Archives for January 2017

30+ Rich and Delicious Hot Chocolate Recipes

 

hot chocolate recipes

 

Have the winter blues?  Get rid of your blues by whipping up a few of our delicious hot chocolate recipes.  They’re sure to warm you up on a cold winter day, and a great way to spend time with the kids.  Likewise, if you need a little alone time, curl up with a good book, a cup of hot chocolate topped with your favorite toppings and snuggle up in front of the fire.  So, get your taste buds ready.  We have hot chocolate recipes that are sure to kick your chocolate craving up a few notches:

Slow Cooker Caramel Hot Chocolate  – First, caramel ice cream topping is the star in this recipe.  Be sure to pick up a quart on your next trip to the grocery store.

Vampire Hot Chocolate – Red food coloring turns this cup of hot chocolate into a gory, delicious treat for the Vampire lover.

Elsa Hot Chocolate – How pretty is this?  White Chocolate Chips make this cup of hot chocolate decadent and delicious.  Top it with blue food coloring and thus we have a cup of Elsa!

Peppermint Snowman Marshmallow Hot Chocolate – Homemade peppermint snowman makes this cup of hot chocolate fun and delicious.

Olaf Hug Hot Vanilla Milk –  Royal blue food coloring and Wilton’s Sparkling Sprinkles turn this cup of milk into a delicious, warm Olaf Hug.

Unicorn Hot Chocolate – Do you have a girly girl?  She will love this cup of pink hot chocolate topped with marshmallows and yellow, blue and lots of other colored sprinkle.  Be sure to make a cup for her friends.

Mint White Hot Chocolate – Additionally, green food coloring, white chocolate chips and peppermint extract are the stars in this hot chocolate.

Monster Hot Chocolate – Royal Blue food coloring and a large marshmallow will turn this cup of hot chocolate into a scary monster.

Poplar Bear – This cup of hot chocolate is so cute.

Red Velvet Hot Chocolate – Chop white and dark chocolate.  Melt and mix together with whole milk.  Add red food coloring and Reddi-whip and you have this Red Velvet cup of deliciousness.

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate – Pick up a jar of caramel sauce and you will have the star ingredient for this yummy treat.

Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate – Who doesn’t love peanut butter.  Kids and kids at heart love this rich, creamy concoction so much, it is now an ingredient

Slow Cooker Peppermint Mocha Snugglers –  If rich is your thing, you will love this Mocha Snugglers.  This recipe can be adapted for kids or adults.  Just add peppermint coffee creamer for the kids or espresso and schnapps for the adults.

Star Wars Yoda Mint Hot Chocolate Next, this drink is for our Star Wars fans. Garnishes will play a major role in creating this cup of hot chocolate.

Storm Trooper Hot Chocolate – Here’s another treat for the Star Wars fan.  Storm Trooper marshmallows.

Funfetti Hot Chocolate – Funfetti sprinkles, marshmallows, and cake mix are stars in this colorful and delicious treat.  It’s fit for a princess.

Gingerbread Hot Chocolate – Gingerbread and hot chocolate.  Need I say more.

Grinch Hot Chocolate – Please note, this is an adult recipe.  However, you can adapt it for the kids.  Simply leave out the alcohol.

Frozen Hot Chocolate – Yes, frozen even when it’s freezing outside.  Doesn’t it look delicious.

Hot Chocolate Float – Hot chocolate and ice cream make this float a special treat.

Hot Chocolate Mug Cake  – Unique idea, cake in a mug that tastes like hot chocolate.  Yum!

Hot Chocolate Sticks – Dip them in a cup of hot milk and stir until melted.

Marshmallow Snowman –  This little guy is so cute, and he will be delicious in a cup of hot chocolate.

Mickey Mouse Hot Chocolate – Of course, we couldn’t leave Mickey Mouse out. Everyone loves Mickey. Getting to eat him is a special treat.  Hot chocolate, mini doughnuts and whipped cream  topping making this a great treat for kids.

Healthy Hot Cocoa For Kids –  Again, we have a simple and easy recipe that uses 4 ingredients.  How easy is that.

Creamy Peppermint Hot Chocolate – Perfect for a wintry day with the kids.  Furthermore, this cup of goodness has bits of peppermint in a whipped cream topping.

Hot Chocolate Cookie Mugs – Of course spoon licking is allowed.  As a matter of fact, we suggest it.

Frozen Gingerbread Hot Chocolate –  Frozen or hot chocolate is good.  Gingerbread makes a nice companion too.

