#KindnessSafari Today!

If you missed my last post about KIND’s #KindnessSafari… you can find it here!

Zoos across the country are hosting a family event sponsored by KIND Snacks and zulily! Can’t attend? You can still play along! Just complete each item on the #KindnessSafari list by posting a photo on Instagram or Twitter! Be sure to use the hashtag #KindnessSafari so I can find your entries!

Entries will be accepted through midnight Sunday 5/17/15 and a winner announced on the #KindnessSafari on Monday 5/18/15. Two days is plenty of time to complete the 4 tasks! Entrants who complete all 4 tasks will be entered to win a case of 72 KIND snack bars!

So… what are you waiting for! Get out there and be KIND!

*Note- this is not a paid ad.

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Let’s Go on a Kindness Safari!

Introducing

Kind Parents, Kind Kids is an ongoing program from KIND- the makers of our favorite snack bars. The goal of the program is to emphasis kindness among children through family-friendly activities. This year, on May 16th, KIND is partnering with online retailer, zulily, to host a Kindness Safari at zoos across the country! The Kindness Safari includes, a special family discount to participating zoos, interactive kindness activities, and a special gift pack!

And as if this wasn’t a fun enough event… I’ve developed a special contest for Everyday Childhood readers! While we’re on our real-life Kindness Safari… you can play along with us! Part of our event involves a Kindness Scavenger Hunt. On the day of the event, (Saturday May 16, 2015) I’ll post the scavenger hunt clues! Simply take a photo and post it to Instagram with our event hashtag for each clue! Participants that complete each clue will be entered to win a case of 72 KIND bars! Contest ends at 11:59PM Pacific Time on May 16, 2015.

Tune in on Saturday May 16th, for complete rules + the Kindness Scavenger Hunt Clues!

Visit zulily for discounted event tickets at participating zoos across the country! I’d love to know if you’re attending one of the events!

xo

Kelly

*Note- I have not been monetarily compensated for this post. My family will be attending the Kindness Safari at The Phoenix Zoo.

Host Your Own Paddington Movie Night!

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Every now and then… this little blog gives us the opportunity to have some really amazing experiences! Like… trying out new products before they ever hit the market. This is one of those times. Mom Select asked if I would host a movie night with my kids and share about our experience. I was given a small stipend, but I would’ve done it for free. Coming up with inventive ways to spend time with my kids isn’t always easy!

Here’s a step by step guide on how to host a Paddington Movie Night with your family!

Step 1: Visit Paddington Parties online at www.paddingtonparties.com

Step 2: Download your Digital HD copy of Paddington from Amazon, iTunes, Verizon Fios, Xfinity, or GoWatchIt (we used Amazon)

Step3: Download your Digital Party Kit! (includes invitations, party banner, cupcake wrappers, labels, and other themed activities)

Step 4: Download additional activity sheets (including writing  prompts, word search, mazes, dot to dots, and more)

Step 5: Find more party ideas at MyPrinterly.com

Step 6: Pop some popcorn and enjoy the show!

Our favorite part of our own Paddington Movie Night- was baking a wild stripe cake! I encourage you to find a related activity that your family enjoys to make your own movie night a success!

For more ideas… follow along on these social media channels:

I’d like to thank Mom Select for their partnership in hosting our Paddington Movie Night and for the huge box of amazingly *fun* party supplies! We hope you host your own amazing Paddington Movie Night! Be sure to share the pictures!

Love,

Kelly

Why I Do What I Do. New Media Expo.

I’m asked on nearly a daily basis if I can help someone start their business. Help grow their blog. Help manage their Twitter. Help write a blog post. Why? Because I’m pretty darn good at what I do. No… I’m not on any top social media guru lists. In fact, most of the time, I don’t ask for credit at all. I do what I do, because I love it. And I love people. And I love seeing people succeed.

Yes, I do have a pretty extensive speaker resume. It’s nice to be recognized as an expert in your field. But it was only recently that I’ve been asked to attend some pretty prestigious events as a social media influencer and not as a parenting blogger or a foodie. After almost 10 years… I feel like I’m earning my spot among some of the top people in my field and weirdly enough… they’ve been my friends all along. From blogging to community manager, to marketing strategist, to Director of Social Media Marketing… it’s been an amazing journey and I’m not done yet!

How did I get to where I am?

I worked my tooshie off! I read (and still do) every single day about the industry. Study the competitive landscape. Test out new initiatives. Not all of them succeed as I’d like them to, but that’s how we innovate. I ask questions. Lots of them. And I attend conferences to keep my skills sharp. Without the network of amazing people I keep around me… I wouldn’t be where I am today. So…

I’m writing today to encourage you to attend one of the best conferences in the digital space: NMX- New Media Expo. April 13-16 in Vegas.

Whether you are just starting out as a digital entrepreneur or you’re as seasoned as I am… NMX is where you want to be. The speaker line up this year is beyond words! Some of my favorite experts in the marketing space will be sharing their insights- like Joel Comm, Marcy Massura, David Griner and Jason Falls. And some of my favorite bloggers and friends that came from the parenting space like I did – Cecily Kellogg and Amy Lupold Bair, Kelby Carr, and Katja Presnal. I came up through the ranks with these amazing women and I’m so proud to call them my friends! There will even be a few celebs- like Adam Carolla and Dennis Miller!

