Wednesday 16 December 2020

FREE Printable Delivery Driver Holiday Thank You Snack Sign

It's the holiday season so we are getting even more deliveries than usual and this year (because, of course, #2020) deliveries don't seem to be running as smoothly or as quickly as normal. It's obviously not our delivery drivers or postal workers fault, but I'm sure they are getting the brunt of frustrations. So this year I decided to jump on the bandwagon and stick out some snacks.

I know I'm reliant on deliveries even more this holiday season, so I wanted to let our delivery drivers and mail men and women know we appreciate them, safely. I made this delivery driver appreciation snack sign you can print for free and stick on your porch with a box of treats. We tried to put out a few different options that were individually wrapped and easy to snack on the go while they help us make the holidays happen delivering mail and packages!

We appreciate you please grab a snack and stay stay safe. Happy Holidays. To our delivery drivers and postal workers

Need it higher-res? Download for free here.

It sounds silly, but it made me smile when I saw the first one grab a treat out of the box on my camera. We could all use safe, random kindness, right?

What snacks would you put in your box?

Monday 23 November 2020

Holiday Gift Guide for a Glamorous Grandma

When Rookwood Commons and Pavilion asked if I could help pick out holiday gifts for “Grandma” I said sure, as long as she can be a Glamorous Grandma. If you know my mom, you know what I’m talking about. So I put on my mask and headed to Rookwood, on the east side of Cincinnati to go holiday gift shopping. I was a little trepidatious about shopping in the current climate, but I didn’t need to worry: there are social distance markers and reminders, as well as sanitizers, throughout the shopping center and I never felt crowded or unsafe. Many stores are also offering curb-side pick up if you prefer to stay out of stores. So, you know you can shop for holiday gifts, but what should you buy for Glamorous Grandma?

Pink background with pink snowflakes, reads Holiday Gift Guide for Glamorous Grandma, with logos of Rookwood Stores

Here are ten ideas for the cool Grandma (she’s not a regular Grandma) in your life:

*Sur La Table: My mom loves to cook and this Le Creuset Dutch Oven the perfect size for making her homemade Matzo Ball soup or maybe a Roast Chicken recipe from her favorite, Ina Garten. They are also offering virtual cooking classes you can take at home starting at just $29!

Light Blue Le Creuset Dutch Oven on a metal shelf

*Maverick Chocolate Truffles: I’ve yet to meet a Grandma that doesn’t like chocolate and you can mix and match a box of truffles at Maverick Chocolate to make sure she gets all her favorite flavors

Tray of pink ,red and striped chocolate truffles next to a giftbox

*Joseph-Beth Booksellers: My Mom is a voracious reader and she’s been dying to read President Obama’s new book. If you don’t have a specific book in mind, the staff at Joseph-Beth are always super helpful with finding the perfect one for you.

Barack Obama book display featuring mugs and books

*Athleta: Only in 2020 would I be suggesting face masks as a gift, but these are by far my favorite. Their Made of Move Masks are breathable, have a filter pocket and metal down the nose to make sure it fits snugly, but comfortably.

Wall display of multicoloured athleta masks

*Talbots: We have an ongoing joke about “tops” from Talbots in our family as it’s always what my Grandma wanted for Chanukah. That said, this chunky purple sweater is nothing to joke about. My mom really suits jewel tones, so I’d love it on her. Talbots also has petite sizes for those, like my mom, who are vertically challenged.

Maniquin with purple chenille sweater, plaid blazer and chunky necklace

*Whole Foods: Did you know Whole Foods has an extensive wine selection? They happen to carry my mom’s favorite, Rombauer Chardonnay. An easy holiday gift you know she’ll love.

Two bottles of Rombauer Chardonnay

*Nordstrom Rack: Before moving back to Ohio, my mom lived in California so winter attire wasn’t really in her wardrobe. These super cute, but super functional, Ugg gloves will be a must for Ohio winter and at a fraction of the retail price!

Black Leather gloves with faux fur black trim

*Ulta: Every Glamorous Grandma knows the secret to being mistaken for your daughter’s sister is in taking care of your skin. This Sunday Riley gift set will help her glow from within and keep people asking how she could possibly be a Grandma.

