Family · Family Fun

Supper Club with the Family

Something I cherish is time with my family.  I love seeing my siblings, my nieces and nephews, my cousins and their children, my aunts and uncles, and my grandparents and parents!  With a section of my family, we started years ago a supper club.

How does it work?

With 5 families in our supper club, we all take turns hosting.  The host of the month chooses the theme for the meal.  This is the fun part!  We can pick anything we love to eat…. and everyone rolls with it!  Here are some suggestions:

  • Mexican
  • Italian
  • Grilling– Burgers and hotdogs
  • Chinese
  • Greek
  • Picnic
  • BBQ ribs and sides
  • Turkey

After the theme has been picked, the rest of the crew starts throwing out what they will bring.  The host provides most of the plates and silverware needed, and also provides the main part.  Sometimes the meal requires the main part to be spread out among everyone, that works too.

Things to bring– have your families sign up!

  • Side dish 1
  • Side dish 2
  • Side dish 3
  • Dessert
  • Main dish
  • Drinks
  • Appetizers
  • Add to fill your groups!

Once all this has been designated, all there is left is to show up and have fun!  But how do you get all the food planned?  Oh there are many ways….  My fam uses a group we created on Facebook to chat all about what we’re bringing.  But you can make a sign up genius sign up!  If you haven’t tried that, go to signupgenius.com and check it out!  I’m not hired by them to say that…don’t worry!  I just use them a lot in my classroom for fun events coming up and it works great!  Other ways could include using a google doc or spreadsheet, and have your peeps fill in all the goodies they are bringing!  You can also just assign a thing to bring to each family.  We did do that at one point, switching it up each month….made it fun to see what everyone did for different parts of the meals!

Don’t forget the pictures!

This is important! Get a group shot!  Get a group shot of all the kiddos alone and then one with the adults.  It is amazing how much they grow and the pictures help show that off!  Do it, figure it out, prop those cameras, laugh.  Trust me, there will be laughter!  And there will be lots of great food!

Your job now?

Get your family groups together and create your own Family Supper Club!!

Comment below with your own pictures of your family supper clubs!  What themes do you use?  I love being creative and making new dishes to show off!  I hope you do too!

—Becky

Affiliate link to Amazon 🙂

Dairy Free · June 2017 · Just MOM!

Deals, Deals, Deals!!!

Ok Peeps!!! I went shopping for a camping trip we’re taking, along with shopping for my dairy free 4 year old!!  I’m used to paying about $2.50+ for one yogurt she can eat and enjoy, and I found at Walmart the same kind (not too many flavors tho) for $1.58!!!!  Seriously…a dollar cheaper!!  And boy was Miss A sooooooo excited to see I bought 4 of them at one time…..normally I don’t do that due to the price.  No I’m not doing an affiliate post for them, no I’m not getting paid to say this, but I love a good deal, and I thought you’d like one too!  The kind we love is the “SO Delicious” brand of coconut yogurt, in all the flavors!  NUM!  Oh, and the same brand of icecream is also cheaper there!  Go see if your local Walmart has the same prices!

Side note….when you’re shopping at Walmart or Aldi or Sam’s Club or….anywhere really…you need some good bags.  Bags that can hold a lot!  The Everyday Tote Set from Pampered Chef if perfect for this!  They can hold up to 40 pounds, they have clips on them to help hold them to your cart 🙂  How awesome is that!

Oh come on, you had to know I was going to plug Pampered Chef…I love it so much!  And I am a consultant…if you want to purchase one go to my link here and I’ll help you out!

ALDI…..have we chatted about Aldi yet?  I love that place!  Also not paid to say that!  LOL!!  There are many many things there that are dairy free and delicious!!  I just found their cookies are DF!!  They sell DF milk too!  What else do they have?  If you are GF, they have a nice section just for you 🙂  I find that if they are GF, sometimes they are DF too!  Do you find that?  And to make everyone happy, the fruit and veggies are always a great price (way lower than our other local stores) and they taste great!

My exclamation mark is getting a work out today 🙂  When I’m excited, it’s hard not to use it!!!

Have a wonderful day!!

