Archive for the ‘lifestyle’ Category

EASY Homemade Gluten-Free Granola Bars

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Breakfast has become increasingly harder with the babies on board. Does anyone else have this problem?

We need something we can literally grab on the way out the door on a busy morning that will give us energy to start our day. These simple granola bars are perfect!

boxwood clippings homemade granola bars

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 c rice cereal

  2 c oats

1/2 c peanut butter

1/2 c honey

1/2 c brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Add ons:

1/2 c raisins/dried fruit

1/2 c chocolate/yogurt chips

nuts/seeds

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl measure out rice cereal and oats (we like THESE gluten free ones).

In a saucepan on med-high heat stir honey and brown sugar until a rolling boil. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla.

Pour liquid mixture over dry and stir to incorporate. Add desired mix-ins and press mixture into an ungreased 9×13 pan.

Leave to set at room temperature for about an hour before cutting. Makes 16 bars. Store in air-tight container for up to a week.

Do you have a simple recipe you’d like to share?! Please email us!

mail[at]boxwoodclippings[dot]com

Thanks to Suzy and Becky for the amazing recipe!

Bright ‘Bees and Bugs’ Easter Baskets

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Easter is less than two weeks away…eeek! We cannot wait!

It’s time to start prepping those Easter baskets as you know as well as we do that every store runs out of our FAVORITE Easter chocolate the week of!

We’ve gone bright for our little bugs’ Easter baskets this year…

boxwood clippings small child easter basket.png

boxwood clippings small child easter basket

Jellycat stuffed animals HERE

large chocolate eggs HERE

Lindt chocolates HERE

basic watercolor set HERE

fun crayons (similar HERE)

Do you have something you love to add to your baskets every year? Please share, we love a good tradition!!!

Power Smoothies

Friday, March 20th, 2015

We are loving smoothies more than ever! They are fast, delicious and a great way to pack in those fruits and veggies!

boxwood clippings power smoothies

We keep our freezers stocked with bulk fruit from Costco, but also stock up when we see smaller packs of smoothie starters and fruit medleys on sale.

We loved THIS peach, carrot and mango combo, which we just added a cup of orange juice and half a banana to.

THIS kale, strawberry and blueberry smoothie wasn’t quite as sweet, but had all of the good stuff!

THIS is still our go-to simple green smoothie recipe we use almost every day, and Sarah found THESE wide straws that are cheap and perfect for smoothies!

Seriously, THIS blender has changed our lives!

Do you have any smoothie tips? We’d love to hear!!!!

Swim Time for Baby

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

I am a sucker for a cute swimsuit, and with all these baby girls I am in trouble!

Swimwear has hit stores, and here are my favorites…

boxwood clippings pink baby products

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

1. Really? Mini polka dot flip-flops for $2. Sold!

2. A sunhat is a must for baby. Old Navy has us covered for $7.

3. Love this Burt’s Bees hooded towel to bring to the pool. Love THIS Skip Hop one too!

4. THIS is my pick from Nordstrom, but it is sold out! Hopefully will be back soon.

5. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS fringe swimsuit!

6. Isn’t THIS ruffly tankini the cutest?

7. See how much we love Saltwater sandals HERE. Can’t decide which color?!

8. THIS pineapple Honest company swim diaper is adorable!

Swim sells out fast, so make sure to buy your favorites now!!!

EASY Mini Chocolate Easter Eggs

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Did we over-face you with too much chocolate yesterday, or are you ready for more?!

Either way, THIS mini egg mold makes the cutest little chocolate Easter eggs you ever did see!

boxwood clippings easter for gygi_4

We filled the mini molds full with melted chocolate (milk HERE and white HERE) and put them into the freezer to set.

We then popped them out of the mold and drizzled them with chocolate in different designs.

boxwood clippings easter eggs

This is the perfect Easter activity to do with kiddies…EASY, EASY, EASY!

We’ll be putting a few in cellophane bags and tying them up with pretty ribbon for Easter gifts.

We love a good five-minute, affordable and adorable gift idea!!!

Guest Post at GYGI: Large Chocolate Easter Eggs

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Good morning friends!