Frozen Hot Chocolate – Your only problem in creating this recipe will be deciding what toppings to use.  Not only can you use whipped cream, in opinion, walnuts, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, and sprinkles should be on the list.

Disneyland Hot Chocolate – Similarly made to the Olaf Hug.  Also, it’s another beautiful and delicious treat inspired by Disney.

Disneyland Hot Chocolate with Cinnamon Topping –  A favorite from the Napa Rose Restaurant in the Grand Californian hotel at Disneyland.

Cookies and Cream – Equally delicious, and no doubt a favorite treat for the young and young at heart.  Just crush your favorite cookies, and add them to the hot chocolate.  You just created a yummy topping.

Peppermint White Chocolate – Of course crushed candy canes/peppermint sticks are the perfect garnish for this white hot chocolate.

Last, we hope that you found a few of our hot chocolate recipes got your mouth watering.  Finally, you may also like 22 Winter Crafts for Kids.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday’s Best Linkup – Week 109

 

 

Sunday's Best Linkup

 

Welcome to Week 109 of Mother 2 Mother’s Sunday’s Best Linkup.  We’re starting our Be My Valentine theme.  We’re looking for crafts, gift ideas, recipes, date night ideas, movie ideas, cocktails, and more.

We also welcome other recipes, crafts, DIY, home makeover, gardening tips, SEO & blogging information, sewing projects, patio and deck makeovers, front porch makeover ideas, organization tips, ideas for backyard hot dog roasts, and more. Blow the dust off your old posts and share those on our linkup too. They’re great for inspiration.

Anything goes, as long as it’s family friendly and you may linkup as many posts as you would like. Be sure to tell your friends, they will want to join the festivities too.

Each week your hosts will select their favorite post and it will be featured the following week. An image from your post will be used on our linkup post the following week with a link back to your blog. Be sure to check back to see if you’re a Sunday’s Best Featured Blogger. All Featured Bloggers will have their posts pinned to Rhonda’s Sunday’s Best Pinterest Board and Kim M. pins the weekly featured bloggers to her Sunday’s Best Pinterest Board too!

The Reader’s Choice post(s) will be determined by the post(s) with the most clicks. We will be adding the winner to our Sunday’s Best Linkup featured bloggers.

All posts linking to Sunday’s Best Linkup will be promoted on Twitter.

In addition to the Post With the Most Clicks, a post for our monthly themes will be selected and featured each week as well.

If you are interested in becoming a Sunday’s Best Linkup host, please contact me for details at rhonda@mother2motherblog.com or email one of our other hosts.

Your Sunday’s Best Linkup Hosts Are:

Rhonda at Mother 2 Mother — Debbie at Heartbeats ~ Soul Stains — Kim at Life in a House of Testosterone

Saying Goodbye and Thanks to Kim U. from The Pinterested Parent

It is with a sad heart that we say goodbye to one of our original co-hosts, Kim at The Pinterested Parent. She is directing her attention to finishing up a few other projects and completing several children’s books that she is currently working on. We wish her all the best in her new endeavors and hope you will continue to follow her!

Welcome Our New Co-Host – Debbie from Heartbeats ~ Soul Stains

Please join us in welcoming Debbie from Heartbeats ~ Soul Stains as our newest co-host here at the Sunday’s Best Linkup!  Debbie is a wife, mother of 7, and a nurse surviving parenthood while transforming through life’s challenges. She shares life stories, parenting, recipes, DIY and anything thrown her way! She lives in Hawaii with her husband and children. (We’re totally envious too!)

Here are the rules, please connect with us on social media before you leave or subscribe to/follow our blogs:

Mother 2 Mother: Please like Rhonda’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter;, Google+;, Pinterest;, BlogLovin, or subscribe/join her blog on the right sidebar before you leave.

Heartbeats ~ Soul Stains: Please connect with Debbie on Facebook and follow her on Bloglovin, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter before you leave.

Life In A House of Testosterone: Please like Kim’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter;, Google+;, Pinterest;, Bloglovin;, or Instagram; before you leave.

Snag a Button!

Last, please help us grow by placing our button on your sidebar. Please let your readers and followers know by placing the Featured Blogger banner on your site.

 

Sundays Best Linkup Sundays Best Featured Blogger

 

Your readers may want to join the party too! For those who have a Link Party list/directory, please add us. We appreciate your help in promoting the linkup with Re-tweets and shares. Now, let’s party!


