Over The Top Mommy


(Almost) Better Than Christmas M&M’s® White Peppermint Cookies and DIY Snowman Glasses

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone. #BakeintheFun #CollectiveBias


I think my most favorite time of the year is when the holidays arrive. I’ll admit, it’s a little ridiculous that signs of the holidays seem to show up earlier and earlier each year in the stores, but I’m 100% Ok with it! The Christmas season would be year-round thing if I were in charge! It’s such a wonderful time of the year to enjoy doing special things with my daughter like watching our favorite Christmas movies, working on festive crafts, and baking up some favorite holiday cookies in the kitchen!  I am so lucky to have a daughter who enjoys doing these things as much as I do! peppermint-is-my-kryptoniteI get excited to see which special variety of M&M’s® I’m going to find in the holiday candy section at Walmart each year. The other day, I literally stopped in my tracks when I saw bags of M&M’s® White Peppermint and M&M’s® Hot Chocolate chocolate candies on the shelf on the holiday candy aisle.bake-in-the-fun-productsI did a fist pump before tossing both bags into my shopping cart, along with a bag of M&M’s® Holiday Milk Chocolate candies, which I also found on that aisle. I couldn’t resist adding a Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix and Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Vanilla Flavored Frosting to my cart either, which I found on a holiday display in the center aisle. Last, but not least, I grabbed a gallon of Great Value Milk. In our home, you can’t have cookies without milk! Now I was ready to bake up some holiday fun at home!

ready-to-bake-up-some-holiday-fun-at-homeAnything peppermint is my Kryptonite, especially these candies! I love all things peppermint and it was time to kick of the holiday baking season with a batch of (Almost) Better Than Christmas M&M’s® White Peppermint Cookies! They are delicious and don’t take too long to prepare.

prepHey, as long as we’re talking about the holidays, go enter the #BakeintheFun Sweepstakes for a chance to win a KitchenAid® Mixer!

Holiday #BakeInTheFun

So…while I was busy baking in the kitchen, my daughter decided to make some easy (yet adorable) Snowman Milk Glasses for us to use later on for our cookies & milk. She had seen a similar idea on Pinterest, using clear glass coffee mugs. So, when I was out shopping, I picked up some glass drinking glasses, perfect for her project. All you need to make your own holiday glasses are: whatever type of drinking glass you prefer (wine glasses would be cute too) and permanent markers. You may also want to keep a pack of baby wipes handy, for mistakes.

sketchingShe first sketched out a couple of snowman faces on paper. She then drew a different one on each of our glasses, deciding to make one a snowman and the other a snow woman.  nose


I poured some of the milk I’d purchased at Walmart into each glass, creating a complete snowman look and they were ready to use. (It’s important to note that the marker will wash off when you wash the glasses.)


Milk, cookies, and a holiday movie! What a fun way to spend the afternoon together!

Great-American-Milk-DriveDid you know that each year, food banks in our country provide for hungry children and families in need? In numbers that translates to more than 46. 5 Americans and about one in every six children who rely on Feeding America food banks each year.  One of the most requested food items is milk, but on average, food banks are only able to provide the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year. That’s because while Americans are generous with canned and dry goods, many don’t think to donate milk because it’s perishable.


This year, The Great American Milk Drive will deliver a gallon of milk to a family in need in YOUR local community for each small donation received at pourmilklove.com.  Also, with every purchase of 2 bags of M&M’s® at Walmart (9.4 oz bags or larger), up to a gallon of milk will be donated to the drive. Click here for a coupon good for towards the purchase of ANY TWO (2) M&M’s® Chocolate Candies, (8 oz or larger).


