Make Mornings Manageable

Early morning organization tips to make mornings manageable | www.RadMomCoolKid.com | Sponsored

Last year I made some changes to our routine that really helped make mornings manageable. I was sick of feeling like we were flying by the seat of our pants every day so I took a look at the things that were causing stress and drama and found some solutions. Last year was the first year I felt like I was the boss of the morning instead of the other way around! Today I’m sharing my Make Mornings Manageable Idea Board from Wayfair to hopefully inspire you to get your mornings under control, too. If you have additional tips, please share them in the comments!

Back to school organization tips to make mornings manageable | www.RadMomCoolKid.com | Sponsored

PROBLEM: LUNCH DRAMA

Everyone had something to say about what was being packed in their lunch and it was never nice. Packing lunches always ended up turning into a rushed scramble that left everyone on edge.

Solution:

I purchased several sets of plastic containers like this specifically for lunches. There are TONS of them so even if the dishwasher doesn’t get run the night before we still have containers for lunch. I also have the kids pack their own lunches because I physically could not listen to Isca tell me she threw her whole sandwich away because Noa put a quarter cup of mayonnaise on her bread again. Gag. They do this THE NIGHT BEFORE so they can take 700 hours to slice their own cheese and be sure the ice packs get in the freezer.

PROBLEM: OUTFIT DRAMA

Similar to LUNCH DRAMA – it happens when your child has a dresser full of folded “nothing to wear” and they loudly let you know about it.

Solution:

The best thing I ever purchased for one of my kids is a hanging 5-cubby organizer. There is a cubby for every school day and every weekend each cubby is filled with a complete outfit – undies, socks, shorts/pants/skirt, shirt, sweatshirt. I’m telly you it is a beautiful, glorious thing.

PROBLEM: SLOW POKE CHILDREN

My kids are the s l o w e s t humans on the planet when it comes to getting ready in the morning. The get distracted by EVERYTHING. They take 45 minutes to finish a bowl of cereal, for crying out loud.

Solution #1:

I made a new rule – no breakfast until your bed is made, clothes are on, hair is done, prayers are said, and pajamas are put away. Hunger is a motivator that even crazy mom eyes + twitching upper lip can’t touch. Maybe it’s because they’re now wide awake when eating breakfast but they no longer take almost an hour to eat.

Solution #2:

Because they are part tortoise and because one of my children settles into a 30+ minutes bathroom break most mornings I also get them up pretty early: 1 1/2 – 2 hours before they leave the house. When I hear moms who get their kids up 30 minutes before they hit the road I’m like, “whaaaaaaat?” They must have given birth to kids who are part unicorn.

PROBLEM: GENERAL MAYHEM + CONFUSION

What day is it? Where is my library book? I can’t wear those shoes because I have PE today! Mom, did you sign my folder? You know the drill. My blood pressure is rising just thinking about this starting up again soon.

Solution:

Get yourself some kind of homework station or command center. You’ll want a big ol’ dry erase calendar, a cork board, and some drawers and folders to catch all the papers that come home every day. Like, 8 trees will be ripped from their rain forest home to provide the papers that just one of your kids will bring home per school year. 90% of them will be crap you can recycle but the other 10% will have information you will feel like you should keep…somewhere.

I tape each child’s daily schedule to the outside of a vinyl zipper folder then I keep all the “important” papers with passwords and whatever inside that folder. The folders go on a shelf in our homework station so we don’t accidentally wear a dress on PE day or whatever. I also have a few plastic drawer units in our station to keep pencils, pens, scissors, glue, etc. in one place for homework and projects. A big basket to the side of it holds backpacks and lunchboxes. It was a huge part of keeping us organized last school year and I know it will help again this year!

For more inspiration and ideas to make morning manageable in your home check out my Make Mornings Manageable Idea Board – each picture is clickable:

I hope you were able to get some ideas to get your family a little more organized in the mornings to make life easier! Happy back to school!

Time to Get Tropical: Island Garden Party

Get inspired with this modern island garden party! www.RadMomCoolKid.com | Sponsored

Today I’m sharing some inspiration from Wayfair for a summery island garden party! I love having friends over with their children because it is so nice to sit down with other adults, relax, and watch all the kids play and have fun. I went with a classic black and white color scheme with tropical accents like bamboo and palms because I wanted the party to feel like an island vacation without being too kitschy!

