Pinterest Worthy

Recipe: Coconut Mango Rice

I read a blog a year or two ago about a girl who visited Thailand and while she was there enjoyed tons of Mango Sticky Rice.  I’d never heard of it and it kinda seemed like a weird combo.  Flash forward to a few weeks ago when I picked up some of the most delicious mango (on sale for $.55 each!) during our weekly grocery trip. The boys and I ate it up one night and the next week, I saw they still had some great mango – albeit not the same price – so I grabbed a few more.

I then randomly remembered the girl talking about how much she loved sticky mango rice so I decided to see if there was a recipe.  It turns out it is more of a dessert thing and the recipes I saw had tapioca powder and toasted sesame seeds, etc.  So I decided to make my own recipe by combining some of the same ingredients I saw in those recipes and modifying it for what I had in the house.

It was surprisingly delicious. I tend not to be big on “sweet” dinner foods (like Orange Chicken), but I think I’d make this again.  And all three of my boys seemed to like it.

mango rice

Coconut Mango Rice

Brown Rice – 4 cups
Coconut Milk – one can
Mango – 2 fruit, diced
Sugar – 1/2 c
Vanilla – splash

In a rice maker, I cooked 4 cups brown rice, with water. (I made a big batch because this was a meal share recipe with my sister. I’d suggest halving if you want to feed a family of 4.)

While rice is cooking, I peeled and diced the mangoes.  Then when my rice was about 10 mins from being done, I put the can of coconut milk in a small pot and heated on medium. I watched it the whole time and only let it slightly start bubbling on the edges (don’t let it boil).  Once it started bubbling, I whisked in sugar, a splash of vanilla and a pinch of salt. I let it cook together for just a minute or two until the sugar dissolved into the coconut milk.

Once the rice was done, I poured the warm coconut milk and mango on top and mixed it together. It was creamy, slightly sweet and delicious.  I served it with BBQ chicken.

(P.S. if you love ChickFila sauce as much as I do, here’s an at home trick:  honey mustard sauce plus BBQ sauce – Sweet Baby Ray’s – mixed together tastes like ChickFila sauce – so good! You can see that’s what is drizzled on our chicken.)


DIY: Nursery Initial Art

We all know I love a quick DIY project.  When I found out one of my friends was naming her son Colin Charles (and their last name also starts with C), the first thing I thought of was “C3” – kinda like RG3. Instead of getting the usual onesie or rattle, I decided to get a little more crafty with my baby gift.

Here’s what I came up with:

C3 tab

I chose orange and gray because she said those were her nursery colors.

It was super simple to make. Here’s how it came together:

1/Here’s what I started with. A wooden “canvas”, a wooden ‘C’ and then a small wooden ‘B’.  Why a ‘B’ you ask? Well, I couldn’t find any small letters, so I figured I could cut the side off of the ‘B’ and turn it into a ‘3’.  I just did this with a serrated kitchen knife. Then I sanded the edges to round them out.
2/ Here’s what the 3 looked like after it was cleaned up.
3/ I painted my C and 3 different shades of orange with craft paint I had on hand.  Then I painted the wood background white. I just used wall paint with primer built in.  I’m sure spray paint would also be awesome to use or craft paint. I wanted to use what I had.  After the white dried for 24 hours, I taped off lines so that I could add the gray stripes.  To figure out the distance between my stripes, I actually traced my background panel and tried out some different sketches on the cardboard. Once I was satisfied with the distances, I made little, tiny marks down both sides of the panel and then taped across. I think I ended up doing 1.5″ gray stripes with 1″ white stripes (which worked well since the painters tape was 1″ thick).


4/ I painted a couple coats of gray.
5/ Then immediately took off the tape to see my stripes.
6/ The last step was just using wood glue to attach the C and 3. I laid them out first to confirm my spacing without glue and then once I felt good about it, I added the glue and let it sit for 12 hours (overnight) just to make sure it dried completely.


I think it turned out cute.  And here is a pic my friend texted of it hanging in her nursery:

C3 final

What other gifts have you given in lieu of the usual baby outfit or toy?