(Almost) Better Than Christmas M&M’s® White Peppermint Cookies Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 container Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Vanilla Flavored Frosting (you’ll be using the sprinkles that are on the top portion of the container)
  • 1 9,9 oz bag of M&M’s® White Peppermint chocolate candies

Cookie Preparation: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. (This is my best kept baking secret.)
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the butter, granulated and brown sugars, and vanilla extract until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating them in after each one is added. butter
  5. Beat in the flour mixture gradually.
  6. Mix in the chocolate chips and M&M’s® White Peppermint with a spoon.
  7. Add in the sprinkles from the Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Vanilla Flavored Frosting. (set some extra aside)add-ins
  8. *This is an extra step. I like to wrap my cookie dough in plastic and stick it in the refrigerator for about 10-20 minutes. (You can skip this step if you’d like to).  wrap-in-plastic
  9. Spoon generous portions of the cookie dough onto the parchment paper-covered baking sheet. (They’re supposed to be pretty giant.) I-love-baking-on-parchment-paper
  10. Bake 10 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven and add a few more pieces of each candy plus some more sprinkles on the top of each cookie. This will help them to bake while staying visible in the cookie.
  12. Bake 3-5 more minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving. bake-in-the-fun-cooling

Won’t you consider joining Feeding America in The Great American Milk Drive, the first-ever national program to help deliver highly desired and nutrient-rich gallons of milk to hungry families who need it most. Log onto milklife.com/give to learn about the need for more nutritious foods in America’s food banks and see how your small donation can make a big impact.


Be sure to check out more delicious holiday baking recipes, including these M&M’s® Holiday Snowflake Cookies which includes Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix in the recipe. I’d love to hear what your favorite holiday recipe is? Leave a comment below!

Who are YOU going to BOO This Year? I’m BOO’ing the Teachers! (Plus “Monster” Cookies Recipe) #BOOItForward

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BOOItForward #CollectiveBias


I absolutely LOVE this time of year. I can’t say that the weather cools down much here in Southern California but you DO start to see pumpkins and Halloween decorations all around. It’s one of my favorite holidays of the year and I get so excited to kick off the Halloween season by BOO’ing people at the beginning of October.

its-halloween-timeIf you aren’t familiar with the modern-day tradition of BOO’ing, it’s really fun and easy to do. You just put together a little anonymous Halloween surprise for someone and deliver it. The surprise usually consists of some type of treats in a cute Halloween bucket, basket, or even gift bag. You also include a BOO sign and instructions so that whoever you BOO, can BOO someone too! (Hey, that rhymes!)

all-I-needI found all of the items I needed for my BOO’ing at Walmart. On the Seasonal aisle, I found giant Mars Chocolate Mix Fun Size bag of assorted candies, including M&M’s®, TWIX®, and SNICKERS®.

found-at-walmartOn the soft drinks aisle, I grabbed a couple of 6-packs of special Halloween “Mini Monster” cans of Sunkist® and 7UP®. They’re adorable with little monsters on them! l also found the ingredients I needed to make my “Monster” Cookies. (It’s a special Halloween cookie recipe we make every year using M&M’s® and TWIX®).


cut-up-TWIXIn past years, we’ve BOO’d neighbors on our street, friends who live close by, and even relatives who live in our same town. This year I think I’ll do some BOO’ing at my school. I teach first grade and I know of some teachers who would appreciate a little BOO surprise on their desk one morning. ( I know I would!) Teachers are really easy to please and love almost anything.

teachers-love-treatsI decided to make little BOO kits with some snacks and mini cans that my teacher friends could enjoy during their break time. I also baked up a fresh batch of my “Monster” Cookies to include in each BOO’ing kit! (see below for recipe)


Here are the items I used for my BOO’ing kits: 

  • assorted chocolates from 
  • “Mini Monster” cans of 7UP® & Sunkist®
  • black and white polka dotted paper straws 
  • black and white striped washi tape
  • googly eyes
  • regular tape
  • decorative black and orange plastic patterned popcorn boxes
  • cellophane bags
  • decorative ribbon
  • Mouthwatering “Monster” Cookies monster-cookies

Since I purchased Halloween “mini monster” cans of Sunkist® and 7UP® for my BOO’ing kits, I cut down some cute paper straws a little and used washi tape to attach them to the cans. It makes an adorable presentation.

mini-cans-sunkistI also used some big googly eyes on the popcorn boxes to make them look a little cuter. You could use glue or even tape to attach them.

box-with-eyesAfter I baked my cookies and let them cool, I stacked up a few and put them into a cellophane bag and tied it with a festive Halloween ribbon. My “Monster” Cookies are pretty big so only a few fit in each bag.

