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12 St Patrick's Day Books (Chapter and Picture Books!)

Happy Day 3 of our St Patrick's Day week! I love a good holiday themed book as much as the next parent, and over the years I've collected a few great gems for St Patrick's Day. I think our great collection of St Patty's Day books is why Kyle keeps going around the house saying this is his favorite holiday. Books are such an easy way to celebrate almost any occasion, which is why I make them a part of every holiday in our home. If you're looking for some great St Patrick's Day books, consider adding a couple of these to your collection.

Six St Patrick's Day Picture Books:
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1. The Story of St Patrick: I love a good, fun, silly book, but I also love to have at least one book that talks about what each holiday is actually about. This book does a great job of telling the story of who St Patrick was, and why we celebrate this day in a great way for young audiences.

2. St Patrick's Day in the Morning: This story is about a boy named Jamie who will do whatever it takes to march in the St. Patrick's Parade. This is a flagship book from my own childhood.

3. The Luckiest St Patrick's Day Ever: This is a fun quick read that we got at the library. It takes you through a town's St Patrick's celebration and parade!

4. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover: Kyle is a huge fan of the, "There Was an Old Lady..." series. We bought this one last year and it's a repeat this time of year!

5. The Night Before St Patrick's Day: I love every holiday book in this series and this one is just as good as the rest! The kids try to make a leprechaun trap, but do they actually get him?

6. How to Catch a Leprechaun: Another fun and lively book about catching leprechauns. My kids love this one, and it's a super fun and quick read.

Six St. Patrick's Day Chapter Books:
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1. St. Patrick's Day from the Black Lagoon: This is number 19 in The Black Lagoon series and is a super great read for any 2nd-5th grader in your life. If you have kids that love The Black Lagoon series like Kyle does, this will be a no brainer to grab at your next library day!

2. Calendar Mysteries #3: March Mischief: Kyle loves anything and everything by Ron Roy. He's read both the Capital Mysteries and A to Z Mysteries so far, and we're excited to start this series next. Luckily they have a book just in time for St Patrick's!

3. Leprechaun's Don't Play Basketball: The basketball team is convinced their coach is a leprechaun, but is he really? I guess you'll have to read this to find out ;)

4. Leprechauns and Irish Folklore: This is a Fact Checker book from the Magic Treehouse series. These are fun books that give more non-fiction details into what the other books in the series talk about. We haven't read any of these yet, but it will be super fun to grab a copy of this to read with Kyle next month!

5. Merlin Missions: Leprechaun in Late Winter: Merlin Missions are the more advanced readers of The Magic Treehouse Series. Kyle has read all of these, and this one is one of his very favorites! If you have Jack and Annie lovers in your house, you'll definitely want to snag a copy of this to read soon!

6. Green Gravy (Cul-de-Sac Kids Series): This story is about a girl named Carly who becomes student of the week and makes the entire class do St Patty's traditions against their will because she's Irish. Her adopted twin brother from Korea doesn't want to join in on the fun though which causes a bit of sibling rivalry which eventually gets resolved.

Do you have books you love reading with your kid's for St Patrick's? I'd love to hear in the comments below!

Easy St Patrick's Bento Box Idea

I am not the mom that makes Pinterest worthy, super cute bento box creations for their child's lunches everyday of the week. Up until last week, Kyle primarily bought his lunch at school, but he's actually switched schools in the last week and lunch at the new school is super expensive, so he's now packing a lunch each day. 

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Even though I'm making school lunches, I have zero intentions of making it super fancy all the time. But a holiday is a fun excuse to go a little bit extra with a lunch right? This St Patrick's themed bento box is super easy to make, and you can easily recreate it to fit your child's preferences. 

I started it off by tossing in one of these super yummy St Patrick's Rice Krispie Treats, and then made a simple sandwich. The only super extra thing I did was buy these letter cookie cutters, and cut a slice of cheese to make the word "lucky" that I placed on top of the sandwich. 

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For the veggies, I just chopped up a few peppers I had on hand, and tossed in some carrots to make a little rainbow in one of the compartments of our bento box. You could easily do this with whatever fruits and veggies you have on hand that your kids would enjoy. 

Finally, I wanted to make a little pot of gold, so I threw in some goldfish and some golden raisins to pull this off. 

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Resources:

Do you like to make fun holiday themed meals for your kids lunches? I'm in new lunch making territory over here, so I'd love to hear what fun things you do to make their lunches a little extra special in the comments below!

St. Patrick's Rice Krispies

I'm super excited to do something a little different on the blog this week. I'm dedicating the entire week to different St Patrick's Day themed posts. Today I'm sharing this fun treat idea, but come back the rest of the week for fun a fun St Patrick's Sensory Activity, book recommendations, a home decor DIY,  and a super easy bento box you can pack your kid's for lunch on St Patrick's Day. 

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I've never done anything like this before, and I definitely don't think you need to do every activity that I'm throwing at you this week, but hopefully you can take away something that you love that you want to do with your kids in your home. 