Sunday Riley Holiday Gift Set of Skin Care

*Redlands Grill: Somewhere between fast-casual and upscale dining lies Redlands Grill. My son always chooses to have his birthday dinner there and they are now offering online, take-out orders, too. A gift card from Redlands will not go unused!

Hand holding a Redlands gift card in front of a lit up Redlands Sign

*Mitchell’s Salon and Day Spa: Last but not least, who couldn’t use some pampering right now? I know my mom would love a facial, manicure and pedicure to help her recharge. Right now you can get a $100 gift card for $80 or $50 for $40!

Mitchell's Salon gift card with two nail oils on a plaid background

I’ve clearly shopped with my mom in mind, but there’s something for every Grandma, glamorous or not, at Rookwood Commons! Keep an eye out for the full gift guide from @ShopRookwood and @CincinnatiBloggers!

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Tuesday 7 January 2020

Baby Yoda Cookies

So, for my son's birthday I decided to make Baby Yoda cookies for his class treat. I am a big fan of semi-homemade treats; I find they tend to have less margin of error and also it's easier when you a working parent juggling 10,000 things.  I used all store bought ingredients to create these super cute, lil' green guys. I'll take you through and tell you everything you need and how to make Baby Yoda cookies below!
Image from Wikipedia.
Unless you've been living under a log, you'll know that Baby Yoda has taken over as the prince of cute. I'm not a Star Wars person and I've never seen the Disney+ juggernaut, The Mandalorian, but I've seen enough Baby Yoda memes to know a hot trending topic when I see one. My husband and son, however, are Star Wars fans and equally big fans of Baby Yoda or "The Child" as he is officially known.


1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookies
1/4 cup of flour + more for surfaces
Green Frosting
Chocolate Frosting
Black Frosting

Rolling Pin
Cookie Sheets
Angel shaped cookie cutter

You'll want to squeeze/dump the roll of dough in to a mixing bowl and knead with 1/4 cup of flour. Make sure the dough is really cold as it will get warmed up as you knead.

Dust a cutting board or counter and rolling pin with flour. Take a ball of dough and roll out until 1/4"-1/2" thick. Thinner works better as the thicker cookies do not hold shape as well.

Use an angel cookie cutter to cut out your Baby Yodas. Now I've seen some people say to "cut the head off" their angels, but my angel cutter is perhaps not the fanciest and I think looks good as is.

cut out angel sugar cookies

Place your cookies on an un-greased cookie sheet and bake at 350F for 8-11 minutes depending on how hot your oven is. Mine were light golden and done in 8 minutes.

Let cool on sheet 3-4 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cool, first frost his little green face. I used an in the bag frosting for this and smoothed out with a butter knife as my icing spatula was too big. I'd squirt green frosting on a few at a time and then go back to smooth out.

green partially frosted sugar cookies

Next I used a tub of frosting to spread on his brown robe; again a knife works well here and you do not need a lot of icing. I had two batches and went through maybe 1/5 of the tub.

green and brown iced sugar cookies

Finally I used a round tip on a tube of icing (all pre-packaged, so only cleaning up the tip) to dot on black circles for eyes. Once the eyes are a bit dry, I'd press down and flatten any that were a bit sticky-uppy. If you press when wet they won't go down and will just stretch up more.

eyes are added to frosted sugar cookie yodas

I let the frosting fully dry out over-night in a cool, dry place (I stuck back in my turned-off oven) and then transferred to a plate or ziplock.

plate of baby yoda sugar cookies

Are Baby Yoda cookies hard to make? NO. The decorating is slightly time consuming but it is worth it for all the awwwwws you'll get for the Star Wars or meme loving person in your life.

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Thursday 26 April 2018

Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, Cincinnati, Ohio

We’ve been regular visitors to Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers since it opened on Red Bank last year. When you get a chance to shout about one of your family’s go-to food spots, you’ve got to, right?