fill-with-candiesIt was fun to put the BOO’ing kits together. First, I filled the bottom of each popcorn box with the candies. Then, I placed a Halloween “Mini Monster” can inside, then I filled it to the top with more candy. I set the tied up cellophane bag of cookies on top of the box (I told you they were giant cookies!) and placed the “We’ve Been BOO’d” printables” next to each surprise on each of the teachers’ desks!

as-giddy-as-a-first-graderI don’t know about you, but I get as giddy as a first grader when it comes to leaving surprises like this! I couldn’t wait for them to discover they’d been BOO’d!

BOO-printableTo make BOO’ing easier, MARS has provided a free “We’ve Been BOO’d” sign that you can print out and use with your BOO’ing kit. Just click here to download yours and print.

After you print out the pages: 

  1. Cut out the “We’ve been BOO’d” sign.
  2. Fold the “You’ve been BOO’d” greeting card (page 2) and tape openings together.
  3. Include the card (and sign if you don’t want to remain anonymous) when you BOO someone! 

boo-the-teachersLook how cute these turned out! It’s so much fun to BOO at work! Having a “We’ve Been BOO’d” sign on the classroom door is really fun, too!


monster-cookies-signHere’s my recipe for “Monster” Cookies. It’s fairly simple to prepare and the cookies turn out delicious every time.

“Monster” Cookie Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 10-12 Fun Size Twix Bars, chopped
  • 8-10 Fun Size packs of M&M’s®
  •  1 package of candy eyeballs monster-eyes

“Monster” Cookie Preparation: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. (This is my best kept baking secret.)
  3. Chop up approximately 1/2 cup Twix bars and set aside.
  4. Measure out 1/2 cup M&M’s and also set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
  6. In a large bowl, beat the butter, granulated and brown sugars, and vanilla extract until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating them in after each one is added. beat-the-ingredients
  7. Beat in the flour mixture gradually.
  8. Mix in the Twix and M&Ms with a wooden spoon. add-the-candies
  9. Spoon generous portions of the cookie dough onto the parchment paper-covered baking sheet. (They’re supposed to be pretty giant.)
  10. Bake 5 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven and add a few more pieces of each candy plus 1-3 candy eyeballs on the top of each cookie. This will help them to bake while staying visible in the cookie.
  12. Bake 3-5 more minutes or until golden brown.
  13. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.

Right now, you can save $2.00 on on ONE (1) 6pk 8oz Cans or TWO (2) 2L and 2 bags of Mars® Candy at Walmart. Click here for coupons. Also, don’t forget to enter the Boo It Forward Sweepstakes! #booitforwardsweepstakes

So are you ready to go out and BOO someone now? I hope I’ve inspired you to “BOO It Forward”! 


Spread the Love With SNICKERS® Teacher Emergency Kits! (With Free Printable) #EatASnickers

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone. #EatASnickers #CollectiveBias


I absolutely LOVE teaching first grade! My students are so adorable and at that age, they’re like little sponges that soak up just about everything you teach them. Many times, their questions are super random and adorable, too!

i-heart-first-gradeIt takes A LOT of energy and enthusiasm to keep up with my first graders though, especially in the afternoon. I’m pretty powered up in the morning from my coffee, but in the afternoon, I sometimes wish I had a pick me up to get me through to the end of the day. We have a very long stretch from lunch to dismissal and I sometimes feel like I start to “lose my enthuse” when I start to get hungry!

SNICKERS-personality-barsHave you seen these adorable SNICKERS® bars at Walmart yet? They’re in the check out aisle and each one has a different “personality” on the wrapper.

SNICKERS-personality-bars-checkout-aisleSome of the labels are pretty funny. I couldn’t decide which one described me best when I get hungry so I bought them all! I’m pretty sure I’m a “Drama Mama” at all times though, not just when I”m hangry! I took them to my classrom to stock up my desk so when it’s hungry o’ clock, I can sneak bites when my students aren’t looking! Shhh, just don’t tell them. Every SNICKERS® is packed with roasted peanuts, nougat, caramel and milk chocolate and they hit the spot every time.