Today we are guest posting on Gygi’s blog today talking about how we made these large chocolate Easter eggs!

boxwood clippings chocolate easter eggs

We hope you’ll stop by and see how easy they are HERE!

Chocolate Chip Cookies to Die For

Friday, March 13th, 2015

In an effort not to consume all the chocolate chips in my house before baking, I decided to bake.

I quickly ‘googled’ a recipe for the classic Chocolate Chip Cookie, when I came across this one (see HERE).

And fell in love.

boxwood clippings chocolate chip cookies

They are heavenly.

You HAVE to try.

Whip up a batch this weekend, and blame the calories on me!

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*Tip: Use Guittard milk chocolate chips. That’s what makes the ‘heavenly’ effect!

Dressing up Costco’s Chocolate Cake

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Last week was my birthday, so I asked Brock to get me my favorite cake from Costco. Usually we make our cakes but this one is just too good not to indulge in at least once a year.

It is so decadent and beautiful on it’s own, but as it was my birthday I thought I’d dress it up a bit.

I used some wooden skewers and scraps of ribbon and made little flag-like decorations.

boxwood clippings costco chocolate cake and cake easy topper

boxwood clippings costco chocolate cake and cake easy topper

boxwood clippings costco chocolate cake and cake easy topper

 It was so pretty, but we had to be careful where we lit the candle!

This is such a versatile idea, and can be made to go with any color scheme or theme.

We love a simple spruce!

Worth The Splurge: Mustela for Mommy and Baby

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

One of the nicest compliments we get is that our babies smell so good! It makes us feel like at least we are doing something right in keeping our babies clean and fresh.

We owe it all to our favorite baby products by Mustela. They are gentle, smell delicious and are super concentrated so they last a really long time.

Our favorites are THIS hair and body wash and THIS Musti “baby perfume”, which is perfect for a quick refresher in between baths.

boxwood clippings

Nothing beats picking up your baby in the middle of the night to a yummy fresh baby smell…heaven! One thing is for sure, you will love these baby products so much, you’ll want to use them too!

Have you tried any Mustela products? Please share your favorites!

Cilantro Lime Soup

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Are you ready for a taste-bud explosion?

This soup is insane, it received five stars from our family!

boxwood clippings: cilantro lime soup

Ingredients

2 TBSP olive oil

1 onion

4 cloves garlic

80 oz chicken broth

14 oz can diced tomatoes

7 oz can diced green chilis

4 chicken breasts

4 limes

2 c cooked rice

1 bunch fresh cilantro

ground cumin, salt and pepper

tortilla chips, sour cream, avocado, cheddar cheese to garnish

Directions

Cook chicken and shred, or to save time use a rotisserie chicken! Next warm olive oil in a large pan and cook diced onion and garlic. Add cooked chicken, cooked rice, chicken broth, tomatoes (not drained), chilis, juice from the limes (about 1 cup) and bring to the boil. Season with salt, pepper and ground cumin to taste. Add chopped cilantro before serving, top with avocado and cheese and serve with tortilla chips. Thanks to Kumari for the wonderful recipe!

Tips for Traveling with Baby

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

If you follow us on Insta you saw that we went on a last minute trip to Hawaii!!! We got super cheap flights we couldn’t pass up, but the deals all had connection flights making for long travel days for six-month old Jane.

Here’s a few things that really us make this an amazing and happy trip for all of us.

photo

1. Do Your Homework

We made a doctor’s appointment two days before we traveled to make sure Jane didn’t have an ear infection. Landing in particular is sometimes uncomfortable for infants even without an infection, so we wanted to make sure she didn’t need an antibiotic. It takes about 24 hours for an antibiotic to start working, which is why I made it two days prior to travel. Luckily we got the all clear, and the doctor even gave us a travel size Ibuprofen just in case we needed it while traveling, yay for leaving the large one at home!

Flight rules and restrictions are changing all the time. Check your airline and TSA for rules for traveling with baby. Airlines can help you decide where best to sit on the plane and even put an ‘infant block’ on a seat, which won’t be taken unless the plane is 100% full. Most airlines allow you to check a car seat and stroller free of charge. Woot, woot!

boxwood clippings

2. Pack Smart

The less baggage you have the less you have to keep track of and the easier it will be to move around the airports and planes with your baby.