Bring your note pad and pen… (I’m an old fashioned note-taker) and soak it all in! I’ll even meet up with you for coffee or a drink of the adult variety! You can register by clicking the banner below… Yes… it is my affiliate link. I have a chance to win a spot at a very amazing travel conference… so I’m sharing it! I even have a discount code for you! Just enter kloubet20 when you’re checking out!

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If you decide to come and register… let me know! Shoot me a tweet @kellyloubet and we’ll connect! See you in Vegas!

One-Pan Four-Cheese Sun-Dried Tomato & Spinach Pasta Bake

Finally! A dish so incredibly delicious, and is meat-free so you can plan it for Meatless Monday!

The recipe fell into my lap courtesy of Half-Baked Harvest.  Here’s my finished result–read the recipe and scroll down for my personal tips, and then you gotta go make this yourself.

IMG_3519Tips:

1.  Skip adding the 1/2 cup of wine.  Add an extra 1/2 cup of broth, and then go drink the wine.  There is so much flavor in this dish, you don’t need the wine.

2.  If you like basil, double or triple the amount the recipe calls for

3.  I wasn’t paying attention and did the steps out of order.  The recipe suggest you combine all the dry ingredients (except pasta) and sort of mix it together and then add the rigatoni.  Instead, I dumped the pasta into my pan and then layered all the ingredients in order on top of the pasta–it worked just fine.

4.  As the recipe author points out, you can take liberties and add Italian sausage or your other pantry favorites: artichoke hearts, black olive, cannelini beans, and roasted garlic!

 

This recipe is good enough to make every week.  Try it!

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Cassandra can be found on Twitter @aclevergirl.  Learn more about her family’s unique challenges and why she has hope for a cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy at byrdsforacure.org.

 

 

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I <3 Garlic and You Will, Too.

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I have a love-love relationship with garlic, in that I love it fresh and I also love it roasted. I put it in nearly every dish I make and I’m about to make a case that you should, too.
Roasting garlic is not only simple to do, but roasting mellows the bite of raw garlic and adds savoriness to any dish.  Plus, garlic can also be good for you!  It’s known to boost our immune systems and contribute toward improved cardiovascular health as well as generally reducing exposure to vampires, thereby potentially extending your lifespan so that you have even more time to enjoy (what else?) garlic.
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No vampires were injured in the taking of these photos (this time).

I roast at least one head of garlic almost every Sunday for use throughout the week.  Instructions are thus:
1) Trim ends of cloves by placing head of garlic on it’s side and using a knife to slice the tips off, exposing a little bit of every clove.
2) Place head of garlic root side down in a casually formed “bowl” of tin foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper.
3) Close the pouch of tin foil over the head of garlic and place in oven. Usually “low and slow” is the best strategy, but you can throw it into an already hot oven anytime there is space for it.  Perhaps 45 minutes at 450 degrees, or 90 minutes at 350 degrees F.  You’ll know it’s ready when you open the foil and the garlic cloves have a browned, roasted, almost caramelized look to the tips and the cloves squish out when you apply pressure to the outside with your fingers. Squeeze all those cloves out and use immediately or refrigerate for another day.
4) When ready to use, place on cutting board and use the flat side of your knife to smoosh your soft roasted garlic clove(s) into mush, and then chop up as finely as you need it.
Uses for your new roasted garlic skill set:
> add to homemade salsa
> add to any hot or cold dip for chips–artichoke, spinach, Lipton Onion Soup mix dip
> add to home cooked chili or stew
> add to any pasta dish, especially one with jarred red (or white) sauce
> add to your baked pasta or to any casserole
> add to your au gratin potato dish
> add to your homemade or take-and-bake pizza
> mix into your meatloaf
> roasted garlic and mushroom risotto
> as a topping on your baked potato
> roasted garlic mashed potatoes
> roasted new potatoes with garlic
> macaroni (and roasted garlic) and cheese
> caramelized onion and garlic grilled cheese
> garlic bread or cheesy garlic bread
> naan with roasted garlic
> roasted garlic fried rice
> garlic & parmesan steak fries or tater tots
> roasted garlic & parmesan chicken wings
> roasted garlic and mushroom risotto
> cheese & roasted garlic quesadillas
> roasted garlic & asparagus, whole mushrooms or any other vegetable
> stir fried roasted garlic and fresh green beans, haricot verts or other vegetable
> garlic butter, on anything and everything
Did you know there’s even such thing as garlic ice cream?  The Stinking Rose–a legendary restaurant in San Francisco’s North Beach and just a ten minute walk from the Embarcadero–is known to include garlic in every single item on the menu.  This restaurant alone goes through over three thousand pounds of garlic every month!  These are my people!
Not to mention the divinity that is a good garlic festival.  They’re all over the place every summer!  The must-see garlic festival in Arizona these days is at Queen Creek Olive Mill, but attending the Gilroy Garlic Festival is on my bucket list for sure.  I am so glad this is finally a thing.

IMG_2610If you do it right, everyday is a garlic festival.

Peace. Love. Garlic.

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Cassandra can be found on Twitter @aclevergirl.  Learn more about her family’s unique challenges and why she has hope for a cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy at byrdsforacure.org.