Kim M. selected Caesar Salad from Lazy Gastronome  

caesar salad recipes

Debbie selected Lobster Bisque from Marilyn’s Treats

lobster recipes

Rhonda selected Teaching Money Skills from There’s Just One Mommy

money activities for kids


The Post with the Most Clicks

 

It’s Still Winter from The Apple Street Cottage

DIY snowman ideas

                                                                                                          

Our Favorite Theme Post(s) –  Be My Valentine:

15 Pretty In Pink Valentine’s Day Treats from Dreaming of Leaving

Valentine's Day ideas


Congratulations to our featured bloggers! All of the posts were great, and we deeply appreciate each of you participating on Sunday’s Best Linkup.  We have so many great posts that it gets difficult to choose a featured blogger. Finally, your hosts would like to invite all of you back to link up your post(s) again … you could be selected next week! While you’re here, take a minute to visit these great blogs. It’s a great way to meet and connect with new bloggers. Be sure to PIN or share any posts that you like, we all appreciate a little love and be sure to connect with others on social media!


22 Fun and Creative Winter Crafts For Kids

 

 

winter crafts for kids

 

Winter can be a boring time for kids unless you have fun activities planned for them.  We have 22 fun and creative kid’s winter crafts that will get them off the electronics.  Our roundup of kid’s winter crafts will stop the boredom. Children need to be motivated, stimulated and encouraged to create.  Get out the craft supplies and lets get started:

 

kids winter crafts kids winter crafts

 

Winter Mittens for Preschoolers – This is an adorable for craft for preschooler and/or kindergarteners.

Plastic Bag Snowman – Do you have plastic bags filled with plastic bags?  I do.  I use them in my bathroom trash cans or when I’m carrying food to my mother’s.  But they can also be used to make this adorable snowman.  Who knew.

Paint Stirrer Snowman – These adorable snowmen are made from paint stirrers.  Stop by your local hardware store and pickup a handful.

Cotton Ball Snowman – Fun and simple craft that’s perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.

Snowman Candle – This can be a fun craft for the adult while assisting the children with their crafts.  It’s perfect for a winter scene on a mantel or table.

Painted Mason Jar – Display this painted mason jar snowman on the mantel or a table during the cold winter months. This could be another craft that’s perfect for an adult or older children.  They would make great gifts.

Finger Paint Tree –  So cute and so simple.  A permanent marker, white paint and blue paper for the scene.

Hot Cocoa – Who doesn’t love hot cocoa.  Whip up a batch for the kids to enjoy after they finish this adorable craft.

Marshmallow Snowman –  This adorable guy is made by dipping a large marshmallow into white and black paint.  The accessories are made from paper.

Newspaper Winter Landscape – This scene is made from newspaper and bubble wrap.  How creative, right.  I love it.

Shredded Paper Snowman – Put the paper in your shred bin to good use.  Make this shredded snowman.  The kids will love the shreds and the end result.

Hot Chocolate Mug – Fill the popsicle stick cup with lots of cotton ball marshmallows.  So cute. A plate of cookies and a hot cup of hot chocolate afterward is a good idea.

Sugar Snowflakes – Powered sugar and a few teaspoons of water make the paint for these adorable snowflakes.

Tin Can Snowman – Empty can don’t have to go to waste.  so, save a few tin can of various sizes for this snowman’s body.  A coffee, large vegetable and soup can would be good.

Paper Mache Snowman –  The site lacks step by step instructions; however, you can goggle paper mache and get creative.  The snowman is adorable.

Puzzle Wreath – Stop, don’t throw out the kid’s puzzles because they’re missing a few pieces.  Make this adorable wreath instead.

Marshmallow Snowman and Pretzel Snowman – Next, make sure you have enough marshmallows and pretzels for the kids and the projects.  Doesn’t it look delicious.

Doily Snowman – Purchase a pack of doilies in various sizes and get creative.  Perfect craft for a snow day.

Fingerprint Snow Globe – This snow globe is so cute.  Imagine those tiny fingers creating this adorable snowman and snowflakes.

Cardinals – My state bird.  Their beautiful red color against the fresh snow is a sight for sore eyes.  This piece of art doesn’t have step by step instruction; however, you can figure out what needs to be done by looking at the picture.  Get creative, you can do it.

Popsicles – Who doesn’t love popsicles?  Even in the winter they can tasty or help you think of summer when its so hot. Gather up pompoms, buttons, stones, glitter and glue.

S is for Snowman – Last, this is a great craft to teach preschoolers and kindergarteners about the letter S.

Finally, we hope that you will find a few winter crafts to occupy the kid’s this winter.  Have as much fun on the inside on snow days as the outside.  And you may also like Winter Word Search For Kids and Preschool Snowman Math Game.