SNICKERS-Drama-MamaI also decided to spread the love to the other teachers on my grade level because there’s no way I’m the only one experiencing those mid-afternoon pangs of hunger and bouts of energy loss. I put together some “Teacher Emergency Jars” to bring to work and surprise them with.

SNICKERS-teacher-survival-kitHere’s what you’ll need to make your own “Teacher Emergency Jars“:

  • SNICKERS® bars (about 5-7 regular size bars fit in each Mason Jar)
  • 1 Mason jar for each kit you plan to make. I found a super cute one with a brightly colored lid.
  • Decorative ribbon, burlap, or even tulle of your choice. I went with some blue tulle for mine.
  • tape or washi tape
  • “Teacher Emergency Jar” printable (Download yours for FREE by clicking on the image below.) You could also use a handwritten label.teacher-emergency-jar-printable-trio (1)

These are very simple to put together. Here’s how to assemble yours:

  1. Remove the lid from Mason Jar and fill with the SNICKERS® bars.
  2. Print out my printable I printed mine out on cardstock because it’s a little sturdier. You can also make your own, or even hand write something to stick on the jar. Use either tape on the back of it or a couple pieces of washi tape to stick it on the front of the Mason Jar. Don’t worry about the washi tape not looking perfect. It’s supposed to look sporadically placed.
  3. Replace the lid and close up the jar.
  4. Tie some ribbon or tulle around the top of the jar.
  5. Give to those special teachers in your life.

assembling-teacher-emergency-jarI guarantee that any teacher who receives one of these will be appreciate of your thoughtfulness, especially because it includes SNICKERS®!

So who are YOU when you’re hungry? Take the super fun SNICKERS® quiz below to see who you are when you’re hungry. (I took it and got “Drama Mama”! No surprise, right? )

[playbuzz-item url=”https://www.playbuzz.com/joemurphy10/a-who-are-you-when-youre-hungry” info=”true” shares=”false” comments=”false” recommend=”false”]


Yummy Mummy Dogs That Kids Will LOVE: Hotel Transylvania 2 Style! #HotelT2

hotel-transylvania-2We LOVED Hotel Transylvania and all of the fun characters and monsters in it and are so excited about the upcoming release of Hotel Transylvania 2 in theaters on September 25! If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, watch this:

“The Drac Pac” is made up of an all-star cast, including Adam Sandler (Dracula), Selena Gomez (Mavis), Steve Buscemi (Wayne), Kevin James (Frank), Andy Samberg (Johnny), and many more!  I just know it’s going to be a hilarious film the entire family will enjoy seeing together.

the-drac-packThe Drac pack is back for an all-new monster comedy adventure in Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 2! Everything seems to be changing for the better at HotelTransylvania… Dracula’s rigid monster-only hotel policy has finally relaxed, opening up its doors to human guests. But behind closed coffins, Drac is worried that his adorable half-human, half-vampire grandson, Dennis, isn’t showing signs of being a vampire. 

babySo while Mavis is busy visiting her human in-laws with Johnny – and in for a major cultural shock of her own – “Vampa” Drac enlists his friends Frank, Murray, Wayne and Griffin to put Dennis through a “monster-in-training” boot camp. But little do they know that Drac’s grumpy and very old, old, old school dad Vlad is about to pay a family visit to the hotel. And when Vlad finds out that his great-grandson is not a pure blood – and humans are now welcome at Hotel Transylvania – things are going to get batty!


La sinopsis en Español:

¡Drácula y su grupo de amigos están de regreso para una nueva comedia de aventuras monstruosas en la película de Sony Pictures Animation Hotel Transylvania 2! Parece que todo está cambiando para mejor en el Hotel Transylvania… La estricta política de Drácula de admitir solo monstruos en el hotel finalmente se ha relajado y el hotel ahora abre sus puertas a huéspedes humanos. Pero detrás de los ataúdes cerrados, Drac está preocupado porque Dennis, su adorable nieto mitad humano, mitad vampiro, no demuestra ningún indicio de ser vampiro. Por esa razón, mientras Mavis está muy ocupada visitando a sus suegros humanos junto a Johnny –y enfrentando su propio gran shock cultural– el “abuelito vampiro” Drac recluta a sus amigos Frank, Murray, Wayne y Griffin para que Dennis asista a un “campamento de entrenamiento para monstruos”. Lo que no se imaginan es que Vlad, el gruñón y muy, muy, muy tradicional padre de Drac, está a punto de llegar al hotel para una visita familiar. Y cuando Vlad descubre que su bisnieto no es un vampiro de sangre pura y que, para colmo, ahora se aceptan humanos en el Hotel Transylvania, ¡las cosas se saldrán de control!