Get inspired with this modern island garden party! www.RadMomCoolKid.com | Sponsored

Comfortable Seating

When hosting an outdoor party you want to have plenty of places for people to sit down and get comfy. I love this seating group because it is sleek and modern and comes in tons of different color options. You’ll be sure to find something you love!

I found a great tiki bar and a cozy hammock, too. You know you have a friend in mind who’ll be napping in that thing by the end of the night!

Toss around some pillows that match the party theme and your guests will feel right at home in no time. I love these black and white cabana stripe and palm frond pillows.

Lighting

If your party starts while the sun is still shining you will want to create some shade to keep guests cool and out of the sun. Large umbrellas like this will do the trick and they can be moved as needed.

As it gets darker you can turn on some string lights, light up the tiki torches, and start a fire pit. I love the idea of using roasting forks to roast pineapple. I bet it would be amazing in a s’more! Check out some other fun s’more ideas here!

Food + Drink

I try to always serve food on white or clear platters, bowls, and plates because its easier to see exactly what you’re getting. I found a nice bamboo salad bowl that would be perfect to hold a macaroni salad or lots of leafy greens! Shrimp and chicken kabobs with fresh fruit and veggies would also be a great addition to your tropical meal. Make cutting mangoes and pineapples a breeze with a mango splitter and pineapple slicer.

When serving drinks for a big crowd I always use large beverage dispensers – people can serve themselves and they are quick to refill. This Pineapple Jalepeno Lemon Infused Water would be wonderful at an island garden party because it’s sweet, a little spicy and really refreshing!

Grab a big tub and fill it with ice for soda, juice boxes, and water bottles. Keep things on the casual side with disposable plates, fun coral shaped plastic flatware, and of course – drink umbrellas!

Decor

Add some fun tiki and pineapple statues around your yard and tables to bring a fun island vibe and maybe even splurge on a neon tiki lamp! I love the hula dancer curtains (here and here) I found on Wayfair – I would buy some grass hula skirts and hang them behind the food tables with the hula curtains. It would also make a fun photo backdrop!

Music + Games

No party is complete without a great soundtrack. This speaker is water resistant and you can control it with your phone. It seems like it would be great for indoor and outdoor events.

My family loves to play lawn games together. I found so many fun games to play outside on Wayfair. They would all be great at an island garden party, especially tiki head corn hole!

Inspiration Board

I put together an Idea Board on Wayfair to gather inspiration for this family-friendly island garden party and love how it turned out. Each picture below is clickable if you want to know more about a specific item or click the title to see details from the whole board!

I hope you are having a great summer and that you’ve been inspired by my Island Garden Party Idea Board!

PARA’KITO Mosquito Repellent

We have been using and loving PARA'KITO mosquito repellent all summer!! www.RadMomCoolKid.com

PARA’KITO sent us some samples of their mosquito repellent earlier this summer and we have been so happy with them! This line of mosquito repellent is DEET-free and uses essential oils to naturally protect you against mosquitoes. It is available in the US and and in over 35 markets all over the world.

Roll-on Gel

PARA’KITO was a hit in our home this summer. Maryland is a warm and humid climate that is no stranger to rain. Because of this there is a lot of vegetation and oftentimes standing water. Mosquitoes abound and I am a rare delicacy for them. I have only gotten 3 bites this summer and that was because I didn’t realize I was standing in an area that was INFESTED with mosquitoes. As soon as I saw them everywhere I ran back to the car and grabbed our PARA’KITO Roll-on Gel. I applied it to the kids and myself and even after staying where we were for over an hour we didn’t get any additional bites.

TIP: Keep the roll-on upright. I tossed ours in my bag once and it ended up leaking. Now I keep it in one of the cup holders in my car – it doesn’t leak AND I always have it when we are out and about!

We have been using and loving PARA'KITO mosquito repellent all summer!! www.RadMomCoolKid.com

Clips and Wristbands

Noa, my 10 year old, is a rough and tumble outdoorsman. He LOVES to hike, fish, and explore and applying mosquito repellent is the last thing on his mind. Because of this our favorite product from PARA’KITO is their refillable bands and clips. You wear the band on your wrist or ankle and the clip easily attaches to a backpack, belt loop, stroller, etc. They are waterproof and provide constant protection for 15 days once the pellet is opened. After 15 days you just toss the old pellet, open a new one and place it in the mesh pocket of your band or clip. Noa plays outside a ton and it is so easy for him to grab his band or the clip on his way out.

We have been using and loving PARA'KITO mosquito repellent all summer!! www.RadMomCoolKid.com

Unidose Gel

Another great product is the Unidose Gel. These single-use packs are easy to toss in a backpack or to travel with. Each application lasts 5 hours.

