Loaded Jalapeno Bites

Better than a Jalapeno Popper, this loaded jalapeno bites recipe comes together in moments and creates a crave-able appetizer or snack the family will love.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4

4 jalapeno peppers
2 ounces {1/3 of a package } of cream cheese
2 ounces of shredded cheese of your choice {1/4 of a package}
2 tablesppons of real bacon, chopped into small chunks
Your choice of dip such as blue cheese or ranch

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Slice the end off of the jalapeno peppers, clean the seeds from the inside of the pepper by gently slicing around the seeds.
Remove them with a few gentle taps of the side of your knife.
Slice the jalapeno peppers in half, removing any of the remaining seeds, clean up the inside of the pepper.
fill the jalapeno pepper with cream cheese, repeat
Top with shredded cheese and bacon chunks
Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes
The cheese will be gooey and hot! Allow these to cool for 2 minutes before serving.
A side of ranch or blue cheese dip will mellow the heat of the jalapeno peppers

How to Make Popcorn in the Microwave

Popcorn is a great snack option, but the prepacked varieties are loaded with fat, salt and calories. I figured out how to pop my own healthy and tasty popcorn in the microwave. You are going to love how easy it is to make fresh popcorn, not to mention how economical it is too!

1 teaspoon of Olive Oil
1/4 cup of popcorn kernels

a medium size glass bowl
A plate that can cover the glass bowl

Add olive oil and popcorn to the glass bowl.
Cover it with a plate and microwave it for 2 -3.5 minutes
Remove from microwave when the popping slows to one pop every 2 seconds.

Paper Plate Donut Craft for Kids

Paper Plate Donuts are a fun craft to make with the little ones! We paired this activity with the adorable children's book If You Give a Dog a Donut.

Harper and I love to get crafty together! We often pull out our Kwik Stix and paint together! She loves the freedom of painting without an anxious mom and I love offering her an outlet for her creativity.

We also love to read great stories together! So, on this day, we combined the fun of a craft using Kwik Stix with a favorite book to create paper plate donuts!

This craft is incredibly easy but offers so many options for creative expression in toddlers and preschoolers.
You can have the supplies ready in under 5 minutes for crafty fun with the kids.

One Paper Plate per child
Kwik Stix
Pom Poms or small bits of paper to resemble sprinkles

Cut the center out of your paper plates.
Offer the kids the Kwik Stik, if you don't have any paint sticks, you can use markers or crayons.
After the paint has dried (it only takes 90 seconds) have the kids glue on pom poms or paper bits or sprinkles.

There you have some adorable and easy crafts to pair well with a fun book!

Where to Stay in Wayne County

Thank you to the Best Western and Wayne Count Visitors Bureau for hosting our family on this trip!

We have stayed in a number of hotels over the years. Both my husband and I have been bitten by the travel bug and it is not uncommon for us to make a spur of the moment trip.

I consider myself to be well versed in staying in a hotel. I know what to expect in amenities and levels of cleanliness. But,  I have to admit, on a recent trip to Wayne County Ohio, everything I expected in a hotel was to become re-envisioned.

After a long day in the car with two kids, nothing sounded nicer than checking into the Best Western in Wooster and putting my feet up. As we arrived, I went into the lobby only to have to do a double take. The Best Western in Wooster was much nicer than I could have expected. I made my way to the front desk to be greeted by a friendly face who checked me in a speedy fashion and I went out to retrieve my family.

As we made our way in with the luggage rack, the manager greeted us and took us to the room, which to my delight was the executive suite. I honestly had no idea the Best Western offered suites and was thrilled with the idea of spreading out after hours in the car together.

The room was located on the third floor, as we entered the room, I was truly speechless as the room was handsomely appointed, spacious and extremely comfortable. My kids were impressed with the television and ample room to pull out some legos and start building. {experienced travel moms know that a ziploc baggie of legos can make any situation better....}

Mr. Sweet Silly Sara let out a relieved sigh at the sight of the in-room Keurig and assortment of coffee. He later admitted he was prepared to drink gas station coffee for the weekend and was super impressed to have the best in room coffee while at The Best Western.

I was all around impressed. Like I mentioned, I have stayed at all kinds of hotels, but this was by far the most pleasant experience I have had upon arrival. I became touched by the thoughtfulness of the staff at The Best Western in Wooster when a basket of healthy snacks for the kids arrived along with a fantastic bottle of local wine for my husband and I. The staff at this hotel goes above and beyond to make your stay amazing.

The manager stole my heart right away when she offered me a tour of the hotel. Within moments she made me feel like an old friend and the look at the hotel gave me a good idea about the people that own and operate the establishment. They all have one common goal based upon one common interest. A lot of pride goes into The Best Western in Wooster to make each visit as pleasant and comfortable as it could possibly be.

While we were at the hotel we took advantage of the super clean pool. The kids were thrilled to splash around and get some exercise!

We walked around town and had dinner at a nearby restaurant. We took in the sights and stores of downtown Wooster and made our way back to the hotel. It had been a long day filled with fun. The kids easily fell asleep on the couch turned sleeper sofa and they blissfully stayed asleep all night long, as the room as incredibly quiet.

We had breakfast in the well appointed breakfast room. It offered ample seating and choices for the entire family. From waffles and yogurt, to biscuits and gravy or cereal and fruit, they had the bases covered. The breakfast attendant was efficient and sweet. The day began on a fantastic note after a hearty breakfast.

As we explored all that Wayne County had to offer, we made our way back to the hotel several times. The staff smiled and offered friendly greetings and absolutely charmed my children.

When the time came to check out of the hotel, my family had decided that when we make our way back to Wayne County, there is no doubt about it, we want to stay at the Best Western. The staff and the beautiful rooms make it hard to even consider staying somewhere else.

When you make your way to Wayne county to take in the sights of the Amish country, do yourself a favor, get in touch with the Best Western for a taste of luxury accommodations at family friendly prices. The hotel offers a fitness room, small bar, complimentary breakfast and a super clean pool for guests, making this an ideal place to stay with your family.

You might also want to check out our where to eat in Wayne County guide.

Easy Tie Dye Art for Kids

Tie Dye is such a fun concept for kids of all ages. We have been experimenting with different techniques and ways to blend colors without actually dying anything. After-all my kids are only 6 and 3 and are not quite ready for real tie dying!

This method is so easy because you probably already have everything you need on hand to create this fun project with your little ones.

Supplies Needed:
Washable Markers
Coffee Filters
Copy Paper
A spray bottle with water

Place a coffee filter on a sheet of copy paper.
Have the kids color all over coffee filters with markers.
Spray the coffee filter with water after it has been colored.
Place another sheet of copy paper on top of the wet coffee filter.
Smooth it with your hand to transfer the marker to the copy paper.
Peel the sheets apart, and viola!
You get 3 lovely works of art in the end!

We have a few cute youtube videos on this technique, if you watch them be sure to give them a thumbs up and hit the subscribe button! You can also find me giving an intro to tie dye on facebook live.