we-love-murrayIt’s hard to pick just one favorite character from the Drac Pac but we love Murray! He’s the mummy and we think he’s adorable. Murray was my inspiration the other day when I was trying to come up with a creative lunch. I’ll call this recipe “Murray Mummy Dogs”. It’s one of the easiest meals to throw together and is a guaranteed winner with kids every time! (I know this because I’ve made it twice this week!)


Here’s what you’ll need to make Murray Mummy Dogs: 

  • 1 pack of your favorite brand of hot dogs (I prefer to use all-beef)
  • 1 container of ready-made crescent dough (you can find this in the refrigerated section)
  • ketchup

Preparing the Murray Mummy Dogs: 

  1. Preheat your oven ahead of time (per the temperature recommended on the crescent package)
  2. Cover your baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper.
  3. Cut hot dogs into halves.
  4. Open crescent dough and slice into strips. step-one-and-step-two
  5. Take each halved hot dog and wrap pieces around and around to make it look like a mummy. I don’t make the layer too thick so it’ll bake all the way through.
  6. When all hot dogs are wrapped, stick into your oven and bake for about 7 minutes. (keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn.) ready-to-go-in-the-oven
  7. Remove Mummy Dogs from the oven and serve with ketchup! Depending on the age of your kids, you could even call the ketchup, “blood”. (We mostly stick to non-scary in our home.)


yummy-mummiesIf you ending making these, come back and tell me how long they lasted on your dining table? My daughter ate them up in a flash!

So, are YOU excited to see Hotel Transylvania 2? Who’s YOUR favorite character in the Drac Back?

Find Hotel Transylvania 2 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Movie and promotional pictures featured in this post are property of Sony Pictures. 

Savannah Chop House: You Can Taste The Passion Behind The Cooking! #SavannahIsBack

The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them.  I have a relationship with Gigasavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.Savannah-Chop-House-FacadeUp on a hilltop in Laguna Niguel, sits an eatery called Savannah Chop House. Offering breathtaking, ocen views and an menu that makes a foodie’s heart happy, Savannah Chop House is the perfect location for any occasion whether it’s a date night, a girls’ night out, or a special family dinner.

I was invited to a media tasting as a guest of Savannah Chop House and Giga Savvy, featuring an eclectic collection of dishes prepared by their Executive Chef, Chris Tzorin. Let me just tell you now, I could literally taste the passion behind his cooking every time I took a bite.

Savannah-Chop-House-Chris-TzorinChef Tzorin shared a little bit of his personal story with us and I already felt like we were getting a peek into his world where perhaps, many people aren’t invited. One of the first statements out of his mouth was “Food is my therapy“, about which he was referring to his craft of cooking! Chris has had a series of personal challenges that he’s managed to hurdle over and  move forward from. He also shared with us that the way he handles the reality of these things is to cook for others and make people happy with his amazing culinary creations! It’s obvious he’s been blessed with crazy cooking skills! (That means he’s an amazing chef)

Savannah-Chop-House-Executive-ChefLet’s take a look at some of the menu that our group got to enjoy. I apologize if the pictures and descriptions make you hungry. (Actually I don’t). However, you too, can visit Savannah Chop House and get some of your own!

Savannah-Chop-House-CocktailWe were treated to some tray passed appetizers upon arrival, which included Savannah’s Signature Recipe Bruschetta, Grilled Proscuitto Wrapped Shrimp, and Smoked Salmon on a Toasted Point. We nibbled on our appetizers as the sun continued to set over the ocean.