 

 

 

 

Inspirational Quote – Accomplishments

inspirational quote

20 Game Day Finger Licking Good Chicken Wing Recipes

 

chicken wing recipes

 

Having a game day party?  We have 20 chicken wing recipes that are perfect for appetizers, pot lucks, family gatherings and more.  Wings are perfect for dipping and leave you licking your fingers.  You can make them sweet, hot, with lemon and pepper or plain.  Try any of these water mouthing chicken wing recipes for your next party or dinner:

chicken wing recipes chicken wing recipes

 

Honey BBQ –  The key to this recipe is honey and hickory smoked BBQ sauce.  So, serve these Honey BBQ wings and you will have guests licking their fingers.

Spicy Orange – Looking for a twist on wings.  Try these Spicy Orange wings.  Oranges, honey, soy sauce and garlic will take these wings to a new level.

Zingy Lemon Butter – Lemons aren’t my thing, but these wings could score big at your next party. Lemons, honey, melted butter and cracked black pepper are the key ingredients for these wings.

Baked Korean  – This recipe requires you to make the sauce for this recipe; however, Walmart sells a great Korean sauce that will work for this recipe.  The sauce will give the wings a spicy and sweet taste.

Malaysian – This recipe calls for Fresno peppers.  They’re hotter than jalapenos; however, they are not available in my area.  So, I will be substituting jalapenos if I decide to try this recipe.

Old Bay – Old Bay can be used to season other foods besides seafood.  Try it on fries, corn on the cob, potato salad and yes chicken.  This reason is simple and Old Bay is the star.

Teriyaki –  Another finger licking good chicken wing recipe.  The sauce is homemade.

Pressue Cooker BBQ – Are you short on time?  Pull out your pressure cooker and serve up these BBQ wings.  The recipe requires seasoning, Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce, and the wings.  I’m a huge fan of Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce.

Jamaican Jerk –  Some like it hot.  I do I do.  Jerked wings are a favorite in my house.  This blogger has a great homemade Jerk seasoning recipe on the blog too.

Sweet and Spicy Sriracha –  The sriracha sauce is mixed with honey and butter for this recipe. Sweet, hot and crisp are a few adjectives to describe these wings.

Pineapple Glazed –  Wings with a tropical flavor. The blogger stated that it takes about 15 – 20 minutes for the sauce to reduce.  I love anything pineapple.

Bourbon Maple – Save some of your bourbon for this wing dish.  Because you will need it so you can make the glaze for these wings.

Maple Bacon – Bacon, butter, bourbon, coke, and maple syrup.  Cover the wings in this delicious sauce and you will have a finger licking good appetizer.

Lemon Pepper Wings – Butter and lemon pepper will take these wings to the next level.  Bake until crispy and serve.

Garlic Ranch – Do you love garlic?  If so, bring out the fresh garlic for this one.  Mix it with a packet of Ranch Dressing and you’re on your way to serving a hit.

Cilantro Lime – Hit these wings with a little or a lot of cilantro, but first add the sauce.  You will need butter, lime juice, zest and honey.  Because fresh herbs always make dishes taste better, I suggest that you grow your own.

Garlic Parmesan –  Are you a cheese lover?  I’ve never had cheese on my wings, but this recipes calls for parmesan cheese to be added to the sauce.  I’m going to try this one.

Baked Brown Sugar – Because everything is better with sugar, you should try this one.  Brown sugar is even better.  Be sure to make a sauce for dipping.

Firecracker – Franks Hot Sauce, red pepper flakes and garlic will set this wings on fire.  This recipe actually calls for thighs and/or breast, but wings will work perfectly with the sauce.  I suggest blue cheese dressing to cool these off, and a huge tub of beer.

Cajun Butter – Last, but not least.  This recipe has a 2-step process.  First, you fry the wings and than you lock in the flavor by baking them.  Yum Yum!  This one will be on my table, because I love all things Cajun.

We’ve come to the end of the road for our wing suggestions, but we hope you can make a few selections from our chicken wing recipes to serve at your next gathering.  These chicken wing recipes are perfect for game day, BBQs, week-end snacks and more.  Finally, you may also like Game Day NFL Referee Signals 101 or 20+ Mouth Watering Game Day Dip Recipes.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday’s Best Linkup – #106

 

Sunday's Best Linkup

 

Welcome to Week 106 of Mother 2 Mother’s Sunday’s Best Linkup.  We’re starting our Be My Valentine theme.  We’re looking for crafts, gift ideas, recipes, date night ideas, movie ideas, cocktails, and more. 