I found this bag of Lucky Charms Marshmallows at the store this weekend, and knew that they needed to be transformed into some rice crispies ASAP. I was originally hoping they would have more of a rainbow effect, but they turned out green with a hint of rainbow which worked out well.

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These marshmallows were actually super soft and the kids loved snacking on them too, if you need a fun little treat idea for St Patrick's the marshmallows themselves would be super fun. I think it would also be fun to make normal rice crispy treats, and then stir in some of these crunchy Lucky Charm's marshmallows you can get on Amazon. 

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A final variation would be to just make rice crispy treats as normal, and then add green coloring into the marshmallow mixture. Super simple, and no shopping for extra ingredients. 

Ingredients:
3 tbsp butter
6 cups Rice Krispy Cereal

Directions:
Lightly spray a 9x13 dish with cooking spray. 

Microwave the marshmallows and the butter together for 1 minute and 30 seconds.

Stir the marshmallow mixture into your cereal until well combined, and then press into the baking pan. 

Allow to set for about 10 minutes before serving. 

For best cutting results, spray a knife with cooking spray so that you get clean cuts.

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January 2020 Running Report + Next Race

One of my goals this year was to get back into a consistent routine with running. Last year I had a few good races but nothing was ever consistent because I was battling stress fractures in my foot, and had two concussions earlier in the year.



When the new year hit I was more committed than ever to chase down some big goals, and really get to work. I've been running four days a week with one strength workout a week and I've been seeing huge improvements already. I've been running paces that I haven't ran since high school and it feels good to be tapping into that for the first time in 10 years.

January Running Totals:
Distance: 67.7 miles
Time: 10 Hours 29 Minutes
Average Pace: 9 Minutes 17 Seconds

This is such a huge improvement considering in December I ran a total of 12 miles, and most of those runs were well over 10 minute per mile pace! 

Last week I registered for my first race of 2020! I'll be running the Emigration Canyon Half Marathon on April 4th! I'm really excited because I've never ran down Emigration Canyon before, and I'm really hoping to get a new half marathon PR in 2020. My current PR is 1:53:00. My goal for this race is to simply try my hardest to break the two hour mark again. 

After that I'm hoping to run more and more half marathons throughout the year and hopefully chip away at my time until I hit 1:45:00. That is such a huge time goal. That's a race pace of 8:01 per mile, but I really believe that's in me somewhere! I don't think it's out of reach and my goal for 2020 is to keep trying until I get there! 

Do you have any big running goals this year? Do you have any races on your schedule? I'm hoping to add a 10k into the picture in March sometime, but for right now, I'm really excited to log more mile and get some more work in between now and April 4th! 

Primary.com Clothing Review (Affordable Ethical Fashion for Kids)

This post is not sponsored but does contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and purchase I will earn a small commission, but doesn't effect the price you pay at checkout. 

Last year I said one of my goals was to start purchasing more ethical fashion for our home. I won't get into all of those details here, but click that link if you want to learn more about that decision. Since making that decision we've purchased a lot of clothing second hand, but sometimes when you need to buy a lot of something, or something specific that you can't find used, it's easier to just buy new and get it all in one place. 

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The kids had gotten to a point where they had worn through many of the clothes we purchased for them at the beginning of the school year, and Kinsley had out-grown most of her church dresses. Both kids were both down to a couple pairs of pants and so I pulled the trigger and added some new pieces to their closets. 

I'd heard of primary.com several years ago and knew they were an ethical brand, but back then they didn't have a ton of fashion forward pieces. They've really upped their game the last couple years, and they've become my new go-to for purchasing new pieces for our kids. 

Primary.com Dresses Review:
We bought Kinsley three dresses from them and they've all been awesome quality. Their fabric is a little thicker meaning that they keep her just a little warmer, and she won't wear through them as quickly. I sized up for length and went with the "6-7" size and they were perfect for her. She's 39 inches tall for reference, and even though the dresses are long and have room to grow with her, they aren't gaping on her either. They're a really great fit. 


Primary.com Chino Pants Review:
Chino pants are always my go-to for Kyle. They're great for both school and church and pair well with most of his shirts. These are currently on sale for $10 each, and they are a great fit. They aren't specifically slim cut, but even for Kyle who is really slender, they're not super wide on him. We got him a size 7, and they fit really well, and have an adjustable waist so they don't fall down his bottom. He has three pairs now and I know they'll last him through the end of the school year! 


Primary.com Leggings Review:
I'm super picky about leggings because of how tall and skinny Kinsley is. Usually leggings that fit her in the length are too wide in the waist. We used to only be able to get her in Target leggings because of this. The primary.com leggings fit her really well. She's in a size five, I love that they have a thick waist band, and the material is thicker than other leggings so I think they'll last a little bit longer with her crawling around in them. 


Primary.com Tops Review:
I purchased two new shirts for Kinsley, a sweatshirt and a tunic and they both fit great. I ordered her normal size, a five, and it was perfect. I was hesitant because we'd gotten the 6-7 for her dresses that these would be too small, but I'm really glad we didn't go with the bigger size.  They have enough room to grow in until summer, and I love how thick, warm, and soft they are. 