This is obviously way easier to do when you are traveling to a warm climate, we managed just to bring carry-ons for the three of us.

While packing light for you is ideal, packing extra for baby will give you extra piece of mind. I stocked my diaper bag like always (HERE) and added extra snacks, water and extra outfits.

Bring only baby gear you will need. Most places you visit, you’ll need a stroller, I think a beach vacay is the exception. We managed great just with the baby bjorn.

3. Dress in Layers

I dressed both Jane and I in lots of layers. Sometimes on planes you can be freezing or way too hot, it’s always a guessing game. I dressed Jane in a onesie, and jammies, mostly so I didn’t have to keep track of socks/shoes etc. I also packed both a muslin swaddle and heavy fleece blanket in the diaper bag.  I wore jeans, basic shirt, a swing cardigan which was perfect to keep me covered while nursing Jane. I also wore my comfiest, slip-on loafers, which made security a breeze while holding Jane.

boxwood clippings

4. Arrive Extra Early!

Easier said than done right?! There’s always an unexpected blow out/spit up and being stressed out worrying about missing your flight while baby is being fussy is the worst! It’s worth waking up early for extra time. I have to add 30 mins to the time I think I need with this little one. On the way home from HI we couldn’t find the car rental place and ended up arriving later than we had planned to the airport, so stressful!

boxwood clippings

5. Love Your Layovers

Usually I despise layovers, but I actually loved them traveling with a baby, even LAX! Layovers give the perfect opportunity to change, nurse and have a little play time. On our way to HI we stopped in San Jose, CA which even had nursing rooms…perfect! On the way home, we stopped in LAX which was crowded and under construction. I found a quiet corner and nursed and changed Jane there and even let her have a little floor time on her changing mat. 1.5-2 hours layover was about the perfect amount of time we all needed.

Traveling with Jane was a great experience, everyone was extra nice and accommodating.

Try to remember even traveling is part of the vacations, and I realized when I was relaxed and enjoying myself Jane was too :)

How we Organize our Diaper Bags

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

So far, we’ve discovered everything our mother taught us about parenting is true! “Being one step ahead” is something we’ve heard our whole lives, but now we understand how much easier and smoother our day is when we’re prepped!

We try (emphasis on try) to re-stock our diaper bags every night, so it is ready to grab in the morning without even thinking what the babes might need for the day.

Like organizing anything else, every item has it’s place so can be easily found and to equally easy to see when it needs to be replaced.

boxwood clippings_em's diaper bag organization 1

MAIN COMPARTMENT

plastic changing mat

several diapers

small refillable wipe case and back-up wipes

diaper sacks kept in plastic wipe case (we love THESE ones)

antibacterial wipes (for baby and surfaces HERE)

wallet and sunglasses (we love our Hobo wallets HERE)

sippy cup

security blanket

THESE muslin blankets are perfect. Sold in a two-pack, one for home, one for diaper bag.

SIDE POCKETS

Extra complete outfit (onesie, clothes, headband). When our babies were younger we’d keep two extra outfits.

In the other side pocket we keep food and snacks.  Two bibs, baby food in pouches, and a bag of baby puffs (HERE) for easy on-the-go snacks.

In the two end pockets we keep one stocked with toys, and the other with a water bottle or two for mama and for baby’s sippy cup.

boxwood clippings_em's diaper bag organization

These hand sanitizer cases from Bath and Body Works are perfect to attach to the side of our diaper bags.

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 10.15.17 AM

We love THIS diaper bags from Pottery Barn Kids. It is large, comes with a changing mat and has so many pockets so things don’t get lost.

boxwoodclippings_potterybarn diaper bag

Keeping our babies clean, fed and happy is a big task away from home. Having our diaper bags organized and stocked is key to starting a good day!

How do you keep on top of it all? Please spill your secrets, we need all the help we can get ;)

The Simplest Chicken Tikka Masala Ever

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Indian food is our absolute favorite! We love it so much we are always looking for new recipes trying to mimic our favorite dishes. For anyone else that has attempted this, you know this is a hard task!

