No-Bake Golden Oreo Truffles

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I co-hosted my sister’s baby shower this past weekend, and was in charge of sweets. Usually, I would just pick up some cupcakes from the grocery store (because I’m lame like that), but this event required something a little bit more personal.

I wanted something to kind of go with the theme (Rainbows/You are my Sunshine).  These were the invitations – perfect for a gender neutral event!

Adorable invites from Tiny Prints!

Adorable invites from Tiny Prints!

I’m not much of a cook or baker, so when I found this recipe on Pinterest and the first words I saw were “no-bake”, I was pretty excited. Surely I can’t mess these up…right?  Plus, rainbow sprinkles…lol

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Here’s what you’ll need:

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  • 1 package of Golden Oreos
  • 4 oz. Low-fat cream cheese (** I actually found several variations of this recipe, and most recommended 8 oz., but one suggested cutting the amount of cream cheese in half to 4 oz. It gives it more of a cookie dough texture, which I prefer.)
  • 1/2 package white chocolate chips
  • 1-2 tbsp. shortening
  • sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

Put Oreos (cream and all) into a food processor, and crush until they are crumbs.

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Dump Oreos into a bowl, add cream cheese, and mix into a dough.  (If your food processor has a dough blade, you can use that in the food processor to mix them.)

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Form dough into small balls and put on a plate with wax paper.  (I used this cookie scoop.)

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Put plate into the freezer for at least 30 mins.

Add half a bag of white chocolate chips and 1 tbsp. shortening to a microwave safe bowl.

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Microwave for 30 sec. increments until melted.

Remove balls from freezer and dip them one by one into the melted chocolate.  (I used a fork to lightly distribute the chocolate…do NOT stir.)

Use fork to scoop ball out, and tap on the edge of the bowl to remove extra chocolate.

Add sprinkles (optional) before chocolate hardens.  *This happens faster than you think!

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Repeat.

Once all Oreo balls are decorated, store in the refrigerator until serving time.  They should last up to five days in the fridge. To make them extra festive, place them in these cute mini cupcake wrappers!

Enjoy!

{The above post contains affiliate links that support this blog. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.}

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My Favorite Green Smoothie

** This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support of PGM! 

My in-laws got me a NutriBullet Blender for Christmas, and I absolutely love it!  I use it pretty much everyday.

I’ve tried several different recipes for green smoothies over the past couple of months, and the following is my favorite, so far.

greensmoothie

– 2 handfuls organic kale
– 1 banana (fresh or frozen)
– Fill the rest with frozen mixed fruit (The one I buy is our local grocery store brand, and it’s a blend of strawberries, peaches, cantaloupe, and seedless grapes.)
– Add a spoonful of flax seeds and water, then blend

If you like the earthy taste of kale, you can omit the banana, but I find that I need it to add some sweetness and a smoother texture.

I can’t wait to try some new recipes, and share them with you!

{This post is not sponsored by Magic Bullet, NurtiBullet, or Amazon.com. It does contain affiliate links to Amazon.com. Purchases made through these links support The Practically Green Mom Blog.}

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TOMS Sale at zulily – Save up to 40%!

** This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

Stock up on shoes for the entire family with the TOMS sale at zulily.com! Starting 2/17, you can get TOMS up to 40% off, including shoes for kids, women and men. Click the shop link below to find the perfect pair (or two or three)!

TOMS
Shop the TOMS sale here >> Up to 40% off TOMS – Sale starts 2/17

Did you know that TOMS gives back to children in need every time you make a purchase? With its Giving Partners and customers like you, TOMS has transformed everyday purchases into a force for good. Each purchase improves the health, education and well-being of children in over 60 countries. With every product you purchase, TOMS will help a person in need. One for One.®

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How We Homeschool {Preschool and Pre-K}

We’re almost halfway through our school year, so I thought I would write a post about how we homeschool with a preschool curriculum. (I know that some of y’all are curious since I’ve mentioned it on Facebook and Instagram.)

homeschoolpreschool

After reviewing several programs and types of preschool curriculum, I found the 3 Year Curriculum at ABC Jesus Loves Me at the end of September, and it is working really well for us.  All of the lesson plans and worksheets are free to use and print (for in-home, immediate family use only), and there are a ton of supportive ideas to enhance the weekly lessons.