We also welcome other recipes, crafts, DIY, home makeover, gardening tips, SEO & blogging information, sewing projects, patio and deck makeovers, front porch makeover ideas, organization tips, ideas for backyard hot dog roasts, and more. Blow the dust off your old posts and share those on our linkup too. They’re great for inspiration.

Anything goes, as long as it’s family friendly and you may linkup as many posts as you would like. Be sure to tell your friends, they will want to join the festivities too. 

Each week your hosts will select their favorite post and it will be featured the following week. An image from your post will be used on our linkup post the following week with a link back to your blog. Be sure to check back to see if you’re a Sunday’s Best Featured Blogger. All Featured Bloggers will have their posts pinned to Rhonda’s Sunday’s Best Pinterest Board and Kim M. pins the weekly featured bloggers to her Sunday’s Best Pinterest Board too!

The Reader’s Choice post(s) will be determined by the post(s) with the most clicks. We will be adding the winner to our Sunday’s Best Linkup featured bloggers.

All posts linking to Sunday’s Best Linkup will be promoted on Twitter.

In addition to the Post With the Most Clicks, a post for our monthly themes will be selected and featured each week as well.

If you are interested in becoming a Sunday’s Best Linkup host, please contact me for details at rhonda@mother2motherblog.com or email one of our other hosts.

Your Sunday’s Best Linkup Hosts Are:

mother 2 mother sunday's best co-hosts

Rhonda at Mother 2 Mother ~•~ Kim U. at Pinterested Parent ~•~ Kim M. at Life in a House of Testosterone
 

Here are the rules, please connect with us on social media before you leave or subscribe to/follow our blogs:

Mother 2 Mother: Please like Rhonda’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, BlogLovin, or subscribe/join her blog on the right sidebar before you leave.

The Pinterested Parent: Please like Kim’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Bloglovin before you leave.

Life In A House of Testosterone: Please like Kim’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Bloglovin, or Instagram before you leave.

Snag a Button!

Last, please help us grow by placing our button on your sidebar. Please let your readers and followers know by placing the Featured Blogger banner on your site.

Sundays Best Linkup Sundays Best Featured Blogger

Your readers may want to join the party too! For those who have a Link Party list/directory, please add us. We appreciate your help in promoting the linkup with Re-tweets and shares. Now, let’s party!


Kim M. selected Stuffed Breakfast Rolls from Simply Darrling 

breakfast ideas


Kim U. selected Silver Snowflake Winter Party Idea from Bird’s Party 

 winter party ideas

Rhonda selected Still I Rise from Busy Being Jennifer

embroidery ideas

The Post with the Most Clicks

Baked Turkey Meatballs with Spinach from Home Cooking Memories

     turkey meatball recipe

                                                                                                     

Our Favorite Theme Post(s) –  It’s a New Year:

We have no post for this category this week.


Congratulations to our featured bloggers! All of the posts were great, and we deeply appreciate each of you participating on Sunday’s Best Linkup.  We have so many great posts that it gets difficult to choo
se a featured blogger. Finally, your hosts would like to invite all of you back to link up your post(s) again … you could be selected next week! While you’re here, take a minute to visit these great blogs. It’s a great way to meet and connect with new bloggers. Be sure to PIN or share any posts that you like, we all appreciate a little love and be sure to connect with others on social media!


Game Day NFL Referee Signals 101

NFL Referee Signals

Super Bowl Sunday is a day filled with great food, family, friends, noise and lots of fun.  However, not everyone is a football enthusiast. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to be a part of the excitement and conversation.

Women are more involved than ever when it comes to sports and game day.  As a matter of fact, Sarah Thomas became the first NFL female referee.  She was also the first woman to officiate a major college football game, the first to officiate a bowl game, and the first to officiate in a Big Ten stadium.  I love watching her and her daughter in the  Activia commercial too. 

I grow up in a house full of boys.  Baseball, football and basketball were a big part of my life.  Sports is huge in my family to this day. Now it’s our grandchildren who are playing, but the conversation remains the same.  Knowing the game is essential.  Understanding the basics can keep you in the game and a part of the conversation.  Learning the  positions and the NFL Referee Signals is a great place to start. There’s nothing better than being able to say Off Side, Face Mask or Clipping when someone asks what happened.

 

NFL Signals

        NFL Referee Signals 101

NFL Referee Signals 101

Here’s a few NFL Referee Signals that you may see during the game:

First Down – Each team has four attempts to move the ball 10 yards. Each attempt is called a down.  There’s first down, second down, third down, fourth down.  If a team gains ten yards or more on a play, the offensive will attempt another series of downs.  If the team doesn’t not gain 10 yards or more on the fourth down, the opposing team takes position of the ball at the spot where the fourth attempt failed.