Recipe: Meatball sub – on a stick

It can be a challenge to keep my meals fun and kid friendly.  And I don’t make all our meals “fun” but I know how much my kids enjoy things like food on a stick or finger foods, so on occasion, I try hard to make the meal more exciting for them.

This is one of those meals.


Meatball Subs – on a stick

First, you need a super helper.  Get that super helper to put three meatballs on a stick.  (These were the precooked frozen ones and I just heated them in the skillet so they got a little browned, by the time we started, they were barely warm so they weren’t hot to handle.)


Next take a package of croissants and use 1/2 of a croissant triangle (just ripped in half down the long side so I had two long dough ribbons) to wrap around the balls.


Then bake in a preheated oven (350°). I did them for about 15 mins.  Just until they are golden and the meatballs are heated up.


Then serve with some warmed marinara mixed with a few tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese.


I thought about doing some mozzarella tucked into the dough before I wrapped them, but it didn’t seem like it would work well with the amount of dough I was using.

The kids loved this fun take on meatball subs and ate them right up!

Pinterest: How To – Carnival Games

I posted last week some of the details (here and here) from our Carnival themed party for the kiddos.  Two of the things activities for the kids were games: Prize Pong and Punch a Hole.  Today, I’ll share a quick behind the scenes of how these came together.

Punch A Hole:


Here’s how it was made:

1. Used some scrap plywood that came with a recent furniture purchase.  It worked well.
2. Spray painted with some leftover teal paint which worked with our teal, red, yellow color palette.
3. Used monkey glue to attach some spaced out dollar store paper cups.
4. Made a quick sign on the computer, mounted it on fun paper and attached to the plywood with wood glue. Also filled the cups with small, light (don’t get heavy prizes! this game isn’t that sturdy!) dollar store trinkets. When I was at the dollar store I kinda tested in the store to make sure my prize would fit in the cups before I bought them.
5. Cut squares out of tissue paper that are slightly larger than the cup diameter.  Attach with rubber bands.  (This was key for us because we needed to be able to reset the game in between parties so that it looked great and was easily refilled. We didn’t want Party #2 friends to see a completely busted up game!)
We just set it up on a chair outside so that it was easy for the kids to reach.  They each got to punch out a cup and take the prize!



Prize Pong:

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We set up this game on a folding table and it was played similar to Beer Pong.  Kids stood a couple feet from the table and threw the ping pong ball into the water filled cups. Whichever color cup they landed in, they got a corresponding prize from the other side of the table. We had orange paper, green paper and blue paper with prizes. Prizes went up in value so orange were least valuable to the green which were most valuable since there were less green cups than orange. (Who’s kidding though, they were all dollar store items, so some were just 25 cents while green prizes might be a full dollar! Big spenders, I know!)

They were super easy to set up. I just took craft paint in three colors and painted the outside bottoms of the cups. I didn’t paint the inside because I didn’t want the water to wash away the color.

Prize Pong 1

And as I mentioned before, we made the most orange colored, some blue colored and just a few green so that we could make value of the prizes also tier.

Prize Pong 2

Super easy and fun. For the little kids party – 3 year olds – they were VERY close to the table when shooting – i.e. 1 foot away!  The big kids – 5 year olds – were a few steps back.  They loved being able to pick a prize and especially if they got the green cup!


NGATI: Carnival Party – Part 2 – the Action!

Pictures are worth a thousand words, so this post is the equivalent of a set of encyclopedias – if you even remember what those are.  Encyclo-what?!!? just google it! 🙂

Yesterday I shared many of the party details and set up.  Today, I’m bringing the party shots in action!

My sister and I did a combo birthday for both our 3 year olds and 5 year olds since all 4 of them have birthdays within 6 weeks of each other (and three of them are within 3-4 days of each other – depending on if it’s a Leap Year!).  So we love to throw big combo parties since they are in the same classes and have a lot of the same friends. We figure go big and do it up once instead of over and over and over.