We have been using and loving PARA'KITO mosquito repellent all summer!! www.RadMomCoolKid.com

I highly recommend the bands, clips, and unidose gel if you and your family spend time outside and especially if your kids are heading off to camps or on fun outdoor adventures!

PARA’KITO is hooking some of you up with one of their wristbands! Two lucky winners will each get one wristband (first picture of the post, top left)! Good luck!

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5 Tips For Your 1st Massage

Massage Envy Review www.RadMomCoolKid.com

I recently got the opportunity to try out Massage Envy in Leesburg, Virginia in exchange for a blog post about my experience. I was super excited because I am a BIG fan of massages. I want to share a little about the Leesburg location and then share some tips I’ve learned as I’ve gotten professional massages over the years.

Leesburg is about 40 minutes from where I live in Maryland but the drive is really pretty. There are several darling little antique shops along the way, I get to cross over the Maryland/Virginia border at the Potomac River, and there are tons of farms and fields and cute little churches with old cemeteries. I have a closer Massage Envy but Leesburg also has outlets so it really makes for a fun day of shopping and relaxing.

I have two favorite things about Massage Envy:

1. You can get a membership!

I gifted myself a membership several years ago and it was AMAZING! I quickly found a therapist that I loved and she was able to really get some deep work done on my back and shoulders with my regular appointments. Massages here and there are fun and relaxing but when you go in for regular visits you can really see how much better you feel.

Massage Envy Review www.RadMomCoolKid.com

2. Each massage is custom!

Many of the massages I’ve gotten at spas have been very generic full body massages. Even if my shoulders need more time the therapist has to keep moving to be sure they get everything else on their checklist. I come away with knots left in my shoulder blades but they made sure to massage my knee-caps?!

At Massage Envy if you are looking for a full-body massage, great! If you want them to only massage your right hamstring for an hour then that’s exactly what they’ll do. When you fill out your paperwork before the massage you can check off some boxes about places you do not want to be touched (glutes, abdomen, feet, scalp, etc.) You can also let them know if you have a surgery scar to avoid or other problem areas.

If you have never gotten a massage before I know it can be a little intimidating or uncomfortable not knowing what to expect. Here are some of my tips for your 1st massage:

1. Wear a loose ponytail. Tight enough to keep your hair out of the therapist’s way but loose enough that they can still give you a scalp massage, if you like them.

2. Drink LOTS of water after. Your massage will loosen up toxins so you’ll want to flush them out by drinking a lot of water after. I try to be well hydrated before my massage, too.

3. Speak up! If you would like lighter or firmer pressure don’t be scared to let your therapist know. They want you to enjoy the experience and everyone like a different pressure. Sometimes I just want to relax so I ask for light pressure, sometimes I want to work out the knots that come from stress and the general momming of 3 kids.

4. Don’t wear makeup. You spend the first half of the massage with your face in a cushion and usually at some point you get a face massage. You’ll enjoy it so much more when you aren’t worried about what your mascara is up to.

Massage Envy Review www.RadMomCoolKid.com

5. Ask for what you want. I prefer female therapists so I always make sure I tell the person making the appointment. I also usually prefer someone who is great with medium to deep pressure massages. I like to ask for someone who is a favorite because I know they are probably pretty good. Once I find a therapist I love I ask for them every single time!

TIP: Splurge on a 2 hour massage sometimes. I only do this when I can get a therapist I really like. It is amazing because they can really focus on several areas. My back and shoulders ALWAYS have knots and kinks and a 1 hour full body massage is not enough time to get them all out. A two hour massage that just focuses on the problem areas is amazing!

If you live near a Massage Envy give them a call to set up a massage. If you are near the Leesburg location I suggest booking an appointment with Cynthia. She has great medium pressure and isn’t afraid to wiggle, jiggle, and pinch the knots out! I was so relaxed after my 1 hour massage with her and hope to get back soon for another!

Daily Summer Schedule

Daily Summer Schedule www.RadMomCoolKid.com

It is DAY ONE of our summer and I have some goals, people.

