"We dish about everything, 'cuz we've got a lot on our plates!"

Moonlight & Mason Jars Weekly Link-Up Party #51

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 | 2 comments

Moonlight and Mason Jars Link Party Button

Welcome to the Moonlight & Mason Jars Link Up Party #51, hosted by myself, Jennifer, Ashley & Samantha. It’s hard to believe we are one week away from our 1 year anniversary of this wonderful weekly link-up party. So many of you have been linking up with us since the very beginning and we cannot thank you enough for sticking with us. To help celebrate our big milestone, the hosts of M&MJ are going to be hosting a big giveaway next week, so be sure to join us!

But before I get ahead of myself, are ya’ll ready to party?!

Don’t forget that we have ONE new guest host each week. If you’re a blogger and are interested in participating, please send me a message on Facebook. We average about 200 link-ups per week, so that is great exposure for your blog. Don’t miss out!

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Welcome Mindi from Simply Stavish!

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Preparing for Easter Morning

Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 | 0 comments

If your house is anything like ours on Easter morning, you’ll be up at the crack of dawn, with your little ones begging you to go outside to find the eggs that the Easter Bunny placed all over the backyard lawn (assuming the snow has melted, yikes!) It’s super fun, but we are up bright and early! Then, after the fun of the Easter egg hunt, we have to scramble to get ourselves showered and dressed in our best attire to head to Easter Sunday Mass. I’m not complaining about this at all, I love our family tradition, however it leaves me very little time to mess around in the kitchen to prepare holiday brunch for our families.

So what is an exhausted Mama to do in order to make the family meal a tasty success with some holiday design and flair added to the mix? I prep everything in the days leading up to the holiday, so we can get up and enjoy each other’s company.

Here’s what I do:

-Shop for and wrap Easter baskets the week or two before (then find a good hiding place)

-Plan the menu the week before and grocery shop a few days prior to the holiday

-Arrange all the food and appetizers and store in refrigerator until the morning of

-Set the table the night before

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{Beautiful centerpiece via Williams-Sonoma}

This year, here’s what we’re eating:

 

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Quiche Lorraine {via About.com/Busy Cooks}

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 Spinach, zucchini and tomato quiche {via Scandi Home}

Ham and Cheese Egg Casserole 800 6089 Egg, cheese and ham casserole {via Yummly}

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Mixed Green Salad {via Picky Cook}

I will also make a fresh fruit salad (blackberries, strawberries, oranges, cantaloupe, honeydew, kiwi, blueberries and grapes) and have plenty of hot buns, croissants, bagels, and muffins on hand!

I try to keep it simple yet elegant since it’s a holiday brunch and we are all dressed up and fancy from church. I love entertaining, especially at my home, but as a busy mom I need to keep it simple or else I just don’t enjoy the day. And after all the running around and craziness, we should get to enjoy it too, right?!

How do you prep for your Easter Holiday celebration? Do you proactively prepare for kids activities, hunt goodies, family meals and entertainment, or are you more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants host? Or are you celebrating Easter at someone else’s home this year?

Natalie

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Catch the Moment 365: Week 14

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 | 2 comments

You may be surprised to see this, considering the last Catch the Moment 365 post I wrote was for Weeks 5 & 6… but I’m definitely back. I have given myself grace for missing so many weeks (and to be fair, it’s not like I haven’t taken any photos between day 40 and day 91 (man, was I really gone for 51 days?!), I just didn’t get them posted here.

But starting back on April 1st, I recommitted myself to the project and I’ve been doing really well the last 2 weeks. I’ve only missed 2 days so far, and that’s because I was super sick and the Hubs was out of town. And yes, I may be a little late getting Week 14′s photos up on the blog, but I’m here now and that’s all that matters.

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91/365: Rainy day in NorCal and all we want to do is play with puzzles. Great for education, not so great for photos.

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92/365: The rain subsided for a bit and I went outside for a little peace and quiet. I was looking at this swing, that doesn’t get any use anymore, and I got a little sad. Our boys are too big for it now. Time to get rid of another “baby” item. Sigh. Also, the wisteria is in full bloom!

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93/365: There’s never. enough. ice cream.

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94/365: I finally took my camera out in public! Friday mornings at Gymboree with my #2 son. Love this shot!

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97/365: After a few days of being miserably sick, I was finally coming around, but still not 100%. This means that the boys were able to eat breakfast on the couch, ‘cuz I just didn’t have the fight in me that day.