Our good friend, Kumari shared with us the best find ever! Indian Essentials Tikka Masala seasoning mix from Costco. The recipe found on the spice mix is amazing! So tasty, so easy and so inexpensive! We’re in love!

boxwood clippings_simple chicken tikka recipe

INGREDIENTS

3 large chicken breasts

1 onion

2 TBSP butter

2 TBSP olive oil

1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)

1/2 cup cream

1/4 cup seasoning mix

DIRECTIONS

Dice onion and cut chicken into 1″ cubes. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil and cook your chicken on medium heat until no longer pink. Set aside. Melt butter and and a tablespoon of olive oil and cook onions. Add tomatoes, seasoning mix and chicken and cook for 10 mins. Mix in cream and simmer for 10 more minutes before serving. Serve with your favorite rice.

The best part about this recipe is you can exchange ingredients to your liking. We added diced tomatoes instead of tomato sauce and used plain yogurt instead of cream. We also love it with potatoes.

boxwood clippings_simple chicken tikka recipe

Give it a try, we can’t wait to hear what you think!

The Twins’ First Birthday Party: Classic Winnie the Pooh Theme

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Can you believe Sarah’s twins are one?!

What a year we’ve had since the arrival of Elizabeth and Hannah! A year full of smiles, giggles, and more diapers than we can count.

A little party for their birthday lunch was in order! Sarah chose a classic Winnie-The-Pooh theme which was perfect for our little pooh-bear and piglet.

boxwood clippings_twins first birthday

boxwood clippings_twins first birthday

boxwood clippings_twins first birthday

For the ladies, we served our favorite strawberry salad (HERE) and Victoria sponge cake (see HERE).

boxwood clippings_twins first birthday

We decorated with white and florals, stuffed animals and building blocks.

boxwood clippings_twins first birthday

boxwood clippings_twins first birthday

For the littles, we made a picnic lunch. Gygi came through again with everything we needed for our little guests.

boxwood clippings_twins first birthday

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 10.32.41 AM

Our sister, Helen made tiny fondant honey bees for the cupcakes as well as pooh bear and piglet for the girls’ cake.

boxwood clippings_twins first birthday

boxwood clippings_twins first birthday

The girls took licking every ounce of their frosting very seriously. Our little pooh-bear Elizabeth..

boxwood clippings_twins first birthday

…. and our little piglet, Hannah with her tiny little pigtails :)

boxwood clippings_twins first birthday

We couldn’t imagine life without these little girls…”it’s so much friendlier with two!”

Simple food and decorations made for a very easy and enjoyable party for everyone.

Be sure to check out all the products we used on Gygi’s blog HERE and don’t forget to use our coupon for 15% off purchase your next Gygi purchase!

Boxwood-Clippings- Gygi Coupon 1

Costco’s Gluten-Free Super Salad

Friday, February 13th, 2015

Our new favorite discovery is Costco’s bagged Sweet Kale mix salad.

Topped with a little rotisserie chicken and we have a new favorite lunch!

boxwood clippings_easy and healthy costco salad

 

It is SUPER for many reasons…

No.1 It contains 7 superfoods, pre-washed and ready to feast on… broccoli, kale, cabbage, and brussels sprouts just to name a few. It also comes with dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and poppyseed dressing (gluten free) all ready to mix in.

No.2 It is delicious!

No.3 It lasts for about a week in the fridge, which is AMAZING! It is also fantastic the day after you’ve mixed in the dressing as it marinades overnight, much like a traditional broccoli salad would.

No.4 It only costs $4.79 for a large bag!

Healthy, delicious, easy and inexpensive meals is what we’re all about, and this passes with flying colors!

Time for a Costco trip!

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries + Marshmallows

Monday, February 9th, 2015

We are thrilled to be guest posting over at one of our favorite store’s blog today.

Gygi is our first and often one-stop shop for any holiday, party or event we are planning and we’re so excited to be sharing these ever so easy perfect valentine treats HERE.

boxwood clippings_chocolate covered marshmallows

boxwood clippings_chocolate covered marshmallows

Gygi is currently offering Boxwood readers 15% off their online shop AND in store with this coupon!

Yippee!

Thanks Gygi!

Boxwood-Clippings- Gygi Coupon 1

 (Click on image then print for coupon, or shop HERE for online store.)

Easiest Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies EVER!