1. My children will not forget everything they learned over the school year
2. My house will be clean
3. My children will not waste the summer watching tv and playing video games
4. We will do fun things and remember them

Soooo, I made them a daily summer schedule. No screens* of any kind until the following have been done:

Daily Jobs –


brush teeth
say prayers
make bed
get dressed/put away pajamas
tidy bedroom
tidy bathroom
tidy living room
comb hair
read 30 minutes
practice math* This is the exception to the rule because it saves a whole lot of paper. My kids like ABCya! and XtraMath
practice piano 30 minutes
stretch/exercise
free time to play, read, draw, etc. 2 hours

Weekly Jobs – these are spread throughout the week and divided among the kids, some happen daily, others once, twice, or three times per week


dishes
laundry
tidy rec room
bathrooms
kitchen counters
sweep kitchen
tidy entry
trash + recycling
vacuum bedroom
vacuum rec room
sweep living room
vacuum stairs + hall

We are also hoping to do several activities each week that get us out of the house or help the kids learn/get better at life skills:

national parks
state parks
local parks
library programming
city programming
summer movie express
kids bowl free
swim at the pool
go on a drive
local nature centers
zoo
ice cream outings
Smithsonian museums
bake and cook
paint and draw
write
jobs for hire – I made a list of jobs they can do this summer to earn some money. We will have some lessons about saving, spending, donating, etc.

That TV is such a sneaky time sucker, isn’t it?! “One more show?” “This only has 7 minutes left, can I finish it?”

I don’t want my kids to look back and not really remember what they did all summer. I want them to learn new things, use their imaginations, explore, and progress. We are setting some guidelines and rules about our TV, laptops, phones, and Noa’s DS so we can be sure to get as much life out of this summer as possible.

Do you limit screen time over the summer?

6 Ways to Enjoy our National Parks with Kids – Kids to Parks Day

This post is sponsored by National Park Trust.

National Parks with Kids www.RadMomCoolKid.com

This Saturday, May 21st, is the 6th Annual Kids to Parks Day! To celebrate we are giving away a fun prize pack here on the blog and sharing 6 ways you can enjoy our beautiful National Parks with kids. You can participate this weekend by pledging to bring your child to a local, state, or national park on May 21st. Register here and you might win some great prizes!

6 Ways to Enjoy National Parks with Kids

1. Junior Ranger Program

Yellowstone Junior Rangers www.RadMomCoolKid.com

Many of the National Parks have Junior Ranger packets available. They are only a few dollars or sometimes free. They do an amazing job of helping kids get a broad experience of the park and learn some interesting facts and history of the park. Once the packet is complete the kids are sworn in as Junior Rangers and they receive a patch or pin for their efforts.

Yellowstone Junior Ranger Program www.RadMomCoolKid.com

TIP: The programs we have done (Yellowstone, Fort McHenry, Harper’s Ferry, and the National Mall) take a solid amount of time. Plan for a few hours, especially if you have several kids in different age ranges.

2. Journal – Write, Draw, Photo

I gave my kids blank notebooks before we visited Yellowstone so they could make notes about animals they saw, draw pictures about the day, or paste in pictures they took.

3. Picnic

There is nothing better than a picnic with a national park as the setting. Some parks have restaurants or convenience stores but we often pack a cooler with snacks and food to save some money. Be careful to clean up after yourself. Do not leave trash or food. Keep our parks and the animals that call them home safe and healthy! If you don’t see a trash can, keep your trash in your car or pocket until you do!!

4. Every Kid in a Park Program

Every Kid in a Park www.RadMomCoolKid.com

This is a great program for 4th graders across the United States. Each 4th grade student has access to a free National Park Pass. These passes allow the student and their family free access to the national parks and monuments for one year! If you have a current 4th grader or would like information about the program, check it out here.

5. License Plate Game

This is a really fun way to make the most of parks that have large parking lots or lots of road to drive. We write down all the states and leave a section for international vehicles. We check the states off as we see them. It is amazing how many different plates there are out there! It’s one of our favorite road trip games.

Looking for more games to play on the road? Check out our list of 15 here!

6. Explore

Explore Fort McHenry www.RadMomCoolKid.com

It has been my experience that kids and their imaginations don’t need much to have an amazing time no matter where they are! Each park has something special and unique – find it and experience it! It might be an amazing hike, colorful geysers, or enormous trees. Take it all in!

Fort McHenry Junior Ranger Program www.RadMomCoolKid.com

Today we are giving away two great books to one lucky reader:

Kids to Parks Day www.RadMomCoolKid.com

Buddy Bison’s Yellowstone Adventure

My girls LOVE the book about Buddy! We visited Yellowstone two summers ago and one of our best memories is getting stuck in a bison jam :) We were on our way to see Old Faithful one of the mornings and ended up stuck in a super long line of slow-moving cars. We had no idea what the hold up was. It took some time but eventually we found out what was causing all the traffic – BISON! They were everywhere. All over the road, the sides of the road, in the river along the road! There were several park rangers keeping them safe and helping the traffic maneuver the animals without disturbing them. It was so fun to see all the cute babies with their mamas and families. It was the best traffic jam I’ve ever been in and the kids often say, “Hey! Remember when we got bison jammed?!” I think that experience was more memorable than Old Faithful or any of the other amazing things we saw those few days!