Incomplete/No Good – Pass incomplete, penalty declined,  missed field goal, missed extra point

Offsides – A player is on the wrong side of the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped.  The line of scrimmage is the location of the ball.

Illegal Contact – A defensive player interferes with an offensive receiver more than 5 yards from the line of scrimmage.  The quarterback must still be in the pocket with the ball in his hands.

Facemask  – Tackling or trying to restrain a player by grabbing their face mask.  Usually a 15 yard penalty because of the possibility of an injury.

Interference – A player interferes with a receiver’s ability to make a fair attempt to catch the ball.

Ball Illegally Touched – An illegible receiver such as an offensive lineman catches a pass.

Holding – An offensive player uses his hands, arms, or any other part of his body to prevent a defensive player from tackling the ball carrier.

Loss of Down – The offensive team loses yardage on a play.

Pass Interference – A player interferes with another player’s opportunity to catch the ball.

Player Ejected From Game – Players from either team can be ejected from the game.  The coach or a member of the staff for unsportsman like conduct/personal fouls.  This can be for violent behavior or any other violation of the game rules.

Unsportsman Like Conduct – A non-contact foul by a player, coach or fan that usually involves insulting language or taunting the official.

Touch Down –  The ultimate goal.  Passing or carrying the ball into the end zone.

Too Many Men On The Field – More players are on the field than allowed.

Safety –  When a player is tackled/trapped in their end zone, the other team is awarded 2 points.  The trapped team kicks the ball from its own 20-yard line after the safety.

Tripping – An unsportsmanlike conduct that results in a ten yard penalty against the offending team.

Time Out – Three 2 minutes time outs are allow in each half of the game.

Personal Foul – Assessed after a play and can be called on either the offense or the defense team.  Roughing the kicker or passer, unnecessary roughness, clipping, tripping and clothesline are personal fouls.

We hope you will find our NFL Referee Signals helpful.  Check out our 20+ Mouth Watering Game Day Dips.

 

 

9 Tips to Increase Your Vegetable Garden Production

how to increase vegetable garden production

 

Owning a vegetable garden is an ancient practice that has survived centuries. Using a great lawn sweeper in your yard can add untold beauty to your home.  A lawn can be used for more than just flower gardens.

Vegetable gardens allow you to eat homegrown crops all year round. As promising as this may seem, it is unfortunate that many vegetable gardens do not really reach their full potential. The size of your garden may seem limiting, but there are ways to improve its production. Here are 9 tips to increase your vegetable garden’s production.  Be sure to check out my other backyard vegetable gardening tips before you leave.

  • A Closer Look at Your Growing Medium

This may seem a bit cliché but it doesn’t reduce its importance. Your garden soil is basically the environment your vegetables would sit and be in. With this in mind, any improvement – directly or indirectly – on the soil would have an effect on your vegetable production. Get the soil tested.  Add fertilizers and lime as well as synthetic and organic nutrients if needed.

  • Use of Quality Seeds and Seedlings

While the soil may be the environment the vegetable will sit in, the quality of the seed or seedlings would determine the level of production. You cannot invest in poor quality seeds and expect a good production.  Investing in improved seeds and seedlings can help improve the general production of your vegetable garden.

  • Understand the Principle of Spacing

Most crops, if not all, have a required spacing. Plants attain different sizes when matured. The required spacing is one that would maximize the entire garden space and still allow for proper growth of the plant.

  • The shape of Your Beds

Another way to increase your vegetable garden’s production is to provide more space for planting. This brings raising and rounding out beds into focus. To maximize the garden’s bed, raise the beds and ensure they are rounded out to form an arc.

  • You May Need to Interplant

If you are working with limited space, you may want to interplant different crop types.  Educate yourself on compatible vegetables that can be planted together.

  • Understand Sunlight Direction and Requirements

Anyone who owns a garden obviously knows the effect of sunlight on plants. It is usually advisable to locate gardens in the south facing part of the house. This allows the garden get optimum sunlight as the sun travels from east to west. By increasing the amount of sunlight reaching the plants, your will get a better harvest. Get an idea of the sunlight requirements of the vegetables you are planting and position the garden in a way that gives it better access to sunlight.

  • Controlling Pests

When it comes to crops or a vegetable garden in particular, nothing is more of a nuisance than pests. With pests, prevention is far better and way cheaper than cure. A production without any pest infestation to deal with will be higher than one with pests.