Savannah-Chop-House-Smoked-SalmonThe first course was a delicious Tempura Stuffed Zuccini surrounded by Herb Goat Cheese & Sundried Tomatoes and served atop Baby Mixed Greens. The presentation was beautiful and I loved the flower garnish. If there weren’t other courses to follow, I would’ve asked for a few more of these.

Savannah-Chop-House-Tempura-Stuffed-ZucciniThe second course was a choice between 2 light, refreshing salads. The Caesar Salad is made with croutons, fried capers, Parmesan and topped with their House Caesar Dressing. The other salad, a Watermelon Beet Salad, is made with a mixed blend, candied pecans, and Goat Cheese and topped with an Herbal Vinaigrette.


Savannah-Chop-House-Watermelon-and-Beet-SaladThe third course, which was the main course, was Surf and Turf! When I looked down and saw a Filet Medallion with Shrimp Scampi with Mashed Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, and a Cabernet Reduction on my plate, my heart was happy!

Savannah-Chop-House-Surf-and-TurfRegardless of how full I think I am, I ALWAYS have room for dessert! Although we had a choice between 2 different desserts, I opted to try both the Warm Flourless Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Berries & Chocolate Sauce and Strawberry Shortcake made with Vanilla Cake, Fresh Strawberries, and Whipped Cream!


Savannah-Chop-House-Strawberry-ShortcakeEvery dish that was placed in front of me was delicious and I’ve dreamt about returning for another meal since I left there that night! After dessert, when the guests started to leave, I stuck around for a special tour in the kitchen, led by the Executive Chef, Chris Tzorin. He showed us behind-the-scenes and talked about all of the preparation that went into the night’s menu. (I don’t think he sleeps!)

Chris’ father is also an amazing chef who is mostly retired now but came out to oversee what Chris was up to in the kitchen. I actually teared up when I took this picture. I see a man who is so passionate about his “craft” that it translates into every bite of the food he’s dishing up for his guests and I see another man who is an incredibly proud papa and looks content knowing that he’s raised an amazingly talented son! I love this picture!

I’d highly recommend you visit Savannah Chop House for an incredible dining experience of your own!

Savannah Chop House is located at:

32441 Golden Lantern

Laguna Niguel, CA 92677


Connect with Savannah Chop House on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


I’ve Got “The Inside Scoop” on Johnny Rockets’ Delicious Shakes! #ShakeMonth

The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them.  I have a relationship with Gigasavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.Johnny-rockets-facadeWith September being National Shake Month, Johnny Rockets decided to “shake it up” a bit by inviting a bunch of social influencers to their location inside Knott’s Berry Farm for a shakin’ good time and to get “the inside scoop” on their shakes! I love the family-friendly atmosphere at Johnny Rockets because it always seems like the staff has so much fun while they’re working! The crew assembled together to dance to “Car Wash” and really got everyone in the place up on their feet to join in.

workin-at-the-carwashAlthough we were there to sample some shakes, we were also treated to some of their delicious 100%  fresh all-natural beef burgers and grilled chicken breast sandwiches along with some of their signature sourdough onion rings and crispy, golden french fries!


johnny-rockets-onion-ringsThere’s something about the ketchup that makes it all taste extra yummy! I’m pretty sure it’s the signature ketchup smiley face served tableside, don’t you think?

Johnny-Rockets-ketchupIt was super fun to go back into the kitchen at Johnny Rockets for a shake making lesson! All of Johnny Rockets’ shakes are hand-dipped, & hand-spun and are made with the finest USDA certified premium vanilla ice cream, whole milk, quality ingredients and real whipped cream. I appreciate  that Johnny rockets is very conscious of food allergies and uses an entirely separate spindle for mixing shakes containing peanuts, to avoid cross contamination.

reeses-chocolate-peanut-butter-shakeWe all crowded around the prep area and first learned how to make their Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake! It’s almost automatic for you to lick your lips and say “Mmm!” when you hear the name of this shake!

back-in-the-kitchenThe shake is made with scoops of real vanilla ice cream, whole milk, chocolate syrup, and Reese’s peanut butter SAUCE (yep, that’s a real thing).