I’ve already started editing my photos for week 15, so I should be ready with the next 7 days this Friday. Unless I get sick again :)

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I’m participating in this challenge/project to 1) catalogue the daily life of my family, 2) find more joy in our day-to-day lives, and 3) get more practice with my dSLR. I am getting better at using my camera every day, but there are some days I just… forget. Because I am simultaneously doing a #catchthemoment365 project on Instagram as well, some days those photos will have to fill in the blanks (and vice versa). Follow along at @hleatherton #EFam365 #catchthemoment365

If you would like to join in on Catch the Moment 365 project, you can start at any time. It doesn’t have to be on Jan 1. Just start today and take photos for the next 365 days… and, link up of course!

Catch the Moment 365 hosts: Mindi from Simply Stavish, Sarah from Nurse Loves Farmer, Stephanie from Behind the Camera and Dreaming

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Moonlight & Mason Jars Link-Up Party #50

Posted by on Apr 9, 2014 | 4 comments

Moonlight and Mason Jars Link Party Button

Welcome to the Moonlight & Mason Jars Link Up Party #50, hosted by myself, Jennifer, Ashley & Samantha. It sure has been a busy week here on Mama Dish. This is the 4th post in the last 4 days… anyone see smoke coming out of the back of my computer?! I’m on fire!!

In all seriousness, I’m working very hard to bring you guys valuable content, like the wonderful projects you share with us week after week. Seeing all your posts have been such an inspiration for me, so keep them coming!

Are you ready to party?!

Don’t forget that we have ONE new guest host each week. If you’re a blogger and are interested in participating, please send me a message on Facebook. We average about 200 link-ups per week, so that is great exposure for your blog. Don’t miss out!

MMJ Hosts Image Little Miss Celebration

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{Review & Giveaway} A New Easter Tradition

Posted by on Apr 8, 2014 | 6 comments

A few weeks ago, a former co-worker of mine reached out to me to see if I would be interested in reviewing a book that she had written, and of course I said yes! Always love to help out an old friend. She explained to me a little bit about what Lollipop Seeds that Sprout for Kind Deeds was about, so I was really anxious to read it to the boys when it arrived.

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The illustrations in the book are very fun to look at and the rhyming nature of the tale kept my 5 year old very interested from start to finish (my 20 month old, well, very little keeps him occupied for more than 2 minutes!) But what I liked most about the book was the lesson that it taught– that Easter isn’t about what you GET in your basket, it’s about what you GIVE of yourself to help others.

Instead of thinking about all the goodies the Easter Bunny might bring you on Easter morning, it encourages children to create acts of kindness that they can do for people that they know, and shows them that love “blooms” wherever the kindness is found. This refers not only to the love in their hearts, but also in the form of lollipops in their yard!

That’s right, I said lollipops bloom in your yard. How magical is that?!

Do something kind for someone you know and mark it down in the book, make a wish, then throw the seeds into your yard (or into a flower pot depending on your outdoor space situation). Mark the spot where you toss the seeds with cute little lollipop markers provided with the book, then check back the next day to see what sprouted! And just like that, a new Easter tradition grows in your home (pun intended).

Here are a few kind deeds that Brady thought of after we read the book:

- Bake cookies

- Bake cupcakes

- Clean their house (anyone’s apparently)

- Read a story

- Teach them how to play baseball

- Color them a picture

So sweet, isn’t he?!

Everything is explained within the book, and it comes with 2 packets of Lollipop Seeds and 2 Lollipop Markers. As I mentioned, there’s a place at the back of the book for you to write down the kind deeds your child/ren do each year, so that you can keep a running log for them to look back on. My opinion is that it would be best for children ages 4-10, assuming they believe in “magic” and/or the Easter Bunny.

(Please note: Lollipops are not provided with the book. And though it need not be said, parents will need to “help out” E.B. in growing the lollipops, if you know what I mean.)

I’m excited to start this new tradition in our home and to keep it going for years to come!

If you are interested in purchasing a book for your home, you can buy them directly from the Lollipop Seeds website for $19.95 (or for $24.95 you can get a book with 4 packets of seeds and 4 markers) or on Amazon. In order to receive your copy in advance of Easter, you must order it by next Wed., 4/15. But… one lucky Mama Dish reader can win their very own copy of Lollipop Seeds that Sprout for Kind Deeds right now by entering the giveaway below!

The giveaway begins today and ends at midnight on Friday, April 11. It’s a short giveaway, but I want to be able to get the book out to the winner in advance of Easter (boy it sure snuck up on me, didn’t it?!) I will be notifying the winner via email on Saturday to get their mailing address. If I do not get a response in 24 hours, I will pick a new winner, so check back on the site to see if you’ve won!

Thank you to Cherri for sharing her wonderful book with my family and for giving me a copy to share with one of you!

Good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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