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Friday, January 14, 2022

Here is the 2022 Girl Scout Cookie List!

  

The 2022 Girl Scout Cookies are here! We share the Girl Scout Cookie lineup every year and it's one of our most popular posts. The timing couldn't be better since it's the start of a new year and we have the opportunity to support the entrepreneurial spirit of young girls, especially here in north Texas! In today's post, I'll share the 2022 Girl Scout Cookie lineup and point you here to search for a Girl Scout Cookie Booth near you! 


We feature the Girl Scout Cookie lineup every year because we know that this program provides financial support and entrepreneurial experiences for local girls. You may not know this, but 
Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas serves more than 10,000 girls in our region each year. The region covers 23,000 square miles, beginning north of Waco and extending to the Oklahoma and Louisiana state lines. 100% of the net revenue from cookies remains with Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas to help our local girls. When you buy cookies, you help to support their activities which may include a variety of things such as STEM activities, leadership activities, or other skill-based activities with their local troops. In some cases the funds even support sending the girls to camps!  


Girls view themselves as leaders and entrepreneurs. They may think about their business strategy and put many hours into their cookie sales which may provide confidence and foster their interests in business pursuits. They see outcomes!  Hard work translates to success which is a real motivator for many girls.  Many small acts of kindness to support the girls add up quickly! I read that over half (53 percent) of female entrepreneurs and business owners are Girl Scout alums – like local business owners Andrea Meyer of Bisous Bisous P√Ętisserie and Nina Vaca of Pinnacle Group. Supporting Girl Scouts as they make sales and learn essential business skills is imperative to ensuring our country has a strong workforce and economy.   

The 2022 Girl Scout cookies lineup for the Dallas and Fort Worth metro includes:
  • Trefoils
  • Tagalongs
  • Do-si-dos
  • Samoas
  • Thin Mints
  • S'mores
  • Lemon Ups
  • Adventurefuls (*New for 2022!)
If you live in the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas (GSNETX) region, the photo below shows the fantastic variety of cookies available in our region. The cookies are $5/box for general and $6/box for specialty cookies.


The timing of Girl Scout season is perfect for Valentine's Day. For instance, my family loves the Thin Mints and Tagalongs, so I use a stencil and dust powdered sugar hearts onto the cookies every year. This was a popular feature last year, so let me share this easy DIY project again!

DIY Girl Scout Cookies Dusted with Powdered Sugar Hearts
Supplies
  • 1 box of Thin Mints
  • 1 box of Tagalongs
  • 2 Tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • 1 piece of parchment paper
Directions
  1. Fold a piece of parchment paper in half and cut out the shape of a heart.  
  2. Place the stencil tightly over a cookie.
  3. Sift powdered sugar onto a cookie. 
  4. Carefully remove the stencil to reveal the heart. 
  5. Optionally dust extra powdered sugar onto the cookies after you finish the hearts!

Not only are the cookies delicious, but you'll also make a difference in the lives of young girls who are building their leadership abilities. It's a win-win opportunity to share love with hopeful Girl Scouts and your family! 

If you would like to support Girl Scouts in Texas,  find a local cookie booth near you by 

  • Find a cookie booth. Locate a Girl Scout Cookie sale in your community by entering your zip code in the “Find Cookies!” tool.
  • Download the app. Looking for cookies on the go? Download the Girl Scout Cookie Finder app for your iOS and Android devices. 
  • Order cookies online. Do you know a Girl Scout? Ask her if you can buy your cookies from her online site using the Digital Cookie® platform!


We hope that you will consider supporting local Girl Scouts with their entrepreneurial dreams!
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Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Family Movie Night: Hotel Transylvania: Transformania Premieres on Prime Video January 14th!

If you follow regularly, you know that we love a good family movie night!  Now that the cold weather is here, this is the best time of year for cozy family movie nights.  In today's post, I'll tell you about one of our favorite movies that will be available on Prime Video on January 14th - Hotel Transylvania: Transformania!

