Asparagus · Bake · Be Good to You · Dinner · Enjoying life · Experience · Food · Life · Making it all work · Moms · Onion · Ragu · Recipes · Stuffed shells · Taking time · To do · Uncategorized

Simple Stuffed Shells Bake

There are some days that I am just not into thinking about making dinner. I make decisions all day long and what to eat can feel overwhelming at times. Silly, I know, but true.

Anyway, A few nights back I took a chance and threw some things in a pan, baked it, and the results were AWESOME! So here it is.

From my dysfunctional kitchen to yours….

Stuffed Shell Bake

What you need:

  • Package of frozen stuffed shells
  • Family size jar of Alfredo sauce. I used Ragu because I had a coupon for it and got it for $1.50!
  • Fresh vegetables, I used asparagus, carrots and celery. If I had an onion, that would have gone in there too. I wouldnโ€™t recommend frozen vegetables if you want them to be a little crisp when you eat
  • Seasoning of your choice. I went with some dried parsley and a cracked pepper blend with garlic powder and celery powder
  • Mozzarella cheese (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

What to do:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  • Spread your frozen stuffed shells out in a shallow baking pan. I used a 9×13
  • Wash and dice your vegetables, then lay them out evenly in the pan with the stuffed shells
  • Sprinkle with your seasonings
  • Pour the sauce over everything in the pan and stir it up good so it is all coated evenly
  • Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees
  • Uncover and if you want sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on top. Bake for another 5 minutes
  • Serve and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese

*Adjust accordingly if you are making a double size of the recipe. I would suggest a second jar of sauce if using two bags of frozen stuffed shells.

Please come back and share if you decided to try this out. It was a hit in our house and the leftovers were even better.

Until next time,

One Cool Nerd Mommy

Follow me on Facebook

Advertisements
Activities · Balance · Be Good to You · Beauty · Boredom · Box Subscription · Enjoying life · Experience · FabFitFun · Fashion · Fitness · Jewelry · Life · Making it all work · Making time · Moms · Rainy day · Spoil Yourself · Take a deep breathe · Taking time

So, I spoiled myself with some retail therapy….

So I saved a ton of money doing my holiday shopping through Ebates and Ibotta. I decided to use that money as a little spoil gift for myself and I signed up for the FabFitFun Editors box and a year subscription (mailed with each season). I have to say, I am super excited for this box of goodies including a poncho, necklace, muscle soak, nourishing dew mask, eyeshadow palette, and other fun stuff. If you need a little pampering, I seriously suggest checking this out ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป

FabFitFun is the perfect way to treat yourself!

I get $200+ of amazing, FULL-SIZED beauty, fashion, wellness, and home decor products for just $49.99 and Iโ€™m loving it. Use my code to get $10 off your first box!

http://xo.fff.me/hINYa

#editorsbox #editorsboxfabfitfun #editorsboxwinter2018 #fabfitfun

Until next time,

One Cool Nerd Mommy

Activities · Art · Blessed · Crayons · Enjoying life · Family · Kids · Kids activities · Kohls · Life · Moms · Parenting · Recycled · Recycling · Sensory · Wilton · Youth

Crayon Recycling

We recently made recycled multi colored โ€œElsaโ€ snowflake crayons. To make your own new crayons just follow these easy steps and get to coloring!

Take all of your broken and beat up crayons (even the little pieces) and peel all of the paper off.

Either make little cups out of foil or use oven safe cups like a ramekin. Have enough cups for as many colors as you want to make. You can also put several colors in one cups, just donโ€™t mix them up together.

Place the crayon pieces in the cups in the color pairings you want or alone – please make sure itโ€™s oven safe. The foil makes for easy clean up too.

Melt the crayons in the cups in the oven. I was baking prior to making these, so I just left the oven at 350 degrees.

Keep an eye on the crayons and when they are melted remove from the oven.

For the next step you will need a silicone baking tray. I used this Wilton snowflake shaped tray that I got on clearance from Kohlโ€™s.

Pour the melted crayons into the compartments of the tray. You can layer colors or pour different colors at the same time.

Let cool and then pop out and get to coloring with your kiddos – or by yourself, I have had a lot of fun with these too!

Enjoy!

Until next time,

One Cool Nerd Mommy

Please share the OCNM love with a like and a share ๐Ÿ’ž

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram

Copyright One Cool Nerd Mommy 2017

Activities · Art · Blessed · Enjoying life · Experience · Family · Friendship · Kids · Kids activities · Life · Making time · Moms · Parenting · Relationships · Take a deep breathe · Taking time · Thanksgiving · Tree of Thanks · Uncategorized · Youth

Family Tree of Thanks

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I am trying to teach my little kiddos all about thanks. Why we celebrate thanks, what feeling blessed means, the ins and outs of appreciating all that we have and what the important things in life are.