Johnny-rockets-reeses-shake-pourAfter the shake is poured into a glass, it’s topped with whipped cream and garnished with mini Reese’s pieces and a half Reese’s peanut butter cup on top! It’s literally so good that it would make E.T. come back! 

Johnny-Rockets-Reeses-Chocolate-Peanut-butter-shakeJohnny Rockets is offering their Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake at select locations through November 21st!
goosebumps-shakeNext, we got a sneak peek (and taste) of Johnny Rockets’ newest shake, created in collaboration with Sony Pictures and the Goosebumps movie….the Goosebumps Shake!  The shake is made with scoops of real vanilla ice cream, whole milk, chocolate syrup, and Oreo crumbles!

mmm-gummy-wormsAfter it’s mixed and poured in a cup, it gets a generous portion of whipped cream, more Oreo crumbles, and is garnished with gummy worms! I LOVE gummy worms!


the-goosebumps-shakeJohnny Rockets will offer the Goosebumps Shake beginning on September 21st at select locations. You’ll want to hurry into your closest location to try it because it’ll only be available for a limited time!

Thank-you-johnny-rocketsWe want to thank Johnny Rockets for inviting us to a fun afternoon out! You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


McDonald’s FREE Breakfast for Kids on Tuesday, September 15!

free-mcdonalds-breakfast As a parent, I understand the importance of breakfast for my daughter, first hand and always make sure my daughter has something to eat before walking out the door to school. I’m also a teacher and see it from a different angle too. Children who eat breakfast perform better in the classroom and have better concentration and problem-solving skills. Sometimes, busy morning schedules don’t leave a lot of time for breakfast, which can be a challenge on some days.

mcdonalds-free-breakfastAs students settle into their first days of school, participating McDonald’s restaurants throughout Southern California are helping get their year off to a great start….with a FREE breakfast. On Tuesday, Sept. 15, participating Southern California McDonald’s restaurants will offer free breakfast to kindergarten through eighth grade students. The restaurants will offer the breakfast from 6:30-9:30 a.m. Students younger than 13 yrs. of age are required to be accompanied by an adult when visiting a participating McDonald’s restaurant.
During this time, students can enjoy any breakfast sandwich, apple slices or Yoplait Go-Gurt low-fat strawberry yogurt, and milk! So awesome!


Spending Summer with the @OriginalBombPop….UNPLUGGED! {Giveaway} #BombPopMamas

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I was provided with products and compensation for writing this post. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Summer time is my favorite time! Since the days are longer, there is so much more time to fit in all of the things that you normally can’t during the busy school year. Every day has the potential to be something different! Every day could technically include something new to write about in the Summer Bucket List Journal. The possibilities during summer are endless!

summer-bucket-list-possibilitiesI’ve noticed this summer differs from last summer and the summers before that though. What I’m referring to is the increase in the use of technology in our home. I, too, am guilty of this, since I spend a lot of time online, working on my blog and sharing on my social media channels. The part that I’ve really noticed is my daughter being online more now too though.  I monitor her use of the Internet and she’s mostly looking up recipes, DIYs, and watching mom-approved You Tube channels such as Brooklyn and Bailey and EvanTubeHD, but I’ve started to be bothered by a noticeable increase in her usage.

unplug-and-get-outsideSo, I decided to be proactive and do something about it! Well, at least for a day! I planned a good old-fashioned summer day for us to spend together…UNPLUGGED! Yep! I was really inspired to recreate a summer day similar to one from my own childhood, when I came across Original Bomb Pops at the grocery store. Oh my goodness! Talk about a blast from my past! I LOVED Bomb Pops when I was a kid!

who-remembers-theseThe difference between now and then is that back then we had to wait for the ice cream truck to come down our street to buy a Bomb Pop. Nowadays, they’re available at Pavilions and Vons stores! There is only one authentic and Original Bomb Pop! It’s red, white, and blue, has an iconic rocket shape, and includes cherry, lime, and blue raspberry flavors all in one!

bomb-pop-logoI used to love eating Bomb Pops as a kid because they made my lips red from the first layer and I would pretend like I was wearing lipstick when I was too young for makeup! Can anyone else relate to that?