National Geographics Kids National Parks Guide USA Centennial Edition

Noa has been eating up the National Parks Guide. He loves informational books like this and has been telling me the parks he would like to visit some day. When we plan road trips, large or small, I love finding national parks along the way. The parks are all so unique and it’s so fun to take some time to check them out, even if it’s just a few minutes or miles. This book has a map of the US with parks and monuments across the country.

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Isca is Eight!

Isca

Our sweet Isca recently turned eight years old! She is soooo kind and good and we love her like crazy! And I hope those little chin dimples never go away.

A few special things about her right now:

– She loves to dance and was awarded a scholarship to attend a summer intensive for this year. She is very excited to attend but a little nervous because she will be one of the youngest dancers there and it will be rigorous. I hope she has a good experience. It is local so she will come home each night.

– She is a READER!! Her favorite author is Roald Dahl and she is currently collecting all his books. Matilda is one of her favorites. She just finished The BFG and is dying to see the movie when it comes out this summer! She is also working on reading the Book of Mormon. Her goal is to finish it this month.

I’ll have to get her birthday party pictures edited and organized soon – it was book themed and she had lots of her girlfriends over for lunch, cookies, and some fun activities!

– She is great at puzzles. We have several jigsaw puzzles and a few brain teaser puzzles that she loves to do.

– She has been saving her money like crazy and has just earned enough to buy an American Girl doll. She wants to get the 2016 Girl of the Year, Lea Clark. A trip to the AG store is in our near future!

– Isca was baptized into our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) just over a week ago. She was so excited that morning! Her baptism was at 11am and at 9am she asked me if we could just go and do it right then, she couldn’t wait any longer! Right as she came out of the water I wrapped her up and helped her into the bathroom to change. We shared the biggest hug and she was just beaming. She said, “I feel so GOOD! My whole body feels so GOOD!” We were lucky to have my mom and step-dad and Luke’s parents come from out of state to support her. We also had many friends from church and a dear friend from Isca’s school class in attendance.

Kids

Luke was able to baptize her and then confirm her a member of the church. In the LDS church we wait until the age of 8 to baptize because we believe that little children are without sin. Around age 8 they understand right from wrong and can start to grasp the concept of the Atonement and how it applies to them.

Luke and Isca

Luke’s mom spoke a little about baptism before Isca was baptized and my step-dad spoke about the Holy Ghost right after. Isca was welcomed into the children’s program, called Primary, by the Primary President and was then welcomed into our ward (congregation) by a member in the bishopric (each ward is watched over and led by a Bishop. He has 2 counselors who support his efforts and help). His welcome was so warm and full of love. Everyone could feel how much he loves the Gospel and how much he loves serving our church members. Isca’s piano teacher played the piano and my mom was the chorister. Noa gave the opening prayer and Luke’s dad gave the closing prayer.

Briton and Isca www.RadMomCoolKid.com

After the baptism we invited everyone back to our house for lunch. It was so nice to have our home full of so many people who love our family.

Baptism Luncheon www.RadMomCoolKid.com

Here are some special pictures I took of Isca at the Washington, D.C. LDS Temple a week or so before her baptism. She is wearing my dress from when I was her age!

Isca

Isca

I just love watching my kids get older and bigger and learning more about their personalities. A little sad that they aren’t my tiny little babies anymore but so happy to see them growing and finding the things that make them happy!

Baked Penne Pasta with Italian Sausage

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Baked Penne Pasta with Italian Sausage www.RadMomCoolKid.com

This Baked Penne Pasta with Italian Sausage is one of our favorite weeknight meals because it is super easy to make, lasts two nights, and everybody in the fam likes it!

As the kids have gotten older the after-school activities have gotten more intense. Between piano, dance, soccer, cub scouts, and activity days we are always headed somewhere. Wednesday night is the crazy night where we have multiple activities going on and no time to make dinner. We ALWAYS make a big meal on Tuesday so we can eat a healthy, home-cooked dinner at some point during the craziness that is Wednesday!