Shop on!

Becky

Need more deals?  Check out my affiliate link at Amazon 🙂

 

June 2017 · kids activities

It’s a BEAUTIFUL DAY!

Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day! Yes, you can sing along with me if you’d like! What are you going to do today? I’m planning on what to do with my girls and 2 little guys that are coming to play this afternoon. What are some of my ideas you ask? We’re going to sit in a circle and stare at each other…….for 3 hours….yep..maybe get a tan while we’re at it! Baahahaha!!! Nope, that would not fly with any of them! I’m going to pick a few items from my list below and have some fun! If you have more ways to entertain those littles, comment below…I’d love to hear them.

  • Chalk Drawing — fill up those neighborhood sidewalks, make masterpieces on the driveways….use what you’ve got!
  • Hopscotch—-keep that chalk out, find the best rock or beanbag you’ve got, and have fun!
  • Tic-Tac-Toe—- with chalk or Use my ideas to get you started!  If you click on the picture here, you will see a printable page to use!  You’re welcome!
  • Take a hike— there are trails everywhere!  But if you don’t have a real trail, create your own “trail”.  Enjoy the outdoors.
  • Read outside—-take a book, magazine, catalog, recipe book, anything….and READ!
  • Pitch a tent in the back yard
  • Garden together—pick those weeds! Won’t that be soooooo fun!  (says I, the brown thumb of the family!!)
  • Go to the beach— don’t forget your sunscreen, beach towels, cooler of drinks and snackies!
  • Go fishing— in a boat or off the shore, just as fun, making memories!
  • Build a sandcastle— obviously it goes along with beach going right???!!!  Just remember a bucket or cup or bowl….no need to be fancy…that’s what imaginations are for!
  • Color.  Just color.  Take out the paper or color books and color.  Lay on a blanket in the back yard, sit at the table on the deck, and color!
  • Do a scavenger hunt with the kids.  I have one here for you to start with! Click on it for a printable PDF!   Then make your own with your kiddos!
  • Take a bike ride
  • Play volleyball
  • Make ice cream— either make yours using an ice cream maker (I recommend the Pampered Chef Ice cream maker of course!!) or make the Ice cream in a bag!
  • Go to ALL the parks in your city—this one will take the whole summer!!
  • Host a party in your backyard!
  • Put on a play
  • Have a picnic
  • Pick flowers
  • Skip rocks
  • Take pictures and make a scrapbook
  • Have a lemonade stand
  • Take a trip to the zoo
  • Make a bird feeder
  • Take out the sprinkler or pool
  • Make recycling art— utilize all the different items in your recycling can and get creative!
  • Go to the movie theater— get away from the heat!

What else would you add to my list?

I’m hoping to get through this whole list this summer, and I hope you do too!

—Becky

Dairy Free · June 2017 · Just MOM!

Going out to eat— Dairy FREE

This is HARD.  Going out to eat is not as easy as it once was.  I have to think….about everything that may be used in the back kitchen.  I have to think about all the options that may be available for my 4 year old who gets a super upset tummy when she eats dairy in any form.

I started with the thought….GO WHOLE FOODS.  No dairy there! Go vegan!  When I start looking for those items it gets easier…..for a minute…then I remember, Miss A doesn’t like all that! UGH!  I’ve created a monster! LOL!  No, actually she’s pretty easy and knows that she needs to avoid dairy, even asking if that has dairy in it herself.

One thing I’m also learning….DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK!!! Most places will accommodate allergies.  We needed spaghetti and toast without any butter or cheese…we got it!  Want to know if there is dairy or gluten in something?  Ask.  If the waitress/waiter doesn’t know, ask them to find out.  Be polite and USUALLY they will work with you!

Another thing I’m watching for is the fried foods.  While camping with my family, I thought having fried fish would be safe for Miss A, but then I looked and they were dipping the fish into milk first.  It’s such a habit, no one thought of it.  It was totally ok that day, because there were so many other choices, no one went hungry.  Now, though, at restaurants, I have that memory playing in my mind….and it makes me think about if the people in the kitchen use milk in their deep frying.  Lesson of the day…..limit the fried.