In the 3 Year program, each week’s lesson includes a variety of things, including: Book of the Week, Bible Story/Verse/Song, Poem & Rhyme, Colors, Shapes, Letters, Numbers, Learning to Write, and Motor Skills. Since he’s so young, we spend less than an hour a day on formal lessons, therefore we don’t usually cover everything in an entire week.  I alter the lesson plan to focus mostly on letters, numbers, Bible story, learning to write, and motor skills. We have reviewed colors and shapes, but he already knows the material that is being covered this year in those subjects.

Since we’ve had such good luck with this curriculum so far, my husband and I have decided not to put our son in a formal Pre-K program next fall, and just continue with ABC Jesus Loves Me’s 4 Year Curriculum.  He’s an August baby, so we had already decided to hold him back an extra year from Kindergarten anyway.  The plan is to enroll him in a Transition program for young 5 year olds in Fall 2016 (or maybe we’ll use the 5 Year Curriculum instead!), then he will start Kindergarten the following year.

If you’re looking for a free, complete, Christian-based preschool and Pre-K curriculum for your 2-5 year olds, check out ABC Jesus Loves Me. I hope you love it as much as we do!

{I received no compensation for this review of ABC Jesus Loves Me. I just really like it, and I think it would be a blessing for your family!}

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Should We Have Another Baby?

I imagine this question comes up all the time for a lot of families…

{image courtesy of Jonathan Fitch and freedigitalphotos.net}

{image courtesy of Jonathan Fitch and freedigitalphotos.net}

It’s pretty safe to say that there’s no right answer to this question. It all depends on your personal circumstances.

When my husband and I started discussing the possibility last year, we knew we had some goals to accomplish first (bigger house, etc.) It’s very important for us to be in a good place emotionally and financially before adding to our family. (Some people say you never have enough money for a baby, but I’m just talking about “Can we afford food for this child?”)

And quite frankly, DS was a handful from the start, so we weren’t ready to add to the chaos at that point. Lol But, we finally got him out of our bed, and he goes to sleep at a decent hour, which was a big hurdle for us to get over.

So, I think we’re ready to start trying for baby #2!

But, why rock the boat when things have finally calmed down a bit around here?

For me, it’s as simple as this. I just don’t feel like my family is complete, and I’m not getting any younger. I want to, at the very least, have the opportunity to give my son a sibling.

When I chose “growth” as my one word for 2015, I wasn’t considering that it might include the growth of our family…but it looks like we may be on the right track for that! ;)

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How to Find Safer Cleaning Products for Your Home

The following is a guest post from Hannah at Wild Mint.  No compensation was received. 

Hello, The Practically Green Mom readers! My name is Hannah Helsabeck and I reached out to Allie recently after finding her blog and falling in love with her “green(ish)” attitude and advice. I couldn’t agree more with her motto of doing the best you can and trying new things when it comes to green living, which really aligns with the inspiration behind my company Wild Mint. I’m obsessed with researching all the ways to live a more toxin-free life and sharing what I learn with others. On Wildmintshop.com, I provide all the information and products that I use to do just that.

Today, Allie was gracious enough to let me share my knowledge about green and natural cleaning products, a big topic for anyone else who is a clean-freak like me! Harmful, chemical-based cleaning products have been the norm for so long that even the most dedicated toxin-free individual can have trouble finding the best types of solutions to use at home. The unfortunate practice of companies “greenwashing” products only adds to this confusion. If you haven’t heard this term before, greenwashing refers to companies claiming to be environmentally friendly by marketing products with misleading information.  These companies can mislead consumers by falsifying claims, using vague terms, and exaggerating green practices, just to name a few.