Here are the birthday kiddos in all their glory. My Brooks on top and Heidi’s Lawson on the bottom. Followed by Trapeze Queen Harleigh and Strongest-Man Landon!

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And here are the party-planner extraordinaires!


The fearsome foursome in their party shirts. Bday Hunk, Bday Dude, Bday Babe and Cake King. I’m sure you’re wondering why the last one doesn’t start with Bday… we’ll let’s just say that we had iron-on incidents with multiple shirts!

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Heidi’s hubby manning the popcorn machine!


My mother in law was Operator, President and CEO of the tattoo parlor and did a great job!


There was some eating…


and their other cousin Isla getting ready to manhandle the bounce house…


while Brooks showed off his new foot tat!

Aunt Heidi showed off her cotton candy making skills with tons of fluffy treats.





Then it was time for the cupcakes! I caught Brooks trying to sneak a quick taste before we sang 🙂




And we loved Grammy coming to be part of the fun!


It was really an all day affair. We ran one party from 10-12 and the other from 1-3 so the little kids were on sugar overload by the end of the day!  But the whole fam had a great time and their friends had a blast too!


Papa, (Uncle) Zak and Dean, putting out the vibe in the shade!


And since we had plenty of time on the rental, we did some family bouncing after the guests left.  It was too fun. I’m thinking of renting one of these puppies for an adult party!


The party planners.



NGATI: Carnival Birthday Party

I know, I know. I hyped up carnival birthday party and then I left you hanging.  Candidly, after all the busyness leading up to carnival party and then the party itself, I just couldn’t bring myself to download all the pics and sort through them – and there were a ton of them.  So many that I’m going to make this a two part post – one post of the fun and then one post of the details. Because other people may want to copy some of the ideas for their own party.

Today, I’ll show you how the party went down. Some of the details and activities we had for the day.  (This was a pretty simple party to pull off since we used this theme for our parents surprise 50th birthday a few years ago – we just modified a bunch of activities to make them kid friendly.  We knew it was unlikely to have success at a football throw and ring toss!) And tomorrow, I’ll share some of the cuteness that celebrated it!

Step right up and come in to the carnival.

Picture yourself as a trapeze queen or the strongest man in the world.


An angle of the yard with the games in the back and the bouncehouse front and center.

The complete spread of carnival eats.

including “popcorn” cupcakes.
The popcorn was made out of cut marshmallows.

All set up on the stand so kids could pick their flavor.  (PS Sams is a great choice for inexpensive cupcakes and you can request colored icing if you order in advance!)

We didn’t serve JUST sugary treats…


we had ‘striped’ fruit skewers of strawberries and bananas,

hot dogs and veggie cups.
And what is a carnival without some carnival games! We set up a punch a hole (super easy to make)
And we had prize pong, which is basically kid-friendly beer pong. Whatever color their ball lands on they pick a coordinating prize!


And all carnivals offer tattoos, so we found some cute coordinating ones on Oriental Trading.


We just pinned them individually onto foam board so that kids could see the options and pick one out!


And of course, a little “thanks for coming” treat of animal crackers and a tattoo for at home.

Tomorrow, we’ll have the action shots 🙂 It really was a fun event and the cotton candy and popcorn machines were a huge hit!

Pinterest Worthy: Prescription medicine

I love an idea that makes things easier on me or my family.  With my boys having “millions” of ear infections in their short lives, we’ve had more than our fair share of prescriptions.

One thing I started doing was taking a marker and marking out the doses that we need to give so that we can keep track of whether or not the medicine was given.

Things are often hectic in the mornings, so when I come downstairs, I can easily see if Dean’s already taken care of the dosage or if Brooks still needs it.


On this bottle we needed 10 days with 1 dose each day so I just put an initial for each day and we crossed off when we gave it to him.  If it was 7 days with 2 doses a day, I’d just write M1, M2, T1, T2, etc. for Monday and Tuesday.

Now that we’ve had Ear Tubes Round 2 for Mr. B (along with adenoids out) we are hoping that he is prescription free for a long time!

My brave boy.