What would my Miss A like?

  • Apple sauce and fruit sides
  • burger without bun (or ask if the bun has milk)
  • Soup–non creamy of course unless it is a special cream free soup base
  • Lemonade/juices/water
  • tacos – minus cheese

Last week, my girls and I were treated to lunch at “Bridgemans”…. one of my ideas….  I wanted to see if I could do it at a place that mainly sells DAIRY!!! 🙂 LOL!  She had chicken strips and apple sauce.  They did give her bread with butter, because I didn’t know that was included.  I would have asked about that one if I had known.  She was able to get a sundae with her kids meal, obviously not really an option, and the waitress asked if she wanted more apple sauce or some fruit.  Miss A said she was ok and we declined.  It was a nice gesture tho!

Picky Nicky’s in the house?  This gets tricky! (hehe!  I’m rhyming today!)  Again, from earlier, stay non processed, go vegan, get creative!  Many places will let you pick and choose, especially when they know there’s an allergy!  Use it!

Good luck….I’m learning….I’m a mom trying my best to keep my kiddo tummy ache free….    Learn with me.

—Becky

*** Affiliate links are posted on this blog post.  All purchases made by clicking on a link, will provide me with a little extra in the bank with nothing added on your end!  Thanks in advance!***

Recipes

Ice Cream in a BAG

I L-O-V-E ice cream….I really do!!  Now, as a teacher and a mom, I am always trying to find a way to “teach” my kiddos something along the way….even in ice cream.  No, I’m not meaning that I teach them they may get an ice cream headache if they eat it too fast!  They will learn that all by themselves!!  Hehehe!!    I am going to teach them the science behind the making of ice cream….. how do you get it to be ice cream when you start with cream and sugar?

Other learning objectives they will learn? (yes I’m a teacher….objectives is a word in my vocabulary!)

  1. Measurements.  How much cream and sugar do you really need to make it taste good?
  2. Strategy.  How do you pour the liquids in and NOT spill all over your self and others?  TIP:  Use a friend!  Having ice cream is way more fun when eaten with others, right!?
  3. Chemistry.  A reaction happens when cold ice is added….. the MAGIC happens 🙂
  4. Vocabulary.  Words such as “Amazing! Fabulous! Delicious!” will be used when making ice cream in a bag!

So no matter the season, it is ALWAYS a good idea to make and eat ice cream!  Get out your mittens and get ready to mix!

What you’ll need:

      • 1/2 cup milk
      • 1/2 cup heavy cream
      • 2 Tablespoons sugar
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla
      • lots of ice

     

     

    Mix the top 4 ingredients in your quart size bag…. mix it well!  Then, add about 3 cups or more to your gallon size bag, top with rock salt, and lay your ZIPPED quart sized bag (filled with goodness) on top of that!  Zip the gallon sized bag and start shaking!  This is where your mittens may come in handy, as the bag and your hands start to get super cold!  The science behind how the Rock salt and ice together creates a super cold environment is going to be saved for someone else at another time!

    I like to sing when I’m shaking my ice cream!  You should too!  Shake, shake, shake…shake, shake, shake…shake your ice cream! Shake your ice cream!

    If you are able to sing my new song up there, I love you already!  We will be friends!

    After you sing for a while, try 5 minutes, carefully open the bags to check your consistency.  Each person’s shake is different, so time will vary 🙂  If you want your ice cream a little thicker, close it back up and continue shaking.

    Once you have the perfect soft serve ice cream in the bag….take it out….rinse off the quart size bag (trust me…no one wants Rock salt ice cream)…. and ENJOY!!!

    To create other flavors, you could add some chocolate syrup, strawberries, mint extract, coffee, and so much more!  Get creative!

    Dairy free?  Not this one….but I’ll be posting about a dairy free idea for you that uses the same concept!  Stay tuned!

    —Becky

Games · kids activities

Floor Tic-Tac-Toe

Living room floor Tic-Tac-Toe is a super easy Rainy Day activity!!  When the kids are going crazy, or better yet…making YOU crazy, take out the tape and the paper plates!