Baked Penne Pasta with Italian Sausage www.RadMomCoolKid.com

Baked Penne Pasta with Italian Sausage

1 lb. penne pasta (we like this mini version)
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1-2 carrots, sliced thin
4 oz. mushrooms (our kids are shroom-phobic so we either dice them super small so they don’t notice or cut them in big slices so they can pick them out)
4 cloves garlic, minced (we love garlic)
1/2 lb. Italian sausage (we buy a package with 5 links, divide it, freeze half)
1/4 c. sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
1 jar pasta sauce
1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Boil pasta in a large pot until al dente. Reserve 1/2 c. pasta water, drain pasta.

While pasta is cooking:

Cook sausage in a large, oven-safe skillet. Break the sausage into bite-sized pieces with a spoon as it cooks. When it is cooked through remove and reserve it in a bowl.

In the same pan, saute onion, carrots, and mushrooms in olive oil over medium high heat until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook 30 seconds.

Add cooked sausage to vegetables, stir in sun dried tomatoes, pasta and pasta sauce.

Top with cheese and place in preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted and starting to brown.

This meal is great with a big green salad and some yummy bread. We usually buy a loaf of French bread from WalMart – it’s about $1 for a huge loaf that lasts our family of 5 for 2 meals!

*A note about the oven-safe skillet – Luke and I are still using the set of Belgique stainless steel, copper bottom pans we got for our wedding. They are great quality and we use every pan in our set often. We have a 12-piece set similar to this set, except ours has copper bottoms, like this set. When it comes to pots and pans you get what you pay for – the steep price tags up front are worth it, though, as our first set has been used daily since 2003 and is still in perfect condition!

We recently started collecting some Calphalon hard-anodized pots and pans and I’m very happy with the quality, too.

Road Rippers Dancing Car – VW Beetle

Road Rippers Dancing Car - VW Beetle www.radmomcoolkid.com

We recently received a Road Rippers Dancing Car from Toy State to review. They sent us the VW Beetle!

You may remember Noa’s review of Toy State’s Nikko VaporizR 2 here. This time Isca and Hollis were excited to check out their Road Rippers Dancing Car!

As you can see, the girls had a lot of fun playing around with the buttons! This toy is recommended for children ages 3 and up. Isca is almost 8 and Hollis is 4.5. It is definitely too young for Isca and while Hollis likes it I don’t think it is a toy that she will actively seek out to play with regularly. From my perspective this toy is probably most suited for kids who have very recently turned 3 or children who might be attracted to the lights and sounds of the buttons. I’m not sure why it isn’t recommended for kids under 3 because there isn’t much to it – lights, sounds, and it bounces up and down to music.

You can look for the Road Rippers Dancing Car collection at Toys R Us.

Marshmallow Oatmeal Caramelitas

Contains affiliate links.

Marshmallow Oatmeal Caramelitas www.radmomcoolkid.com

Once upon a time we were snowed in for a week…and I cooked and baked for daaaaaaaays. And thank goodness because I made these Marshmallow Oatmeal Caramelitas and our lives have been forever changed. That sounds dramatic but I’m not kidding. These things are so good. The combination of the gooey caramel, melty chocolate, and creamy marshmallow is perfect against the oat and butter cookie base. Just make them already.

Marshmallow Oatmeal Caramelitas www.radmomcoolkid.com

Marshmallow Oatmeal Caramelitas

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 Tbsp. molasses
2 Tbsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups old-fashioned oats (not instant or quick cook)
2 tsp. baking soda
pinch salt
40 caramel squares, unwrapped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
10-12 large marshmallows, cut in half

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.

In a large microwave-safe mixing bowl: melt butter. Whisk in sugar, molasses, vanilla until smooth. Add flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and stir to combine.

Spread half of this mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan. Press it flat and set remainder aside. Bake 10 minutes.

In a large microwave-safe bowl: combine caramels and cream. Heat for 1 minute, stir. Repeat until the caramel has completely melted.

When the crust is done, remove from the oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Pour the caramel sauce over the chips. Place marshmallows all over the top of the caramel sauce. Top with the reserved oat and flour mixture.

Return pan to oven and bake 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are lightly browned the center is bubbling.

Let the bars cool completely before slicing. You can speed up the cooling process by putting them in the fridge for a few hours but they are very hard to slice if they get too cold! You can store them, covered, at room temperature.

Marshmallow Oatmeal Caramelitas www.radmomcoolkid.com

Rad Mom Cool Kid

Rad Mom Cool Kid