  • Weeding Properly

Just like pests, weeds can become a nuisance to your vegetable garden if left unattended. Weeds compete with crops for nutrients and space. Manually remove these weeds or get the best sweeper for your garden by looking at lawn sweeper reviews.

  • Mulch It All Up

Mulching provides a protective layer to the top soil. Depending on the mulching material used, mulching can also add nutrients to your soil. Additional nutrients to the soil would help increase production. While they both have their advantages, it is best to use organic mulching materials over inorganic materials. The major difference between them is the possibility of decomposition.

So, you know how to increase vegetable garden production.  A bigger harvest will allow you to enjoy fresh produce during the winter months.

About the Author:  James G. Craig is a gardening enthusiast who splits his spare time between growing vegetables, preening his flower gardens, and blogging about his experiences at the Gardener Corner.

12 Memory Boosters For Children

 memory boosters for children

 

It can be difficult to encourage kids to study hard.  If you have children who don’t want to do school homework, and you want them to be more alert, the good news is that you can help your children’s brain reach its optimum development.  Feeding them the right types of food is essential.  Helping to keep your children alert, happy and healthy is your job as a parent. 

Below are 12 types of food that can help children enhance their memory:

1.      Dark Chocolate

          Apart from being a delicious treat, dark chocolate also contains flavonols.  An element that can make it easier for blood to circulate in the brain. This results in boosting memory and overall functioning of the brain. A study has also found that those who eat 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate a day felt calmer than those who didn’t. Baking Chocolate Chip Cookies with your kids is a perfect bonding experience, and the cookies contain the perfect ingredient.

2.      Berries

          Berries are rich in anti-oxidants. Blackberries, blueberries and strawberries have all been shown to boost the ability to learn, memorize and think. So make sure to add them to your child’s breakfast cereals, oatmeals, and smoothie drinks.

3.      Coconut Oil

          Since our brain is made of 60 percent fat, we need saturated fat to feed our brain cells to avoid depression and dementia. A good source of saturated fat is coconut oil which we can use as an alternative to butter for baking or sautéing food for our kids.

4.      Beet Juice

          For those who are looking for an alternative snack to prepare for their kids during school break, one great suggestion is to serve the snacks with beet juice, a source of natural nitrates. A study has found that people performed better on cognitive exams minutes after drinking beet juice.

5.      Lean Meat

          Lean meat or foods high in protein are another good food choice for kids.  Children who eat these foods has been shown to improve their overall cognitive performance of the brain. You can prepare this delicious Crockpot Meatball Recipe to beef up your kids’ brain!

6.      Eggs

          Eggs have always been a favorite breakfast food for their capacity to make our stomach feel full. They are also a good source of choline, a building block for the part of our brain in charge of making memory function well. So make eggs a part of your child’s daily diet.

7.       Whole Wheat Muffins

          A small amount of carbohydrates can fuel the brain’s ability to concentrate. So before studying for an exam or to do better in class, encourage your child to eat whole-wheat muffins or bread. Serve it with a small amount of peanut butter and a glass of orange juice for a complete brain-boosting meal.

8.      Fish

          Children’s brains also get a boost from eating fish which contain omega-3’s. Try to incorporate fishes like salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, herring and other types of cold-water fish in their meals. Salmon, in particular also has vitamins B and selenium that also aid the brain.

9.      Spinach and Broccoli

          We know that children are wary of eating greens, but spinach and broccoli are the kinds of leafy greens that contain B-6 and B-12 which play a vital role in maintaining the nervous system which result in improved memory and alertness. So give your kid a healthy dose of these greens to add as a side for dinner or as a mixed salad.

10.  Celery

          Celery is a fun crunchy snack, I’m sure the kids won’t mind eating. It is a good source of luteolin, which decrease age-related memory loss, aids in reducing inflammation in the brain and helps fight degeneration. Celery is good to mix in chicken or macaroni salad, soups, and even fruit shakes.  Children also love peanut butter on celery or dipping it in Ranch Dressing. 

11. Sage

          The next time you prepare a tasty dish, make sure that you season it with sage. Sage contains compounds that help in maintaining acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter known for aiding in learning and memory.  Sage is best paired with lean beef, poultry, lentil as well as legume-based dishes.

12.  Turmeric

          Another type of spice to season your dishes with is turmeric. This popular yellow spice often included in Indian and Caribbean cuisine has been found to improve short-term memory and aid in problem-solving and reasoning skills. So prep your child for that algebra or literature exam by serving food seasoned with turmeric.  Try adding it to grilled chicken, beans, lentils or roasted veggies. 

