It's that time again! Time for a brand new Instant Pot Crio Bru Flavor (Coconut Orange!), a solid chit chat, and a giveaway that will make your chocolate lovin' hearts sing.
Hey Friends! It's time for the March edition of TIDBITS TALK! So grab a drink and a warm blanket and pretend you just came into my water damaged, slightly demolished home for a nice, relaxing chat over the sound of industrial size fans. Doesn't that sound fun!?
Long story short, shirt got tangled in our front loading washer, broke open the door, water poured down the hall, and dripped through the ceiling. All in the middle of the night, no less. That was fun to wake up to. Anyways, that's a drag to talk about, so let's move right along.
February's TIDBITS Talk just might be my favorite post of all time. Your knowledge and opinions were positive, uplifting, and really helped me and so many others. So to recap, here's what we learned last month:
- Brooke told us about Betabrand pants that are basically yoga pants that make you look like you legit got dressed that morning and have somewhere very important to go (like my office 6 steps from my kitchen). Bless you Brooke! The black dress pants feel like a dream and I'm waiting for the jean pair to be back in stock!
- TONS of you had great opinions about kids and sports and I officially have no guilt about not forcing my kids to play a sport. I'm embracing piano, swimming, gymnastics, dirt biking and enjoying calm, non rushed dinners at home while I still can. You guys rock!
- A few of you ordered the StickTogether board and are loving it! Lyn bought one for her kid's school and I think that is the greatest idea ever. They should be in every classroom! Lacey told me of a similar craft called Diamond Dots and my kids are obsessed!
- Laurel and Katrina introduced me to the podcast Proof by America's Test Kitchen. I listened to the episode about how they make booger and dog food flavors of jelly beans for the game BeanBoozled and I about died laughing: “Yep, that's barf, no question . . . why am I still eating this?”
- Stephanie told me about the podcast Better Than Happy with Jody Moore, wow, so much knowledge there! What a gem!
- Stephanie also confessed to putting leftover sausage grease on her popcorn . . . and I felt embarrassed about loving I Can't Beleive it's not Butter Spray 😉
- There are many more Crio Bru lovers out there now which means the world is officially a happier place. The feedback I've received so far for this Golden Crio Bru recipe has been wonderful, I'm so excited you guys like it!
- Many of you are discovering the money saving benefit of Honey Money, it's awesome, right!?
And so much more! Seriously such a wealth of information in those comments!
Congratulations to our February Crio Bru winner Heidi, who ended up being my favorite High School math teacher. I always thought she was cool because 1) she was female and 2) she could command a classroom like a boss.
Now let's jump right into March!
IMPORTANT ITEMS OF BUSINESS TODAY
- I'll be answering one of your questions, “How do you get your kids to eat everything you cook?” Ha! They don't! More on that below
- Rediscovering your inner child
- The COOLEST room makeover I've ever seen
- Kids and Lying and the GREATEST KID VIDEO OF ALL TIME
- Things I'm Lovin Lately – meat and mayo
- Crio Bru Flavor of the Month and a GIVEAWAY!
Let's do this!
HOW TO GET KIDS TO EAT
In a perfect world, my kids would cheer every time dinner hit the table . . . my world is so not perfect.
Before I had kids I was certain that kids were only picky because they were only offered “kid food.” Well, I'm here to say that I started my kids on curry, sauerkraut, and all kinds of veggies as early as I could, and the little stinkers still groan when dinner is not mac and cheese, grilled cheese, or cheese pizza.
I'm not here to say my way is the only right way, but it has worked well for me and my family for the most part.
Note: my methods come from the Ellyn Satter guidelines called “Division of Responsibility in Feeding” which in a nutshell says that it is the parent's job to choose the food, the time, and place. The child's job is to choose what they'll eat and how much. That is a very condensed version though!
I devoured Ellyn Satter's book Child of Mine and Maryann Jacobsen's book Fearless Feeding to learn this style of feeding and I find it to be truly life-changing. Check out Maryann's website sometime, it's a treasure trove of powerful information on the subject.
So what does dinner look like at my house? To avoid this answer from running on way too long, I'll try to answer this as quick and informatively as I can. If you have questions, let me know in the comments.
What I don't do:
- Bribe, threaten, or demand that they eat anything
- Label foods as good or bad for you
- Expect a clean plate
- Watch and comment on every bite they take
What I do:
- Let them have dessert with dinner. They pick a small treat like a chocolate or small cookie and can choose to eat it whenever they'd like to during dinner – crazy I know, if you care to know why, I can explain in the comments.