After dinner one night we made a Family Tree of Thanks that simply hangs on our dining room wall among the wedding photos and artwork. Itโ€™s simple, but effective and the kids had fun doing it. All you need to make yours is:

  • Construction paper: we used two sheets of brown for the tree and one sheet of red, orange, green, and yellow for the leaves ๐Ÿ
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape
  • Marker or pen

Cut out the shape of a tree. I used one piece of paper for the branches and one for the trunk and taped them together (the leaves will cover and lines from where itโ€™s pieces together). Adjust the size of your tree if needed to accommodate more or less family members. Tape or glue your tree together.

Cut out leaves. ๐Ÿ You can either draw them or freehand cut. If your kids are old enough to cut them out, get them involved in the process! โœ‚๏ธ

Go around your table and one at a time say what you are thankful for. We wrote all of the answers down. Everything from our house to chips. The silly answers are just fun and the more serious ones are quite humbling to hear. As the parent, you can also guide the blessings along by providing examples in your answers.

Have your kids help you tape or glue the leaves on and then hang your tree for all to see. Go back and discuss your tree and blessings now through Thanksgiving.

This could also be a great project to do on Thanksgiving with extended family!

Balance · Boredom · Enjoying life · Experience · Family · Fighting · Friendship · Hokey Pokey · Life · Making it all work · Making time · Moms · Money · Relationships · Take a deep breathe · Taking time · To do · Uncategorized · Youth

The Hokey Pokey Conundrum

You put your left hand in, you put your left hand out, you do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around…

We all know the song, but is that really what it’s all about? 

Life is beautiful and beautifully difficult. It’s graceful and clumsy, unique and monotonous. Life is generous and a thief, memorable and forgettable. Life is a story.  Handcrafted, raw, and exclusive. Some parts we write, others are written for us, but when the hard cover exterior closes at the end will you be satisfied with the outcome?

As I am getting older I’m trying to find the meaning of it all. If the hokey pokey is what it’s all about, shouldn’t we follow the lead, put our head in and shake it all about? Literally, I picture myself pinching a nerve in my neck while I shake it all around (spoken from experience with the one time I tried to head bang as a teenager).  Figuratively , I’m trying to think logically about what I want in life. We spend so much of our life making money to pay for the things we need (or think we need) and not enough time doing the things our soul craves. The meaning of life has become so misguided and strangled by monetary holds. Smiles, laughter, willingness, creativity, family, friends, support, and experiences are what we need. Endless hours of work, housework, errands, obligations, and commitments are what we all too often get. I don’t know about you, but my to do list is a self rotating one of laundry, emptying the dishwasher, work, organizing, food shopping, and all of the other weekly chores. On the low end, for the last 15 years at 5 hours a week of just house chores (and let’s be honest 5 hours is laughable when we all know how much time goes into it all) I have spent close to 4,000 hours – over 160 total days – on things that give me no real long term reward. Now I’m not saying that we should all stop cleaning, cooking, etc., but doesn’t that put time into perspective a little?

Time. As children we spend a good portion of our life wishing it away and even as adults we continue the tradition, especially Monday to Thursday. The problem is, if we live weekend to weekend, are we short changing ourselves of all the extra good stuff?  I am desperately trying to hold onto time. Grasping onto the moments while they somehow slip through my unmanicured fingers. 

Reminder: I need to add that to my to do list ๐Ÿ˜‰

Let’s get serious (now would be a good point to cue the sappy music). 
Today is the only today you will get, so instead of wishing it away for tomorrow, why not fill your lungs fully with air and grab onto the next 24 hours rather than lock them away without the key? Furthermore, if all the worlds a stage, then why are we not Meredith and Cristina dancing it out when things get boring, mundane, or rough?  If dancing it out has a purpose in life, then perhaps the hokey pokey has it right. 

If there is anything that I have learned from that old familiar childhood song, it is to put yourself as a priority in your life. Live your life fully, not partially.  Set goals and achieve them, hold yourself accountable and believe them. Be in the moment, don’t live it behind a screen or covered by the dollar bill. We get one chance, one opportunity so put your whole self in, shake it all around, dance it out on your stage, and experience what it’s all about. 

Until next time,

One Cool Nerd Mommy

Copyright One Cool Nerd Mommy 2017

Follow me on Facebook
Follow me on Instagram
Follow me on Twitter

Activities · Asparagus · Boredom · Enjoying life · Family · Food · Grilling · Life · Recipes · Shallots · Summer · Take a deep breathe · Taking time · Tomatoes · Uncategorized

Grilled Asparagus, Shallots, and Tomatoes ๐Ÿ…ย 

We love, Love, LOVE to grill! I happen to love asparagus as much as grilling, so pairing the two together is an absolute win in my book. The prep is easy, the cook time is short, and the results are amazingly awesome.

What you need:

  • Asparagus (I used two bushels)
  • Shallots (I used three, but you could use more)
  • Container of grape tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Spices/seasonings of choice

Here’s how to do it:

  • Create a tray dish with sides out of aluminum foil and lay your asparagus, shallots, and grape tomatoes in it. For this one, I used two bushels of asparagus, three shallots, and one container of organic grape tomatoes.