Now get that tape on the floor in a tic-tac-toe shape 🙂  When you make it big, the kids get excited.  I don’t know what it is, but when ever I make a simple thing BIGGER, the kids come running.  Next, take out paper plates (little or big—what ever you have on hand!) and label each with an X or O.  Do at least 4 of each so a whole game can be played.

So easy…Not messy…can’t get any better!

 

Have fun!

Becky

PS….Need tape and plates? Check out Amazon!!

 

 

 

kids activities

Homemade Playdough

Many times I wanted to make play dough with my kiddos, but I thought you had to cook it to make it amazing, or you needed special ingredients that I knew I didn’t have.  I was wrong.  I’m sad that I missed out on many days that could have been filled with fun play dough play time!

What you need:

  • 2c. Flour
  • 1c. Salt
  • 2Tbsp oil
  • 1c. water

Combine all ingredients, mix well and knead until smooth.  I did have to add a dusting more of flour at times when I thought it was too sticky.  Use you best judgement…add a little bit at a time…your end result should look like this!

You can add any spices that you have in your cupboard to create a smell you love!  Examples:  Nutmeg, cinnamon, Pumpkin spice, coconut extract, Vanilla extract, or any other extract that your nose is attracted to!

Store you creation in an airtight container to ensure you’re able to play with it for days to come!

Have fun!

— Becky

 

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kids activities

Rainy Day Fun

Ok Moms, Dads and teachers….it’s raining out.  Enough said.  You all know the feeling…what do I do with my kiddos now?  We’re stuck inside and they’re driving me nuts!  Already!!

Sometimes it’s nice to see a list of simple ideas to get your brain going….so here ya go!  My list is not everything you could do in this whole world, but it is a great jumping point! Be creative— take my ideas and run with it!  Add your own family twists to it.  Change it up to fit your family’s needs.

  1. Living Room Tic-Tac-Toe
  2. Movie theater trip
  3. Make a blanket fort
  4. Make Playdough- from scratch!
  5. Have a reading war!!
  6. Play cards
  7. Make icecream in a bag
  8. Do puzzles
  9. Play board games
  10. Make a tie blanket
  11. Visit a nursing home
  12. Write a letter- and mail it!
  13. Fold and put away laundry (my favorite!)
  14. Go on a color hunt
  15. Paint on tinfoil
  16. Play balloon volleyball
  17. Make a Popsicle stick goodie box
  18. Make Gak
  19. Make bracelets
  20. Fly paper airplanes
  21. Do 20 Jumping jacks
  22. Bake bread
  23. Make a bird feeder
  24. Jump for 1 minute
  25. Paint with Q-tips
  26. Journal for 10 minutes
  27. Baking soda and vinegar experiments
  28. Play Memory
  29. Make S’mores in the oven
  30. Draw with washable markers and set in the rain
  31. Clean a room
  32. Make popcorn
  33. Play Simon Says
  34. Play indoor hopscotch
  35. Stack cups
  36. Find or make a pattern
  37. Draw a selfie
  38. Have a dance party
  39. Bake a cake
  40. Create a book
  41. Practice math facts
  42. Make Popsicles
  43. Jump in puddles
  44. Draw a picture
  45. Make a box fort
  46. Paint a picture
  47. Play Roll and Cover games
  48. Vacuum and dust
  49. Find a new recipe
  50. Blow painting

Enjoy these ideas with your kiddos either while stuck inside your own home or inside your classroom!

— Becky

kids activities

Journaling for all ages

Journaling….one of my favorite things to do and have my kiddos do!!  As a teacher, it is a wonderful tool to teach fine motor skills, letter formation, letter recognition, shapes, self portraits, telling how they are feeling — dictating when they can’t write yet, and so much more.

Little kiddos can also go on a “letter hunt”.  This gets them looking for and differentiating between letters, words and numbers.  An outcome often used in the preschool -kindergarten years.

I always tell parents that children, young in age, will do “scribble writing.”  As long as they know what they are “writing,” that is what matters.  They need to know that print has a meaning….and that includes their printing.