Friday, February 6th, 2015

I have had several people give me this recipe over the years, because it is the is the easiest peanut butter cookie recipe ever!

boxwood clippings_easy gluten free peanut butter cookies

INGREDIENTS

1 c peanut butter

3/4 c light brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS

Beat peanut butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add egg, vanilla, baking soda, and salt and mix until incorporated. Shape into balls, and roll in white sugar. Flatten with a criss-cross pattern with a fork, place on greased cookie sheet or parchment paper and bake for 7 minutes at 350. Allow to cool before removing from cookie sheet.

These are sure to be a hit with any peanut butter lover whether living gluten free or not!

Baby Jane’s Closet: Organizing Hand-Me-Downs

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Baby Jane is a very lucky lady. She is the youngest of many little girl cousins and therefore is the recipient of LOTS of hand-me-downs.

The only downside of lots of clothes, is keeping track of them all! I have a few systems in place to help make sure that cute little 6-12 mo dress, or those size 3 shoes will be worn without being lost at the back of a drawer.

My friends bought Jane THESE adorable totes from Target. These keep together things that I have lots of…sleepsacks, crib shoes, hats, and one designated for Jane’s memory box.

boxwood clippings_jane's nursery closet

I try to keep the hanging space to things she is currently wearing or will be shortly. It really helps me to see all of her outfits in one space rather than folded in a drawer. The left side of the closet is every day clothes, and on the right we keep cardigans, coats and dresses.

boxwood clippings_jane's nursery closet.png

I put a storage cube at the bottom of the closet to add extra storage. I’ve been loving the open shelving when I only have one hand available to grab a blanket. This cube is discontinued, see similar HERE.

On top of the cube we keep her current shoes and fancy socks and tights in the little boxes. Again, it really helps to have them out and lined up so none get forgotten about. So many hand-me-downs.

boxwood clippings_jane's nursery closet

boxwood clippings_jane's nursery closet

Any hand-me-down that won’t fit for another year gets labelled and stored in a large tote in the basement.

Thanks family for dressing our baby girl, she wouldn’t be as nearly as stylin’ without you!

Gluten Free Cauliflower + Cheese Soup

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Can you tell we’re on a soup kick?

If you’re looking for the ultimate comfort food for a cozy night in, you’ve come to the right place!

Cauliflower + Cheese Soup

boxwood clippings_califlower soup

Ingredients

one head of cauliflower

one can chicken broth (14oz)

one onion

2 tsp diced garlic

2 tsp butter

2 c milk

2 c sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 c flour (we use THIS GF favorite)

Directions

Dice onion and chop cauliflower into small pieces. Melt butter and cook diced onion and garlic until translucent. Add flour and mix creating a paste texture. Whisk in milk and chicken broth. Add cauliflower and cook until tender (about 20 mins on medium heat). Salt and Pepper to taste. Blend with an immersion blender if you would like a smooth texture, but we like leaving chunks of cauliflower. Stir in cheese.

This soup is simple and delicious. Let us know how you like it!

Adapted slightly from THIS recipe.

$4 Bobble Hats for the Lil’ Ladies

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

In England, we like our pom-poms on our babies extra large!

We discovered it was hard to find bobble hats (knit hat with a massive pom pom) in the states, so decided to make our own!

boxwood clippings_bobble hats

Isn’t Jane so funny with her massive pom-pom?!

We found knit beanies for $.97, as well as extra bulky yarn for $2.97 at Walmart.

Here are the supplies we used:

boxwood clippings_bobble hats

Two sheets of cardboard for pom-pom template (we used a cereal box)

Compass or two round objects for template (we used salad plate and a cup)

hat

 30 yds of yarn

scissors

We followed THESE instructions to make the pom-poms.

Because we wanted such a large pom pom and had such a big template we cut our yarn into 10 yard pieces to make it easier to work with.

boxwood clippings_bobble hats

Last, we attached the pom-pom to the hat by cutting two little slits at the top of the beanie and tying two pieces from the pom pom in a double knot on the inside of the hat.

One hat took about ten minutes to make, and because we could make 2 pom poms from one ball of yarn only ended up costing $2.50 per hat!

What’s not to love about a warm and cozy baby?!!!