For a brand that I was a little hesitant to purchase from, primary.com has become a new family favorite. I'll definitely be purchasing from them in the future. This post isn't sponsored by primary.com, they don't really know who I am other than the fact that they did give me a promo code to share with you all. If you enter code, AFF20PCT at checkout, you can get 20% off your first order, which makes those boy pants only $8, and the dresses $10 or less!

Homemade Pizza Bagel Bite Recipe

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

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Does anyone else find it incredibly satisfying to make something from scratch that you'd normally just purchase from the freezer section at the grocery store? Ever since I made my own everything bagels a few weeks ago, I've been playing with a few ideas of how I could make that bagel recipe into other variations, and then had the idea to make these quick and easy homemade pizza bagel bites.

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The star ingredient in this recipe is Margherita® Genoa Salami. These great tasting, high quality sausage products can be found in local delis across the nation, and can be used to create great recipes for all snacking occasions with their superior flavor. Margherita is known for their flavorful, high quality dry sausage products that are perfect for snacking, entertaining, and incorporating into everyday recipes.
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These homemade pizza bagel bites would be perfect for an after school snack, tailgating, or any other event you might be hosting. They can be made from scratch, start to finish in just under 30 minutes, without having to use any super complicated ingredients. The unique spice-forward flavor profile from the Margherita® Genoa Salami makes them a perfect snack that everyone will love. 

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Ingredients:
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Greek Yogurt
1 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Egg
Pizza Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Next, add in the greek yogurt and stir with a mixing spoon, or with your hands to bring the dough together.

Flatten your dough out onto a lightly floured surface, it should be about a 1/2 inch thick. Using a small bowl or a cup, cut out small circles into the dough. Bringing the dough back into a ball and flattening back out as needed to use it all up. I got 12 bagels out of mine.

On a parchment lined baking sheet, place all your mini bagels onto the pan. Whisk your egg, and then using a cooking brush, lightly brush the tops of each of the bagel with the egg.

Bake in the oven for 18 minutes.

Once baked, pull your bagels out, spread a little sauce, cheese, and place a Margherita® Genoa Salami onto each bagel. Broil in the oven for 2-3 minutes until all the cheese is melted, and then serve!

Valentine Heart Shaped Veggie Pizza with Whole Wheat Crust

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

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February is Heart Health Month. When I think about my heart health, and overall health in general, I like to think about small easy changes I can make to improve my health on a daily basis. For instance, our family loves pizza, so we know we can make changes to our recipe to better meet the nutritional needs of our family. A big switch we've made in the last year is using Mazola® Corn Oil. A clinical study showed Mazola Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about this claim, see Mazola.com.

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What better way to celebrate Heart Month, and Valentine's than with a whole wheat, heart shaped, Valentine's veggie pizza? When making our favorite quick and easy pizza recipe, there were several changes we were able to make, in order for our pizza to be a little bit healthier. Three swaps we made were, using Mazola Corn Oil over other cooking oils, using whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour, and loading it up with lots of colorful veggies instead of heavier meats that typically go on pizzas. Mazola Corn Oil is an all-purpose, cholesterol free cooking oil that is a smart heart-healthy* choice for your family. *See Mazola.com for more information on the relationship between corn oil and heart health. It has a variety of uses include baking, grilling, sautéing, stir frying, or mixing up a marinade or dressing.

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This whole wheat veggie pizza recipe is super easy to make. The dough only involves six simple ingredients, and 30 minutes of time from start to finish. This pizza is perfect for an easy lunch or dinner idea, and is packed full of good for you nutrients that will help fuel your body for anything that comes your way.

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To make the heart shape, simply roll your dough out into a circle. Press the top of the circle down towards the middle, and then shape the sides of the heart with your hands. Then carefully cut away the dough at the bottom of the circle to make a point. 

Ingredients:
Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
1 cup warm water, about 110 degrees
1 tbsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp yeast
2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt

Pizza Toppings:
1 cup Shredded Mozzarella
1/2 cup Pizza Sauce
Red Onion
Red Bell Pepper
Jalapenos
Black Olives
Spinach
Mushrooms

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine the water, sugar, corn oil, and yeast. Allow to proof for five minutes. Use this time to prep your veggies and toppings.

In a large bowl combine your flour and salt, and once your yeast is risen and bubbly, add it to the flour. Mix together with a wooden mixing spoon, or with your hands until the dough forms a nice smooth ball.

At this point you can split your dough to make two small pizzas, or one large one. We did one large. Roll your dough out on a lightly floured surface until it's about 1/4 inch thick. Lightly spray a baking sheet or pizza pan with cooking spray, and then transfer your pizza dough onto your pan. (If making into a heart shape, use the instructions above!)

Pour about 1/2 cup tomato sauce onto your pizza and spread evenly, leaving room around the edges for the crust. Next, add your spinach, before covering it with your mozzarella cheese. Finally, add the rest of your toppings.

Bake the pizza in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes on the top oven rack, allow to cool slightly before cutting and serving.

Check out Mazola for more delicious recipe ideas.