When they are a little older, they can work on their sentence structure, using descriptive words and they can challenge themselves to write more and more each time.    Illustrations for older children can also be added into journaling.

Older children and young adults (and us big adults too of course!) can journal what they are doing each day and how they are feeling, what they enjoy and what they don’t enjoy.

Journaling can be a creative and therapeutic activity for all.  So get those kiddos and yourself journaling today!

Have fun!

— Becky

June 2017 · Pampered Chef Awesomeness!

 We’re Pampered, Not Perfect!

If you’ve been reading my posts, you know I do not consider myself a cook.  But I do like cooking for others!  I especially like to cook now that I’ve learned the phrase “I’m Pampered, Not Perfect!!” I learned that with the right tools in the kitchen, my life is easier when it comes to cooking for the fam!  Last June, I bit the bullet and became a Pampered Chef Consultant. I did it at first because my hubby lost his job, and I felt like I needed a way to help out financially more than I already was.  That’s when my friend (and director) asked me to coffee.  I heard all the reasons of “Why not?”  Why not bring in extra cash?  Why not get great products free for your own kitchen?  Why not help  others fill their kitchens with great products for free?  Why not?   And here I am!  I love this “job” of mine….if you can call it that!  I go places, meet new people, cook great food, eat great food, and get cool products for FREE!  What could be better than that!?

host-a-party-3

I have a degree in Elementary Education.  I teach Preschool full time during the school year.  I have 2 little kiddos and a wonderful hubby.  I continued to sell PC even after my hubby got a job again.  I continue to sell, because I love it!  I love getting out of the house, chatting with others.  I love to see others happy, getting together with their friends, learning new and fun recipes I share with them, and purchasing a tool I know will make their cooking experience better!  My education background helps me so much when I get in front of the crowd…I have the words….I like the words!  I know someone who prefers not to talk as much, and does so well….she does more station style shows, allowing the guests to try and play and learn together.  I love this way as well!

cover-facebook-healthy-hurry

Pampered Chef to me is finding the right tool for you.  I have kids.  So, I try to make those with kiddos see what tools work well with my kids and why.  Moms and Dads, isn’t it nice not to have think about what will be best for your kids? Many times, we have no idea what will be best.  But really, we do.  We’re the mom and dad.  We know what our kids need. We know what they can do.  ***Now…let me help you find the right tools to go with what you know already!  My little Miss A is dairy free.  So I am always looking at the back of boxes to check to see if it has milk in the ingredients.  Guess what?  You can use PC tools and make your own crust free pocket sandwiches to fit your kiddos needs.  You can fill the Leak proof containers with peanut free snacks/ Dairy free snacks/ gluten free snacks…etc.  You can pack it with the foods you know your child will and can eat without the worry you missed something on the box!

I’m now always on a mission to search the Pampered chef recipe box online, and try something new to me.  I love the tried and true recipes.  I love to get recipes from others.  Here is one that I made (before Miss A was found to be dairy free) that my family loved!!  It was so easy in the Rockcrok Dutch Oven….One dish meals are amazing aren’t they!?

Tortellini SoupRockcrok Slow Cooker (1)

So remember the saying for today:  “We’re Pampered, Not Perfect”.  Enjoy your day!

Becky

www.pamperedchef.biz/beckyvanriper

Pampered Chef Awesomeness! · Recipes

60 seconds to Breakfast!

I woke up this morning, happy to see the sun was up, it was after 7 (always a plus), and I had coffee downstairs ready to be brewed. I then thought of what I was going to have for breakfast. Should I have cereal, toast, eggs…. No not eggs, takes too long to cook…. Until I remembered my ceramic egg cooker was waiting to be used!  I pondered the idea of an omelet or scrambled eggs, but I was feeling for a poached egg. Yep, I was going to make a poached egg in the microwave! 2T water and one egg, poke egg.  Microwave for 45 seconds,  remove and eat! I added mine to toast and a side of cantaloupe. Delish.

I love when I have products in my kitchen that make my life easier, don’t you!?

Tonight’s homework for you….. What will you make for breakfast tomorrow that will be quick, easy, and filling?!  (Yes, I’m a teacher by day! )

Becky