Little Girl with bugers and fries

We’d never heard of Freddy’s before we saw the signs go up last year but we were intrigued, so we headed over shortly after it opened. It more than lived up to our expectations! For starters everything is so fresh, the burgers are cooked completely to order and the toppings are always crisp and delicious – no wilted lettuce here. Freddy's grill is actually heated with water and designed curved to create crisp patties. The fries are up there with the very best – super thin and always hot and crispy. And don’t get me started on how good that fry sauce is (so good I might have a bottle in my fridge).

The portions are more than generous and we’ll often manage to share one order of fries between four of us. While most burgers are served as doubles, you can also ask for a single burger if you’d prefer a smaller portion and if don't do carbs, every burger can come wrapped in lettuce, too. My kids are big fans of their chicken fingers and hot dogs, but grilled cheese and burgers are also an option.

If fries and onion rings aren't your thing (or even if they are), you can now get cheese curds as your side--YES-- cheese curds. I didn't know that fried cheese curds were something I was missing from my life, but now I've tried them there is no going back. The boy described them as mini mozzarella sticks, but the cheese is similar to Halloumi to me-- firm, squeaky and addictive!

Freddys bugers, fries and cheese curds

No matter what you choose, make sure you save room for dessert.

Blonde holding up sundae with whipped cream and cherry
The steakburgers are delicious, but the custard is divine -- so smooth and creamy, it’s super rich without being too heavy to eat after a meal. PRO-TIP: order and pay for everything at once and ask them to “hold your custard,” then once you’ve finished your burgers you can walk straight up to the counter, skip the line, and the staff will get you your dessert!

The food is definitely a step above the usual drive thrus, but it’s also quick and convenient. It’s definitely our go to for those nights where we know we need to eat, but we have 16 minutes between school, and soccer, and swimming, and bed!

There are currently 7 Freddy’s around Greater Cincinnati so hopefully there is one near you!

We received our meal for free, but all opinions are our own.
Honestly my kids are obsessed with Freddy's and we eat there out of our own pocket on the regular and you should, too!

Tuesday 24 October 2017

85 Calorie Double Chocolate Muffins

Delicious and low calorie chocolate muffins
Ok, yes I'm yelling and yes I've disappeared for a wee bit. A lot has happened and gone on since I've last posted, including me eating healthier. Today I adapted Chelsea's Messy Apron's recipe and made these amazing double chocolate muffins and they are TOO amazing not to share. They are only 85 calories each AND gluten free!
Double Chocolate Mini Muffins
  • 1/2 cup, Cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp, baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp, baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon, Salt
  • 2 tbsp(s), Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp(s), Splenda

  • 1/2 cup, Jif- Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 cup, Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1/2cup, Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 2 tsp, Vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp, Honey
  • 2 large, Eggs
  • 4 tbsp(s), Home ground Oat Flour 
  • 7 tbsp, Semi Sweet Chocolate Baking Chips (reserve 2 tbsp)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 24 count mini muffin tin with non-stick spray. Do not use muffin liners! The muffins won't come out well.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the  dry ingredients: cocoa powder, oat flour (blend GF oats until they are a flour consistency. Make sure to measure the oats AFTER being blended), baking soda, baking powder, salt, brown sugar and splenda.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine peanut butter, applesauce, Greek yogurt, vanilla, and honey. Beat until completely combined.
  4. Slowly add in the dry to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Add the egg and combine until incorporated.
  6. Stir in 5 Tbsp of chocolate chips and distribute the batter evenly across the muffin tin.
  7. Top the muffins with the remaining 2 Tbsp of chocolate chips.
  8. Bake for 18-22 minutes (my oven took 20) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Let muffins cool 3-4 minutes, or until cool to touch and remove from pan to finish cooling.
  10. Try not to eat them all while they are still ooey-gooey melty and warm.

Honestly these were so good AND my kids loved them. They taste super indulgent (like lava cake Blondie Boy said) and are only 85 calories each! I really don't think you can get much better with a  low calorie dessert! Full nutritional information below!

Wednesday 14 December 2016

Frisch’s Big Boy Presents The Nutcracker

1980s Cincinnati Ballet Nutcracker
6 year old Ballet Blondie
When I was 6 years old I was a page in the Cincinnati Ballet company's production of Cincinnati Christmas classic The Nutcracker.  Now **cough cough** years later, Blondie Boy is 6 years old and I took him to his first performance of The Nutcracker.