My team and I at Wild Mint strongly believe in the importance of transparency, awareness, and education so you can make your own informed decisions.  Alongside awareness, we suggest the following tips when looking for safer cleaning products:

  • Be a Label Checker - A good line of defense is to buy products from brands that list all of their ingredients on their label and are transparent both on their website and in their product offerings. A product should clearly state what is and is not used in its production in a way that is easily understood. You should also look out for and avoid products with the following terms listed on the label or packaging:
    • Fatal if inhaled
    • Fatal if swallowed
    • Watch out for terms like “poison,” “danger,” or “fatal”
    • Vague terms like surfactant or solvent
    • Skip phosphate additives
  • Be a Certification Critic - Some companies go above and beyond to certify their products and make their brand even more reputable, with certifications such as USDA Organic, Fair Trade, Cruelty Free (PETA), Energy Star, Green Seal Certified, and so on. Take a look at the certification on a label, and do a quick search on your phone or at home to see if the certification is valid.
  • Vague Terms - A prevalent greenwashing tactic to look out for is “vagueness”. Some common phrases to look out for include Eco Friendly, Environmentally Friendly, Earth Friendly, Environment Safe, Harnessing Nature, and Eco Chemistry. Remember, transparency is key; a company should be able to prove their products are indeed safe.

So what brands can you trust? Well, some of my favorites include Better Life, Dr. Bronners, and Eco-Me, which you can find here.  I use this all purpose cleaner and this multi-area scrubber cleanser by Better Life regularly.  I love that the Better Life products never leave a toxic smell after cleaning (like some chemical cleaners do!), are plant-based, and made without the use of harmful chemicals, making them safe for people, pets, the surfaces in your home, and the environment.

hannah Wild Mint - guest

You can also try your hand at making natural cleaning solutions yourself! Try Allie’s homemade air freshener made with essential oils or a combination of vinegar-based solutions.

Thank you to Allie for letting me guest post today and feel free to send me any of your questions about toxin-free living at hello@wildmintshop.com!

~ Hannah Helsabeck

President, Wild Mint Shop

Hannah Helsabeck is President and Co-Founder of Wild Mint, an online shop dedicated to helping families find toxin-free and eco-friendly products for healthier lifestyles.  She is passionate about educating others on the benefits of healthy living and the importance of taking small steps towards eliminating exposure to toxins in people’s daily lives.  She also enjoys finding new ways to be eco-conscious and is often found in the kitchen cooking up simple meals with real, whole foods. Hannah is the oldest of six kids, has amazing parents as role models in business as well as life, and currently lives in South Florida with her incredibly supportive husband.

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Out of my Element – Raising Boys

“Mommy, you be Rollout. I’m Bumblebee. Fight!”

“Ummm…ok…which one is Rollout again?”

I want to be Bumblebee, because it's pretty obvious which one he is!

I want to be Bumblebee, because it’s pretty obvious which one he is!

As my son gets older, I realize that I am severely out of my element when it comes to his new interests. (I mean, I can finally pronounce most of the dinosaur names now, and he’s loved those for years. Let’s just stick with that!)

At almost 3.5 years old, he is diving headfirst into the world of Ninja Turtles, Transformers, and Skylanders. I’m not a girly girl by any means, but I am so clueless about raising boys with these toys…

(Speaking of Skylanders…is there a GOAL to this game? What am I trying to accomplish while I wander aimlessly?)

So, I continue to grow as a boy mom. Spending my days learning the names of “robots in disguise”, and dodging the Shellraiser full of Ninja Turtles as it speeds through the kitchen. :) And I’m sure once I finally have all of this down, he’ll abandon it completely for something else…lol

Do you ever feel completely out of your element when it comes to your child’s interests?

**Edited to add: Yes, I realize girls can play with these toys, too. I’m not being sexist. I just HAVE a BOY, and as a young girl, I knew nothing about superheroes and such (even with a younger brother). So, I’m just going by my experiences.

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2015 New Year’s Resolutions – Growth #OneWord365

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you’re all having a wonderful first day of 2015!

I’m sure a lot of you are making resolutions and such. Last year was the first time I did One Word 365 rather than the typical new year’s resolution. I’m not sure I would describe 2014 as “relaxing”, at least not the first half of it anyway. Regardless, a one word goal for the year is much less intimidating than a list of them, so…

This year, I’ll try to pick something a little more realistic (maybe?) My #OneWord365 for 2015 is GROWTH.

(image via http://www.restingbuddha.co.uk)

(image via http://www.restingbuddha.co.uk)

Growth of this blog, personal growth (mentally and spirituality)…basically just to step out of my comfort zone more often.

What’s your #OneWord365 for 2015?

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