- Instead of calling food good or bad, I simply explain that there are thousands of different foods and for the best health, we eat a variety of all of them. Eat spinach for your eyes, eat tater tots for the joy of it 🙂
- Praise them for listening to their bellies. I want them to know they can trust their bodies to know when they're full instead of focusing on a clean plate. I'm surprised time and again how well children know what they need. I think as parents we worry about them being hungry, but from what I've witnessed, my kids know much better what they need than I do. If my kids say they aren't hungry at breakfast, I tell them to at least drink some water, and then let them go get ready. Kids are so intune with their body's needs and if they're allowed to listen to that, they'll be just fine. Most adults, including myself, don't have that kind of intuition anymore!
- If my kids complain loudly that, “I don't like this” I say, “well then don't eat it, but keep your opinion to yourself.” Nothing makes me madder than when one kid says, “gross” and suddenly no one else will even try it
- Have at least one thing on the table I know they feel comfortable with (fruit, bread, pickles, cottage cheese, etc), but what is on the table is what's for dinner, don't ask me for anything else. Also, the kitchen is closed for the night after dinner is cleaned up.
- Above all else, I focus more on the experience of dinner, rather than on the fact that they are eating or not. I firmly believe that my kids' palates will mature when they are ready to and no amount of pressuring will make that happen any sooner. My goal is to make eating meals together a happy memory where everyone feels relaxed and free to talk about their day. I feel like in the long run, that's what will create a healthy relationship with food
- After a particularly challenging night, I told my husband, “Picture how you'd feel at dinner if you had someone commenting on everything you ate, told you how much to eat, and told you something was good when you found it repulsive. Would you feel relaxed, happy, and willing to try something new?”
- One thing I've started recently is I ask my kids their opinion of the food so that I can be better at creating recipes for other families. One rule: you can't just say “yuck” or “yum”, tell me what you like and don't like. They've found this to be quite empowering and it's just about the best dinner time entertainment ever.
I could go on for hours about this topic, just be glad we aren't face to face right now or you'd be stuck with me for quite some time.
If you have your own methods that you swear by, please share!
REDISCOVERING THE INNER CHILD
Alright, enough of what I think, I'm throwing the mic to you now!
I believe this applies to everyone, but it's the mamas I'm thinking of most right now.
I recently had a talk with a good friend about what to do when you feel like your inner child is long gone. Without even realizing it, mine took a hike when I struggled to even breathe through the days of three very young children, one of whom never ever stopped crying. As a means of survival, my brain went into autopilot and I felt successful when everyone was fed and dressed appropriately for the day.
Well now I have school age kids that are the epitome of joy, laughter, and spontaneity, and I've decided that amidst being the responsible adult, I also want to be the first to jump into a muddy puddle . . . and actually like it. Can you relate? Am I crazy? Unrealistic?
I have a husband that has made a career out of playing and thank goodness I have him to whisk me away on a motorcycle so I can remember what it's like to live in the moment.
So tell me, oh wise ones: What do you do to bring that light-hearted playfulness back into your life? A “too grown up for her own good” mama wants to know. I'm dangerously close to being this person:
HOME MAKEOVER TO MAKE YOUR JAW DROP
Want to know what my sister Cami is doing to find her inner child? She is selling her house and living in a camper in my mom's driveway. Nothing like finding your inner child by using your mom's washing machine and sneaking food out of her fridge. Way to inspire us all sis! 😜
Actually, there is a lot more to this story. Many of you already know the scoop about Cami (the DIY pro over on the decor side of TIDBITS) moving into a trailer following their dreams, but I just have to brag about her for a second. Did you ever in your life think a camper could go from this to that?
I took a personal tour the other day and just about died. Cami has turned a blah, gross camper into something truly magnificent. The final TADA is near and I cannot wait to see it. Follow her journey, you'll be inspired, I guarantee it.
I once had a coworker tell me, “vacations are what you take with your spouse, trips are what you do with your kids.” Well since my goal is to wake the inner child, I'm going to think of family getaways as a vacation from responsibility and schedules and really embrace it this summer.
What are your favorite vacations you've ever taken with your children? My husband is a strong “no” in the crowded family fun park category, but I welcome all your ideas. My hubby can stay home and be “responsible” and “boring adult like” if need be. Haha, just kidding Brockstar.
THE WORST LIAR EVER
Have your kids ever asked you how you know when they are lying? Have them watch this video of my son telling the worst lie ever and they'll understand. This is my favorite kid video of all time!
THINGS I'M LOVING LATELY
I love this part! I take my job of trying random products and services very seriously, much to my husband's demise. I've found some good ones for you this month.