These are just some of the food types that can enhance brainpower and memory function of your kids.  These memory boosters for children will help them stay alert and become more receptive to both school and homework.

Sources:

https://www.developinghumanbrain.org/delicious-and-healthy-brain-food-recipes/

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/10-foods-boost-your-brainpower

http://lbilearn.linnbenton.edu/10-delicious-brain-foods-everyone-eat/

http://www.anthem.edu/articles/top-6-brain-boosting-foods-for-studying/


Karlisa Costello regularly writes about parenting and educational articles for SmileTutor, a leading home tutor agency.

Sunday’s Best Linkup – #107

 

 

 

Sunday's Best Linkup

Welcome to Week 107 of Mother 2 Mother’s Sunday’s Best Linkup.  The Sunday’s Best team wishes each of you a Blessed and Happy New Year. This is the last week of our It’s A New Year theme.  The parties may be over, but we can still focus on new resolutions, new goals, and renewed hopes and dreams.   Share recipes, cocktails, food planning, organization tips and more. Moms will be looking for new decorating ideas, shopping tips, craft ideas and more.  I’m looking forward to 2017.  The Sunday’s Best team wishes each of you a blessed and prosperous New Year.  

We also welcome other recipes, crafts, DIY, home makeover, gardening tips, SEO & blogging information, sewing projects, patio and deck makeovers, front porch makeover ideas, organization tips, ideas for backyard hot dog roasts, and more. Blow the dust off your old posts and share those on our linkup too. They’re great for inspiration.

Anything goes, as long as it’s family friendly and you may linkup as many posts as you would like. Be sure to tell your friends, they will want to join the festivities too. 

Each week your hosts will select their favorite post and it will be featured the following week. An image from your post will be used on our linkup post the following week with a link back to your blog. Be sure to check back to see if you’re a Sunday’s Best Featured Blogger. All Featured Bloggers will have their posts pinned to Rhonda’s Sunday’s Best Pinterest Board and Kim M. pins the weekly featured bloggers to her Sunday’s Best Pinterest Board too!

The Reader’s Choice post(s) will be determined by the post(s) with the most clicks. We will be adding the winner to our Sunday’s Best Linkup featured bloggers.

All posts linking to Sunday’s Best Linkup will be promoted on Twitter.

In addition to the Post With the Most Clicks, a post for our monthly themes will be selected and featured each week as well.

If you are interested in becoming a Sunday’s Best Linkup host, please contact me for details at rhonda@mother2motherblog.com or email one of our other hosts.

Your Sunday’s Best Linkup Hosts Are:

mother 2 mother sunday's best co-hosts

Rhonda at Mother 2 Mother ~•~ Kim U. at Pinterested Parent ~•~ Kim M. at Life in a House of Testosterone
 

Here are the rules, please connect with us on social media before you leave or subscribe to/follow our blogs:

Mother 2 Mother: Please like Rhonda’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, BlogLovin, or subscribe/join her blog on the right sidebar before you leave.

The Pinterested Parent: Please like Kim’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Bloglovin before you leave.

Life In A House of Testosterone: Please like Kim’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Bloglovin, or Instagram before you leave.

Snag a Button!

Last, please help us grow by placing our button on your sidebar. Please let your readers and followers know by placing the Featured Blogger banner on your site.

Sundays Best Linkup Sundays Best Featured Blogger

Your readers may want to join the party too! For those who have a Link Party list/directory, please add us. We appreciate your help in promoting the linkup with Re-tweets and shares. Now, let’s party!


Kim M. selected An Organized Work Day from The Turquoise House 

organization tips

Rhonda selected Easy Shrimp Cocktail from Home Cooking

appetizers

Kim U. selected Chocolate Chip Kahlua Cake from Pink Heels Pink Truck

desserts

The Post with the Most Clicks

Death by Peanut Butter and Chocolate  from Marilyn’s Treats

     desserts

                                                                                                     

Our Favorite Theme Post(s) –  It’s a New Year:

Healthy Recipes for the New Year from My Suburban Kitchen

healthy recipes


Congratulations to our featured bloggers! All of the posts were great, and we deeply appreciate each of you participating on Sunday’s Best Linkup.  We have so many great posts that it gets difficult to choo
se a featured blogger. Finally, your hosts would like to invite all of you back to link up your post(s) again … you could be selected next week! While you’re here, take a minute to visit these great blogs. It’s a great way to meet and connect with new bloggers. Be sure to PIN or share any posts that you like, we all appreciate a little love and be sure to connect with others on social media!