From the very first performance of The Nutcracker in 1974, Frisch’s Restaurants has been the Ballet’s primary sponsor. It is one of the longest-lasting examples of corporate sponsorship in American arts history and a Cincinnati tradition that I grew up with. I hadn't been personally since 2003 before I left Cincinnati and moved to the UK and I couldn't wait to share it with BB for his first Christmas in Cincinnati.

Frischs Chicken Fried Steak Family Dinner
He likes it!
First though we headed to Frisch's to try their family dinners and famous Hot Fudge Cake. For $7.99 you can choose from carved turkey, country fried chicken, country fried steak, roast beef or meatloaf served with mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans. BB can be a picky eater. I knew he'd love the country friend chicken but I was surprise that he also loved the country fried steak! But let's keep it real, we both were after one thing: dessert.

As part of that partnership, Frisch’s worked with members of the Cincinnati Ballet to launch Frisch’s first-ever holiday edition of its best-selling dessert, Hot Fudge Cake. Peppermint Hot Fudge Cake is available for a limited time (until Feb.7) and this is the first time since the original dessert debuted in in 1970 that it has been offered in another flavor!

Nutcracker Peppermint Hot Fudge Cake

We were brought one to share, but BB loved it so much I had to get my own. We both loved this holiday twist on a classic and dare I say that I even liked this more than the original? Both the original and limited edition peppermint desserts are available at restaurants for $3.29.

Nutcracker Frisch's Peppermint Hot Fudge CakeFrisch's Peppermint Hot Fudge Cake

After practicing his best Nutcracker moves, we headed over to the Arnoff Center, where the Nutcracker is this year while Music Hall undergoes renovations. The performance brought back so many forgotten memories for me.

little boy cincinnati nutcrackerFrisch's Cincinnati Nutcracker

Even if you've seen the Nutcracker multiple times this year's show is an update: some hip-hop moves even make their way in to the performance. Classic characters are updated in ways you couldn't have imagined. Blondie Boy's favorite parts were when (spoiler alert) the Rat King died and the "very awkward dancing poodle."

Tickets for the Nutcracker are on sale through December 18th.

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Frisch's invited us for dinner and to watch the Nutcracker. We were compensated for this review, but all opinions are our own. 
I couldn't get a 6 year old to lie if I tried!

Wednesday 6 April 2016

Blythswood Square Glasgow Little Darlings Afternoon Tea

Imagine a six year old at end of the school February break. Throw in some snow, rain and the obligatory icy Glasgow temperatures. Then ask yourself what you could do together that would entertain the child and let you enjoy a touch of luxury. The answer I have found is the Blythswood Square Little Darlings afternoon tea in Glasgow.

We visited Blythswood Square, a five star hotel in Glasgow city centre, several times previously but always in the company of adults and to be truthful I wondered how the quiet ambience would suit a six year old. There was no need to worry. From the moment we arrived the staff were pleasant and helpful and made him feel like a very welcome and special guest.

Afternoon tea is served in the colonnaded salon overlooking the square itself, a beautiful room with elegant furnishings.

The waiter explained the menu to us and asked if there were any particular dietary requirements. Of course Blondie Boy was quick to mention his egg allergy but this didn't present a problem.

It was his first experience of afternoon tea and he loved being presented with his own three tier cake stand. As well as sandwiches which he had chosen from the Little Darlings menu, there were scones with cream and jam, cake and a candy floss cone filled with raspberry mousse which he loved. There were also fresh strawberries and he wolfed those down before even attempting cake. 

Blythswood Square Glasgow Little Darlings Afternoon Tea

Children's afternoon tea glasgow

The staff were attentive without being intrusive and we enjoyed the unhurried atmosphere. It was such a special end to the school holiday for us both and one we will definitely repeat. I'm sure some people might be doubtful about a five star hotel as a venue for a children's outing, but it was truly an exciting and memorable occasion and one I wouldn't hesitate to recommend. Afternoon tea is such a British institution so I'm so glad it was an experience we got to have together.

The cost of the Blythswood Square Little Darlings afternoon tea is £12.95 which is more than reasonable for the surroundings and spread! 

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