Let's start with the details to add to your calendar:

  • What: Hotel Transylvania: Transformania Premiere on Prime Video!
  • When: January 14, 2022
  • Where: Amazon Prime Video

 Here is a quick overview:

"Drac and the Pack are back, like you’ve never seen them before in Hotel Transylvania: Transformania. Reunite with your favorite monsters for an all-new adventure that presents Drac (Brian Hull) with his most terrifying task yet. When Van Helsing’s (Jim Gaffigan) mysterious invention, the 'Monsterification Ray,’ goes haywire, Drac and his monster pals are all transformed into humans, and Johnny (Andy Samberg) becomes a monster! In their new mismatched bodies, Drac, stripped of his powers, and an exuberant Johnny, loving life as a monster, must team up and race across the globe to find a cure before it’s too late, and before they drive each other crazy. With help from Mavis (Selena Gomez) and the hilariously human Drac Pack, the heat is on to find a way to switch themselves back before their transformations become permanent. The film also features the voices of Kathryn Hahn (Ericka), Steve Buscemi (Wayne), Molly Shannon (Wanda), David Spade (Griffin the Invisible Man), Keegan-Michael Key (Murray), Fran Drescher (Eunice), Brad Abrell (Frank), and Asher Blinkoff (Dennis)."

As described above, this magical movie is filled with loveable characters that both parents and children will enjoy. My husband and I also enjoyed that the movie is packed with celebrity voices. It's fun to try to recognize the actors and actresses behind the different characters! 

Here is the trailer:


My family members are big fans of Hotel Transylvania.  Since I knew that I was going to work on this post, I wanted to be thorough by watching the previous Hotel Transylvania movies before we saw the latest release.  We watched the first three over the weekend had a blast. My preschooler was especially excited about Hotel Transylvania.  


We were also lucky to have a few Hotel Transylvania themed items for our family movie night. My preschooler was the lucky one to wear the monster slippers! If you have any Halloween or monster themed items packed away, you may want to pull them out for this fun movie night!


My preschooler loves the colorful characters and the movie feels magical to him. I won't spoil any surprises in the movie, but I will tell you that everyone in our family loved it -- a preschooler, middle schooler, and adults! It's the ultimate movie for a family movie night because we all enjoyed the movie!


We hope that you have the opportunity to enjoy a family movie night with Hotel Transylvania: Transformania on =Prime Video on January 14th!

Learn More
Visit Hotel Transylvania: Transformania on social media here: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
Follow #HotelTransylvania
Watch it on Prime Video here.















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Monday, January 3, 2022

Monster Family 2 Movie Release + Recipe for Chocolate Crinkle Mummy Cookies!

 

Monster Family 2 is now available for you to watch at home! In today's post, I'll share an overview of this wonderful movie, a fun dessert idea that is inspired by our favorite Monster Family, and activity sheets for your next family movie night!

Let's start with a quick summary:
  • What: Monster Family 2 available Everywhere On Digital and On Demand 
  • When: January 4, 2022 and onward
  • Details: Enjoy a Family Movie Night +  Try our Chocolate Crinkle Mummy Cookies! 

Here is an overview of the movie:
The Wishbones are a happy family – but not all is perfect. Max and Fay are struggling with the pressures of growing up, while Mom and Dad have the demands of work and parenting; but their hum-drum life is about to change. Mila Starr, a monster hunter, has made it her mission to capture all spooky creatures including the Wishbone’s friends King Conga, The Loch Ness Monster, and The Yeti. In order to save their friends, the Wishbone’s must transform into monsters themselves. Together as a Vampire, Mummy, Werewolf, and Frankenstein, the family take off on the most monst-umental adventure of their lives. 
 

Here is the trailer:


Monster Family 2 movie hit theaters in October. It's now Available Everywhere On Digital and On Demand January 4, 2022! Personally, my family loved this movie! I won't spoil surprises, but I will share that the whimsical features of this movie such as the family members transforming into monsters and working together in fun ways makes this movie feel magical.

As a mom, I love that this movie has a theme of how no one is perfect.  There is so much pressure on kids today that I really appreciated the positive messaging in this movie and that they did it in a way that connected with my children. I think that every family should enjoy this movie on a Family Movie Night!

Now that I've told you about the movie, let me share an easy Monster Family-themed dessert idea -- Chocolate Crinkle Mummy Cookies!

Recipe: Chocolate Crinkle Mummy Cookies

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs 
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2cup vegetable oil 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tube of white frosting
  • 1 container of candy eyes (commonly available in the frosting section of grocery stores)

Directions
1. Beat the 4 eggs.

2. Beat in the cocoa, white sugar, vegetable oil, and vanilla.

3. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Add this to the wet mixture.

4. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 3+ hours.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

6. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

7. Roll scoops of the dough into approximately 3/4" balls.  Roll in the confectioner sugar to thoroughly coat each cookie dough ball.

