you’re bemoaning your current financial situation, don’t beat yourself up, but always bear in mind what led to this point - it’s the best way to ensure that mistakes don’t happen twice.




    Pay off debts
    Debts are a surefire way to drain your money and ruin your credit score, so dealing with them has to be priority numero uno. Whether it’s debts from credit cards or loans, the longer they sit around gathering dust (and accruing interest), the bigger the problem is that you’ll have on your hands. So knock it on the head while you can. Pay back higher interest debts first, as they’re guaranteed to be the ones which will cost you the most. If you’re overwhelmed by the whole ordeal, reach out for help. There are so many resources available, to debt consolidation companies to free debt advisory services - just remember that you’re not alone, and that it’s not an impossible task.


    Secure your credit
    The problem with poor financial decisions is that, even once the debts are paid off, your credit rating could still be looking rather unhealthy. This could leave you with higher interest rates, and you may even be rejected for loans or a mortgage in the future. But it is possible to fix it, as long as you meet the requirements of most credit repair companies. It usually involves keeping any credit cards to a minimum, avoiding going overdrawn on your overdraft, and even reconsolidating any remaining debts, but it’s totally do-able.





    Keep looking forwards
    Your future is what matters now, not your past. So while you might regret your poor purchasing decisions, or you regularly berate yourself for racking up credit card debt, it’s what the future holds that counts. Learn from your mistakes, and make efforts to avoid the same mistakes in the future. Your credit score is fixable, and you’re still in a position where you can learn more about managing your finances. Make a budget and stick to it, and you’ll soon see how straightforward it is to get your head around financial management.

    Your past doesn’t have to affect your future as long as you go through the necessary steps to make the improvements you and your finances require.

    Grape Nuts Bark





    The holidays are here and it is time to savor the moments with family! My family has been crafting, decorating, watching Christmas cartoons and movies and of course, eating all of the yummy holiday goodies we can get our hands on!



    We can't help but be a little excited, thanks to all the peeks we have been getting of the trailer for the new film hitting theaters, SING©. My kids think this should be one of the films we head to see this holiday season, and I can't agree more. Taking in a few movies as a family is one of our many holiday traditions!

    I can't help but agree with them. We have to go see SING© and I have made a treat that the kids are singing in delight for. The adults I know also sang with pleasure and appreciation for their waistlines. With the help of Grape Nuts© at my local Kroger I was able to make an incredible and easy snack that indulges the sweet tooth while packing a wholesome punch that is downright crunchy crave-able!



    To make your holiday traditions a little sweeter, head out and grab a box of Grape Nuts so you can try this yummy Grape Nuts recipe. It is so easy, all you will need is chocolate candy coating and Grape Nuts.



    First, melt your candy coating in the microwave or in a double boiler. Stirring often.
    Second, line a cookie sheet with wax paper.



    Third, spread your melted chocolate on the wax paper lined cookie sheet.


    Last, sprinkle Grape Nuts over the melted chocolate. Place the cookie sheet into the fridge and allow to harden, it will take about 20-30 minutes. When the chocolate is hard, break it into small chunks for an incredibly delicious and wholesome Grape Nuts Bark!



    If you are excited to see SING© starting on 12/21, you are going to want to  redeem this coupon on your purchase participating Post Cereal Brands and enter the SING© Sweepstakes for a chance to win the $100,000 grand prize plus the chance to instantly win lots of prizes including movie tickets, speakers and more.



    NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Promotion starts 11/1/16 at 12:00 PM (noon) ET and ends 3/31/2017 at 11:59:59 PM ET. Open only to legal residents of the 50 US/DC, 18 years of age or older. See Official Rules for instructions on how to enter, how to obtain codes without purchase, prize details, restrictions, odds of winning, etc. Void where prohibited by law. Sponsor:  Post Consumer Brands, LLC.