originalOur day was so much fun! It’s amazing how much you can do that doesn’t involve technology! We drew and colored. We played Barbies. We played Monopoly. We had a picnic in the park. We rode bikes. We ate Bomb Pops. We went to the pool. We ate Bomb Pops! I know I already said that. We *may have eaten them twice during our day! They’re too good not to have two! Did YOU eat Bomb Pops as a kid? Have you eaten them recently? I feel like I’m late to the game, as an adult, but I’m going to be sure to keep this tradition going now with my own daughter!

enter-to-winI have something fun involving Bomb Pops and my readers! I’m part of a group giveaway with “Bomb Pop Swag” as the prizes! To celebrate the remainder of this wonderful summer, 8 lucky winners will receive a prize pack that includes a Bomb Pop hat, Bomb Pop beach towel and some special Bomb Pop stickers! Each prize pack will also include product coupons AND a gift card to your local retailer so YOU can buy your own Original Bomb Pops! How fun is that? All you have to do is enter in the Rafflecopter below! Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Learn more about Original Bomb Pops here. Connect with Original Bomb Pops on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Contest: Enter to Win a Southern California Staycation from McDonald’s When You #StaySoCalFresh! Southern California Summers Are the BEST!

This is a sponsored post however all opinions are 100% my own. 

socal-summers-are-the-bestSummer in Southern California is the best! After the hustle and bustle of the busy school year, I’m grateful to have the summer to relax and reorganize. I love the lazy mornings I get to spend with my daughter. I love staying in my pjs and drinking coffee as long as I want. I love all of the summer fruits. I love beach days. I love pool days too. I love summer sunsets. My list goes on. I just love summer!

summer-is-forI always feel healthier in the summer time. I snack on a lot more fruit and I find myself drinking more water, which is so important. This summer, I’ve notice myself craving salads more often. I’m kind of a creature of habit, so when I find something I really like, I often find myself eating it a bunch of times in a row.

cant-get-enoughThat’s how I feel about the McDonald’s Premium Asian Salad. I can’t get enough of them! If you haven’t had one yet, you’ll want to run out and grab one after hearing about how delicious they are! The salad is made with your choice of either a savory crispy chicken breast filet or juicy grilled chicken breast filet mixed with a variety of premium greens, including crisp chopped romaine, baby spinach and baby kale, topped with a vegetable blend that mixes edamame, red bell peppers, and snow peas, and finished with sliced almonds and mandarin oranges, and served with this delicious low-fat Sesame Ginger dressing that’s beyond YUM! For a vegetarian option, you can order the Asian Salad without the chicken. The salad is so ideal for anyone who’s constantly on-the-go and as you can tell by the description, it doesn’t skimp on flavor!

im-staying-socal-freshI did mention that I love the slower pace of summer but I do also still find myself on the go a lot, even in summer. My daughter is a very busy girl, so in between summer day camps, swim team and cheer practices, it’s very convenient to drive through McDonald’s and grab a quick salad to munch on while I wait for her. I usually ask for a glass of water to go with my salad. I think part of me just loves the cups they serve their drinks in right now! It seems McDonald’s and I are on the same page! You’re right, McDonald’s, a glass half full IS greater than a glass half empty!

postivie-outlookSo far this summer, I’ve found myself enjoying McDonald’s Premium Asian Salads in several different places. I’ve eaten one at the park, one by the pool, one at the beach, etc. I think you get an idea of quick they are to grab and how easy they are to take on the go. It’s all part of how I “Stay SoCal Fresh“.

enter-to-winNow you can win a Southern California Staycation from Southern California McDonald’s for showing how youStay SoCal Fresh“! Yep! One winner will enjoy three days, two nights at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica. Enjoy a spa date for two and a $250 American Express Gift Card too!

Here’s what you need to do to enter:

  • Snap a photo showing where you are enjoying your McDonald’s Asian Salad.
  • Tag the photo on Twitter or Instagram with #StaySoCalFresh.
  • Follow @McDonalds_SoCal on Twitter.

It’s so easy to enter!  To read complete details and rules, click here.

Interact with Southern California McDonald’s on Twitter!