8. Place on cookie sheets approximately 1.5" apart.

9. Baker for approximately 10 to 12 minutes. 


10. Cool for a few minutes and then transfer to wire racks for approximately 10 minutes or longer.


11. Drizzle the frosting onto each cookie to create a mummy wrap pattern.


12. Add two candy eyes to each mummy cookie!


In addition to the recipe above, let me share a couple of fun activities for kids!  In the first activity, your kids will want to figure out the missing vowels.


The next is a fun coloring sheet!


We hope that you enjoy a memorable family movie night with the family friendly Monster Family 2 movie, yummy mummy cookies, and activity sheets!


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Wildgrain is the Perfect Subscription for Families!

 

If you haven't heard of Wildgrain yet, I'm excited to tell you about this game changing subscription box that is perfect for busy families who love good food!  You may have heard of this brand on BuzzFeed, The Boston Globe, CBS, or other other outlets. This small business uses clean ingredients and long fermentation processes for many of their products for health benefits that may surprise you.  In today's post, I'll share our experience! (Spoiler alert - our Wildgrain box was even better than we expected and you'll want to sign up quickly for a special deal to get $10 off AND free sourdough bread for life* with our discount code TRENDYMOM!)


Let's start with the Wildgrain coupon code for $10 off -- visit here and enter the code TRENDYMOM to score the discount!

Our box arrived midday and everything was frozen so that we could promptly move everything to our freezer.  You'll notice below that it was generously packed with a large quantity of fermented breads, pastas, and even croissants! Specifically, our package included four loaves of bread, two packages of pasta, and four croissants. 

The bakers at Wildgrain do all of the hard work so that you just put all of the items into your freezer and then pull them out when you are ready to bake the items. I loved that each loaf of bread included ingredients that I easily recognized. I didn't have to worry about weird additives or mysterious ingredients. Basking each loaf of bread was easy as shown below on one of the labels. (The temperature and cooking time varied slightly by type of bread in our box.). Nothing is better than Wildgrain bread that is fresh from the oven!

This is the label from one of the sourdough breads.


Here is another label from the Slow Fermented Cranberry Pecan Bread.

Just for fun, here is a third label from the Sourdough Whole Wheat Bread. I think that you get the idea - they contain good quality ingredients and were easy to prepare in our oven at home.

Similarly, the pasta and croissants were also fabulous and easy to prepare!


This post wouldn't be complete without showing you some of the results. I love that the team at Wildgrain did the hard work and made it easy for me to prepare the items for my family. If your family is like mine, good food makes a big difference!  Everyone is happy when we have special foods. I'm a Boy Mom with hungry boys!  My husband runs 30+ miles/week, so he's a big eater too. This box is perfect for hearty appetites! For instance, the loaves of bread are hearty and delicious on their own! 


We also love the sourdough bread for avocado toast or sandwiches!


The Chocolate Avalanche Croissants were fabulous!  Everyone in my family commented that they've never had so much chocolate packed into a croissant. The Wildgain bakers do not skimp on chocolate in these croissants.  I made them while my family slept so that they each woke up to a warm croissant!


The pastas were a big hit. I tossed the first pasta with lemon juice, olive oil, and lemon zest. We served it with broccoli.


We used a simple red sauce on the second batch of pasta. 


The pasta is so delicious that we used a light amount of sauce.


We hope that you enjoyed this glimpse into our love of Wildgrain and how one of their boxes helped us to enjoy special meals throughout the week!  As a Boy Mom, I loved having the generous portions of delicious food for my family.  If you want to try Wildgrain, visit their website here! (* Wildgrain currently has a special where you receive a free loaf of sourdough bread with each delivery for life at the moment and you get $10 off with the code TRENDYMOM!)






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Sunday, January 2, 2022

Monster Family 2 Movie Release + Recipe for Yeti Rice to Pair with Your Favorite Orange Chicken Take-Out!


Monster Family 2 is now available for you to watch at home! The loveable characters in this movie are ready for new adventures. In today's post, I'll share an overview of this wonderful movie, a fun dinner idea that is inspired by our favorite Monster Family, and a couple of activity sheets for your next family movie night!

Let's start with a quick summary:
  • What: Monster Family 2 available Everywhere On Digital and On Demand 
  • When: January 4, 2022 and onward
  • Details: Enjoy a Family Movie Night +  Try our Yeti Rice with your favorite take-out food for dinner! 

