Every kid dreams of going to Disneyland, and my three year old is no different. After watching a Disney documentary on TV, she has been asking to “go to Cinderella’s house” ever since.
We knew this day would come, and, when looking into her pleading little face, Husband and I decided to take the plunge, scrape together our pennies, and finally commit to the idea. It was a daunting task — bags needed to be packed, tickets purchased and itineraries ironed out.
At a glance, planning a vacation for a destination that is a mere 40 minute drive away may sound like the death of spontaneity, but children (and adults for that matter) need routine and guidelines to make them feel safe and secure. Also, if you live in the Real World of Married Life and Parenting you’ll have realized by now that when you’re married with kids, spontaneity died a long time ago. That’s not to say it’s not fun, but that it’s now just fun based around nap time, potty breaks and administering snacks.
So here are a few tips I gathered from my research that will help anyone planning a Disney vacation with little ones.
Fall is in the air and California has finally gotten the memo to slow down and let the leaves litter the parks and sidewalks while foodie types like myself start sharing pics of pumpkin-flavored everything on social media.
With the cool weather starting to set in, there’s nothing like firing up your stove or oven and turning your house into a comforting, heavenly home. To get you started, here are some great labor-saving kitchen items that will get you into the cooking mood
The Cuisinart Smart Stick is the answer for those of who are put off by huge food processors that take up precious real estate on the counter or in the cupboard. It’s also great for those of us who have a tendency to lose the bits and bobs that go with such monstrous kitchen appliances. Small and compact, the Cuisinart Smart Stick does what a basic food processor does, albeit in smaller batches, making it the perfect mini multi-tasker for those of us who live in tiny abodes.
The detachable stick motor has two speeds and connects to an immersion blender, a whisk attachment, and a food chopper so making soups is a cinch and meringues happen in minutes. But it is the chopper that is the real star – from hummus to pie crust to chopped nuts, this will be an instant go-to labor saver.
Pros: The mini chopper is perfect for apartment living – it’s small and compact but its 200 watt motor has enough power to blend liquids or chop in no time.
Cons: If you’re looking for something that can chop, puree or slice things up in big batches, or something with a feeder hole to stream in liquids, consider getting its cousin the Cuisinart Classic 7-Cup Food Processor
If you’ve been tuning in, you’ve have read my product review on the Hawaiian Shaved Ice Machine, promptly went online and ordered yourself one and have been thanking me ever since. But variety is the spice of life so here are five unique recipes to go with your favorite summer kitchen appliance!
1. Sugar-Free Water Enhancers
If you’re shying away from making homemade snow cone syrup because you’re watching your sugar intake, then you’re in luck. Liquid water enhancers are the hot new trend and major water brands such as Dasani and mega marts like Target and Walmart all producing their own line of liquid water flavorings, so you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to your low to no calorie shaved ice.
1 x 1.62oz bottle of your favorite water enhancer ( I like Wyler’s Light Grape Water Enhancer )
2 cups water
Lemon or lime juice, to taste.
Thoroughly mix the water enhancer with the water until they combine.
Gently drizzle over your shaved ice, to taste. About 2 – 3 tablespoons will do it.
The syrup will be concentrated, so be sure you mix well to get evenly coated, highly flavored, fluffy shaved ice
Add lemon or lime juice to taste – this will cut through the sweetness
Shaved ice is all the rage right now, and a quick search on Yelp will bring up over 2,000 results for Los Angeles alone, many touting traditional flavors such as tropical punch and watermelon, while others go the more adventurous route with taro, bean, and condensed milk combinations. This whimsical treat, once an afterthought on the menus of ice cream trucks and beachside vendors, is getting a stylish revamp, making it trendy and hip again to gaggle-foodies looking to try new things.
With the mercury still scheduled to hover close to 100 degrees despite the commencement of September, I feel it is my civic duty to tell you how to make your own shaved ice at home. That’s where the Electric Shaved Ice Machine by Hawaiian Shaved Ice comes in. This wonderful little appliance lets you bring this summer staple into your regular frozen-treat repertoire.