  • Add a little olive oil (just enough to cover everything lightly) and some spices. I used garlic powder and a salt/pepper mix. Toss it all gently to evenly cover all of the vegetables. 
  • Spoon out a few tablespoons of butter (I used a vegetable based butter) and lay on top of the vegetables

  • Place the foil dish with the seasoned vegetables on the grill and cook for 8-10 minutes

That’s it! Quick and easy plus super delicious! I hope you enjoy this as much as we do in our house. 


Thanks so much for stopping by! 

Until next time,

One Cool Nerd Mommy

Follow me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter

Blog and photos are copyright of One Cool Nerd Mommy 2017

Activities · Art · Balance · Boredom · Enjoying life · Fairs · Family · Festivals · Kids · Life · Making it all work · Making time · Moms · Recipes · Smell the flowers · Summer · Take a deep breathe · Taking time · Uncategorized · Walking · Water · Wine

Summer Boredom Blasters


With the summer season finally here, I began thinking of different things to do with my kiddos and as a family. I couldn’t keep the list just to myself, so I had to share it with my One Cool Nerd Mommy followers. Some are for kids, some for adults, some for families and all fun. Please feel free to add your own ideas in the comments and come back to share your thoughts, ideas, and pictures of your summer adventures.

Visit a local fair

Buy locally grown fruits and veggies at the farmers market or stand

Visit local museums or historical societies

Go out for ice cream (I always say yes to this one)

Do chalk art outside


Hopscotch

Jump rope

Bean bag toss

Freeze dance

Have a dance party

Go to local gymnastics place for open gym

Bubbles (We picked some super fun bubble makers at the dollar store. They even make bubbles inside of bubbles!)


Attend story hour at your local library

Visit your local hardware store if they offer kids crafts. They usually cost you no more than $10 each

Attend music classes

Watch your kids play, they will only be that age for this summer. Take it all in. 

Find music in the park events. A lot of these are free and give kids the chance to move, play, and dance 

Grow your own herbs and reap the benefits. I grew fresh basil for the first time this year and paired it with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and balsamic dressing. I had some leftover bacon from a Sunday breakfast and put it on toasted sourdough with a little bit of mayo and the salad and it was AMAZING!


Go out to eat where there is outdoor seating, preferably by water. It instantly calms and relaxes you.

Check with your local movie theatre to see if they offer summer children’s movies. One of ours has the movie, popcorn, and drink for less than $5 each and its in the late morning before naps. 

Fill a large bucket or bin with water and give your kids different things to play in the water with. We bring a lot of our bath toys out or kitchen strainers and gadgets. 

Color outside of the lines and in a box


Visit a local winery

Sign up for a paint class (wine optional)

Read a book

Ride a bike

Sit outside at some point every day

Breath the fresh air

Go for a walk

Leave rock art on a trail for the next person


Find some form of beauty every day in the summer and post it to Instagram account

Volunteer at an animal shelter

Find a food truck festival and have a day of eating

Take a day trip to a town you’ve never visited

Fill a kids pool and let’s your kiddos have fun – soak your feet too

Attend festivals and try something new

Visit the zoo


Give your dog a bath and don’t be afraid to get wet

Play in the sprinkler with your kids

Visit a pool

Create a scavenger hunt and go out as a family to find everything

Visit a splash pad 

Take your favorite canine(s) for an early morning or evening walk (when it’s not so hot and the pavement is cooled down – don’t forget water for them too)


Attend a local sporting event 

Have breakfast outside

Watch the clouds pass by, find shapes within

Barbecue – don’t forget to grill your veggies too

Create an amazing fresh salad with the goodies from the Farmers Market

Bake muffins with your kids


Have a water gun fight

Collect rocks, paint them, display them outside in a rock garden

See if any local parks are hosting a movie after dark

Visit a drive in movie theatre 

Go out for happy hour

Watch the sunset


Go to the beach

Play in the sand

Pay for someone’s coffee on line behind you at the drive through 

Visit an arcade

Play a game on the boardwalk or at a carnival and try to win a prize

Freeze coffee to make coffee ice cubes for iced coffee

Visit a botanical garden


Do yoga at the park or the beach

Make a fort

Play mini golf

Play an outdoor game with your kids

Freeze blended yogurt and fruits in popsicle molds for a yummy treat

Spend time with those that mean the most

Take time to relax


Buy a few beers or wine you have never had and have a sampling at home

Stay in a B&B, even if it’s down the road from you

Visit a waterfall

Swim in the ocean

Go kayaking

Have a hula hooping contest 

Create an obstacle course

Have a movie night

Enjoy an ice cream sundae night at home – don’t forget the toppings!

Enjoy every day. You won’t ever get that day again. Take it all in, take photos to remember, and have an awesome summer!
Please give One Cool Nerd Mommy some love with a like and a share and check back for more updates to the list as they become available โœŒ๐Ÿผโค๏ธ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿผ

Copyright One Cool Nerd Mommy 2017

All photos are Copyright of One Cool Nerd Mommy