Here is an overview of the movie:
The Wishbones are a happy family – but not all is perfect. Max and Fay are struggling with the pressures of growing up, while Mom and Dad have the demands of work and parenting; but their hum-drum life is about to change. Mila Starr, a monster hunter, has made it her mission to capture all spooky creatures including the Wishbone’s friends King Conga, The Loch Ness Monster, and The Yeti. In order to save their friends, the Wishbone’s must transform into monsters themselves. Together as a Vampire, Mummy, Werewolf, and Frankenstein, the family take off on the most monst-umental adventure of their lives. 
 

Here is the trailer:


Monster Family 2 movie hit theaters in October. It's now Available Everywhere On Digital and On Demand January 4, 2022! Personally, my family loved this movie! I won't spoil surprises, but I will share that the whimsical features of this movie such as the family members transforming into monsters and working together in fun ways makes this movie feel magical.

As a mom, I love that this movie has a theme of how no one is perfect.  There is so much pressure on kids today that I really appreciated the positive messaging in this movie and that they did it in a way that connected with my children. I think that every family should enjoy this movie on a Family Movie Night!

Now that I've told you about the movie, let me share an easy Monster Family-themed dinner idea -- Yeti Rice that pairs perfect with your favorite take-out orange chicken, beef and broccoli, tofu, beans, or other entrees that you typically eat with rice!

Recipe: Yeti Rice

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of prepared Jasmine rice
  • 2 candy eyes (typically available in the frosting section of grocery stores)
  • 1 sesame stick
Supplies
  • 1 shallow cup or small bowl
Directions
1. Pack the rice into the cup so that it is tightly packed.


2. Use a spatula or spoon to slightly loosen the packed rice from the cup and turn the cup upside down to place the packed rice on a plate.


3. Add the candy eyes by pressing them into the rice.

4. Add the sesame stick as the mouth by pressing it into the rice.

5. Surround the Yeti rice with your favorite take-out food such as orange chicken!


Let me also share a couple of activity sheets to add to your Family Movie Night! The first is a "spot the difference" activity sheet.


The next activity is a fun cut out mask to color!


We hope that you enjoy this whimsical movie, dinner idea, and activities!  

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Saturday, January 1, 2022

We Visited The Journey Dome in Southlake and Loved It!

 

In today's post, I'll tell you about our experience at The Journey Dome in Southlake, TX.  This unique experience was amazing!  Let me share more details.

Here is the overview:

"The Journey Dome has launched a Christian experience in Southlake, which will entertain, educate, and enlighten people of faith and people seeking clarity and guidance in life. Through state-of-the-art technology, The Journey allows the mind, body, and soul to journey through the stories and words of the Bible. The 50-foot diameter dome offers an immersive experience surrounded by high-resolution video and high-fidelity sound. With a run time of approximately 40 minutes, the presentations are family-friendly and suitable for people of all ages. Currently, there are two shows available for patrons -- The Journey: In the Beginning” (covers the Creation, the Book of Jonah, and a Christian Reflection Prayer) and Immanuel: The Nativity” (featuring immersion within ancient and contemporary oil paintings of the Annunciation, the Star of Bethlehem, and the Nativity). Additional shows will be added in the coming months."

We arrive approximately 15 minutes early and found that there was plenty of free parking. We showed our tickets on my phone and were welcomed into the dome where we could choose any seat. The options included benches, stools, or places to lay on the floor.  I chose to sat, but my husband and children laid on the floor. In hindsight, I would lay on the floor with them next time because the screen surrounds you and it's very cool to see the imagery on the ceiling.  


The film was nicely done.  I don't want to spoil any surprises, but I'll tell you that it reminded me of an OmniMax film in many ways and that we felt immersed in the film's imagery such as viewing the world from mountains, being in bodies or water, and more.  The movie included biblical references, including the story of Jonah. My family love the unique telling of this story thanks to the state-of-the-art technology in the 50-food diameter dome that provided an immersive experience.  We can't wait to see another movie at The Journey Dome!  We loved it much more than seeing a movie at a regular theater because this dome theater had a fantastic Christian movie in an immersive environment. It was nice to watch the movie with a small group of other families.

After the film, my family went to Southlake Town Square for dinner and dessert. There are plenty of great restaurants near The Journey Dome. We highly recommending a family movie night at The Journey Dome followed by a night out for dinner and/or dessert in Southlake!  Visit the Journey Dome website for tickets here.

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