ButcherBox: Have you seen the annoying ads constantly on Facebook? I swore I'd never try anything just because I felt pressured to do so. Real mature, huh? So what made me try it? I love the fact that their meat is “humanely raised and free of antibiotics and hormones” but what really got me was that everyone kept telling me that Costco is the best place to buy meat and I don't live anywhere near a Costco. So, I thought, let's try ButcherBox. Yup, that was my thought process.
I have been so so thrilled with it! I'm not even a big meat eater, and I am in love! Aside from the Filet Mignon that I cooked in a skillet (dreamy!) and the Hamburgers I made on the grill (literally never had a burger that good) I've tested everything else in the pressure cooker. The dishes I've made that have stood out for me are the Chuck Roast, Apricot Pork Chops, and Lemon Herb Whole Chicken (which was tender and juicy despite the fact that I forgot to add liquid to my pot and almost ruined it – thank goodness for this Burnt Pot Trick).
The chicken breasts I didn't have as much luck with in this recipe for Sundried Tomato Chicken, they were really chewy, not sure what went wrong there. I haven't tried the famous bacon yet, my husband and I aren't huge bacon fans, but when I pull it out of the freezer and try it, I'll be sure and let you know.
If you want to try this service, right now is the perfect time. When you sign up for ButcherBox between now and March 31st, you'll receive 2 FREE pounds of ground beef in every shipment for life. This is a great value and the ground beef was honestly the best I've ever had. That's coming from a girl who has substituted with ground turkey for the past three years of her life, and now I'm wishing I had a freezer full of their ground beef.
Let me know if you try it! I'd love to hear what you think.
Disposable Cutting Boards: When it comes to prepping raw meat, I am a contamination prevention master. My paranoid mother side just can't accept that a good soapy scrub gets rid of all the bacteria that could harm my family, which is why so often I have the butchers at the store prep my meat. These disposable cutting boards are heaven sent! They withstand a lot of cutting and when I'm finished, it can go in the trash along with all my food poisoning worries. BEST PRODUCT OF THE YEAR!
Sir Kensington's Special Sauce: Most of you guys know I'm a hardcore Sir Kensington's fan (Best ketchup and mayo on the planet!), but I have to tell you about my new favorite product – the Special Sauce. I could scoop, dip, slather my way through half of a jar all the while forgetting that I just ate 2000 calories in sauce – so very worth it. Fries, burgers, roasted veggie bowls . . . I'll put it on them all!
CRIO BRU RECIPE OF THE MONTH – COCONUT ORANGE!!!
This Coconut Orange Crio Bru with orange scented whipped cream is the kind of drink you want to invite all your neighbors over to try. All those Crio Bru skeptics out there will be floored and begging you for more after one sip of this heavenly drink!
If you are new around here and wondering what in the world I'm talking about, Crio Bru is basically roasted and ground cocoa beans that can be brewed into a glorious, healthy chocolate drink. See this Golden Crio Bru post for even more details.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE COCONUT ORANGE CRIO BRU IN THE INSTANT POT
- You know the Christmas chocolate orange that comes out every holiday? It's reminiscent of those flavors, but fresh, dark, and bright all at the same time without any of the waxy, icky chocolate flavor contained in the Christmas orange.
- The orange scented cream is silky, smooth, and whipped just long enough to barely hold its shape so when it hits your hot Crio, it creates a lovely topping for each sip. Put the extras on your pancakes, wowza!
- It's the deep dark chocolate flavor I love of Crio Bru, with a background of brightness that will make you say, “Whoa, what was that lovely flavor that just lit up my palate?” I love those moments
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY CRIO BRU IN THE INSTANT POT
- Gather your ingredients and zest 2 oranges
- Add everything to the pot
- Cook for 5 minutes
- Pour Crio Bru through a fine mesh strainer
- Whisk up the orange scented whipped cream
- Cozy up with a good book and sip your way to ultimate peace!
COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM
If you want to keep this drink dairy free but still want the amazing orange scented cream on top, make this Coconut Whipped Cream instead. It uses Canned Coconut Cream and is really, REALLY good. Save the extra for dipping strawberries, YUM!!!
MORE CRIO BRU FLAVORS TO TRY
Let me know what you think of the Coconut Orange Crio Bru! It received thumbs up all around with all my testers.
TOOLS/INGREDIENTS USED TO MAKE COCONUT ORANGE CRIO BRU
- Instant Pot
- Crio Bru on their website or on Amazon – Crio Bru Ghana is the flavor I usually buy
- Fine Mesh Sieve
- Lite Coconut Milk (this is a great buy!)