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

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Activities · Art · Boredom · Enjoying life · Kids · Kids activities · Moms · Parenting · Rainy day · Science · Sensory · Spaghetti · Summer · Taking time · Uncategorized

Dyed Spaghetti Sensory Play

Our weather the other day was unseasonably cool (not complaining and neither is my electric bill) and also a bit rainy. I was trying to think of something different and hands on for my kiddos to do and while I was cleaning out the pantry, I found a partially used box of spaghetti. Box in hand, I set out to try a little experiment and here it is…

What you need: 

  • spaghetti – amount is up to you and based on the size tray or bin you will be using for play. I used a large cookie sheet and the almost full box I had fit great.
  • Large pot to cook a spaghetti 
  • Bowls or bins for each color you want to do (we did three)
  • Cold water
  • White vinegar
  • Food dye (I used gel dyes)
  • Paper towels
  • Large cookie sheet, bin, container, etc for play
  • Scooping items like measuring cups, tongs, etc for play 

What you do:

  • Boil water in the pot and cook spaghetti as directed on the box
  • While the spaghetti is cooking, you can prepare the dyes.  Add cold water to your bowls or containers and then 5-7 tablespoons of vinegar. Put in 15-17 drops of food dye, stir it up and set aside.

  • Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain and divide it between the bowls you set aside with the water, vinegar, and dye (no need to let it cool). Let it sit for the desired amount of time you want. The longer you leave it, the more rich the color will be.

  • When the spaghetti has reached the desired color, drain the bowls and lay it out on a cookie sheet to dry off. I also used a paper towel to take some of the moisture and extra coloring out.

Note: I did not rinse the dyed spaghetti, but you may want to try rinsing to clean off some of the extra dye. My kiddos did have some dye residue on their hands, but it came off easily with dish soap and water.

  • After the spaghetti has mostly dryed, add a very small amount of oil (I used cooking spray) to keep it from sticking together
  • Put it all in a bin, container, large bowl, cookie sheet and play! Scoops and tongs were super fun ways to play with it and I also put down silicone cooking mats for easy clean up. 

I hope you enjoy this activity as much as we did!

Until next time,

One Cool Nerd Mommy

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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


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 

Food · Recipes · Uncategorized

Easy Meatballs – a Freezer Favorite ย ๐Ÿย 

I am all about little effort and big reward in our house. Good tasting and homemade food are an added plus in the daily calendar. You can’t beat knowing what is in your food and where it came from. So, with that said, this meatball recipe is easy and not too time consuming…and it tastes great!

What you need:

1 – 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs

1 cup Panko bread crumbs

Handful of fresh basil – washed and minced

1 tablespoon of garlic powder (more or less depending on your preference)

1 teaspoon of salt and pepper mix

1/4 – 1/2 of a large onion diced (more or less depending on your preference)

What you need to do:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl, whisk your two eggs and then mix all of your ingredients together except for the meat.

Once all of the ingredients are mixed together, add the ground beef and mix completely with hands.

After your meat is thoroughly mixed in, form golfball sized meatballs and place on a baking sheet in rows. I used a silicone baking mat for easier clean up after. You could also use parchment paper.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. 

These are the perfect size for your pasta dinner, make great meatball sandwiches, a perfect snack, and freeze well for later.

My littles love meatballs. I usually make more than I need and freeze the rest for snacks and meals later on. They defrost well and don’t lose their flavor. 

Simple, quick, and easy. From my home to yours, enjoy!

Friendship · Life · Making time · Relationships · Taking time · Uncategorized

The Social Friendship


โ€œI think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.โ€ โ€• Jon Katz

According to my current Facebook page, I have 440 “friends” at any given time. So with that number, you would think the odds of having someone ask about my day, take interest in my successes, or pick me up when I’ve literally tripped over life would be favorably good, right? 

I recently celebrated my birthday and in my now 35th year of life, I am finding the friendship area to be a more difficult one.  Out of the 440 friends, only five wished me a happy day outside of the Facebook confines. If I had an emergency, these five people would be the ones I would call even though in the land of social media I am invisibly surrounded by likes, support, and friendship. In a world a virtual friendships and constantly being connected to one another, how is it possible to feel so alone in the friendship department of life? 

Collectively, we have all become dependent on social media, myself included. Facebook reminds me of Birthdays, invites me to events, keeps me “in the know” of the goings on around me. I have had moments where I missed the life event of a loved one because a post about food or cats appeared at the top of my social media platform. We rely on technology to do the job. We trust that virtual media will inform those that need to know. We allow the convenience of typed words to let the spoken language fall through the cracks. 

The people we meet in life, good or bad, help define who we are as a person. Friends and experiences from high school shaped who I began college as. The friends I made in college laughed when I laughed, cried when I cried, saw the good and the bad along the way. They helped get me ready for life beyond the safety of a dorm room. However, with all of that preparation, nooone prepares you for making new friends as an adult when you’ve left the security of those who surrounded you. Life offers us change as we journey from chapter to chapter. The first day in a new school, living with a roommate in college, starting a new job, having a child, joining a fitness class,  beginning a relationship, marriage, divorce, and the list goes on.  Any life change presents the opportunity to gain new people in your life and also sometimes closes the door to others. 

Making a new friend can sometimes feel raw, vulnerable, and exposing.  It’s sometimes hard, awkward, confusing, and feels similar to going on a first date with someone new. To gain, you have to give. Giving or sharing is not always easy. The human race by nature can be judgmental and rough on the exterior. We often act the way we think we should.  Say the things we think others want to hear. Harbor who we are to impress. The thing is, what’s the point of all the effort if the result is false? I envy the fearlessness of my daughter who can walk up to a child an effortlessly engage in conversation and play all because they like the same crayon or have sparkles on their shirts. 

A friendship is a relationship and relationships take work. Reciprocal effort from both sides is needed to effectively and successfully maintain a friendship. When recently asked about maintaining established friendships, One Cool Nerd Mommy Reader Ellen replied with this: “I think the biggest challenge is that people are constantly changing. None of us are the same person we were 10 years ago, or even last year for that matter! And when life circumstances change, when paradigms shift, not everyone is able to accept and support that. The person you may have partied all night with a few years ago may now be a mom of 3. Or your atheist friend may now be a conservative Christian. And if your own life hasn’t evolved in the same way, it may take a lot of patience and effort and understanding to keep that friendship going (because you may have to get to know that person all over again), and not everyone is willing and/or able to do that.”

Our lives, whether we like it or not, are directly or indirectly driven by social media. If you’re reading this, it’s on social media. Text messages, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, you name it. We stay in touch, but when is the last time you picked up the phone and called a friend instead of messaged them? Gone out for coffee instead of sending an emoji about it? Sent a card just because? We have lost touch with ourselves and with each other. Friendships take time to develop. They take time to maintain. Friendships take communication and truth. Honesty to be who you are and accept the person on the other side. Development and evolution. Friendships in a social world have lost the social component. We need to type less and verbalized more. We need to fight more, love more, be more. We need to be the person you want to have in your life. Stay connected with those who support you on social media, return the virtual love, but make time to get to know the people behind the screen.  Life’s moments are immeasurable, our time limited, so why not get out and get to know your neighbor, the person next to you in moms group, the familiar face at the gym.  Call that lifetime friend who you’ve lost touch with. Laugh a little, cry a little, experience a lot. In the motto of the Girl Scouts, make new friends, but keep the old. 

Until next time, 

One Cool Nerd Mommy

Copyright 2017

Shopping, Boxed, Wholesale, Save Money, Bulk, Buy in bulk, doorstep, Online Shopping · Uncategorized

These are a few of my Favorite Things…

If you are anything like me, you like to avoid the food store like you might catch on fire if you enter it too often in a month.  My husband and I embarked on the bulk store Costco membership years back and it became one of our go to places for all shopping needs.  After our first daughter was born, the trips became further spread out and I started looking for other options.  That’s when I found Boxed….with no membership fees.

Boxed is an online wholesale company where you can purchase every day household and food items in bulk AND have them delivered right to your doorstep. 

I have no shame in saying I order most of our chips, crackers, snacks, toilet paper, drinks, etc and receive them (sometime as soon as the next day) at my door. 

Easy, convenient, stress free. Plus, if you check out my previous favorite things post about Ebates, boxed is a participating merchant and you can earn cash back on your purchase. 

If you are interested, check them out here:

Get $15.00 off Boxed, my new fave way to shop for bulk-sized household products. Everything is delivered to my door for free and I donโ€™t pay membership fees! I think youโ€™d love it.