Sunday, June 30, 2013

Google Reader's Last Hoorah

We've been counting the days until Google would follow through with shutting down every blogger's beloved Google Reader. Tomorrow is that day my friends.

Most of us have transitioned over to a new reader, or two, over the last few months. But today I'm receiving frantic emails from Google Reader, Feedly reps and BlogLovin reps reminding me to switch my feeds!

Have you moved your blog-reading habit to BlogLovin?
Follow The View From 510 through this awesome little button or the identical one in my side bar.

Follow on Bloglovin

Picked a different reader? Feedly seems to be catching quite an audience these days. I tested but didn't love it.

If you have a new reader recommendation, I'd love to hear it.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: leave me a comment with your blogs so I can be sure I'm still following after tomorrow!!! Would hate to lose someone in the shuffle!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

My Kia, My Summer {How to Travel With Toddlers}


As Summer descends on our famously hot city, the humidity becomes so thick your glasses are guaranteed to fog up every single day. Placed smack between the mountains and the beaches of our state, our hometown is a sweltering melting point where these two climates meet.

I both detest and adore this heat factor. The biggest perk? We are only two hours from the mountains and the beach! Doesn't get much better than that, y'all! And seeing as our latest trip to the beach was not quite a success we'll be road-tripping to the mountains for the Fourth of July holiday.

While we're not shy to a good road trip, there are so many things to pack now that we have a toddler in tow. I thought a baby was bad; well, newsflash: toddlers have just as much {if not more} stuff!

I've found myself packing up the same basket over and over again this Summer as we travel to see family and thought I'd share some of my go-to tips for traveling with a toddler. 


Tip #1: plan ahead.

By now, if you're a mom reading this post you're thinking, duh! But wait, hear me out. As much as I write my plan out and see things following through in my head weeks prior to our trips the time always sneaks up on me. Always.

Don't just start thinking about your plan weeks before, start putting it into action. For example, all the fabulous goodies pictured above are my typical toddler road-trip backseat basket.

The one item not photographed? The pacifier I keep on backup just for long distance drives. Despite that paci being on my pack list for two weeks, I didn't muster up the motivation to track it down until the day before. And it was no where to be found. Lesson learned.

Begin gathering toddler necessities over days leading up to your trip. You'll be thankful for this, trust me!

Tip #2: Don't forget to clean out your car the weekend before leaving town.

As much stuff as you're going to be cramming into your car, you better make sure you've made room for it all. I have a bad habit of essentially living out of my car. If the apocalypse occurred, we'd be good to go for a minimum of a week just from my car stash.

Gone are the days of cruising comfortably in my sedan. No, now we're planning to replace my car for a bit more square footage...

Photo via Kia
Hint, hint Husband! Kind of loving this Sorento!

No matter what, have your car prepared for the mass amounts of toddler entertainment necessities.

Tip #3: Do not forget to pack your toddler backseat basket!

My go-to items for our backseat basket include (but are not limited to): books  galore, magna-doodle, teething toys (because you never know), snacks, back-up pacifier, tool-set and of course my toddler distraction must-have list!

Tip #4: Go in knowing you will forget something, someone (maybe you) will have a breakdown at some point, tantrums will be thrown, something will be spilled, but fun will be had, memories will be made and your Summer season will be put to good use!

Here's to hoping Fourth of July weekend goes smoother than Memorial Day!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. Full site disclaimer here.

Joovy Stroller Giveaway

It's summertime and most of us will be on the Go! What better way to take your little one everywhere you head off to this summer than in a Joovy Groove Umbrella Stroller.

Welcome to the Joovy Groove Umbrella Stroller Giveaway Event!
Hosted by Conservamom

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. The View From 510 is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment or in any way affiliated with Joovy.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Seconds of silence and snuggles

Mornings here often mirror the process of a great storm. Their is the initial cry of thunder, ahem the toddler's get-me-outta-here hollering for Daddy. Followed by a short spurt of quiet as we settle into the idea of another hopeful day ahead.

This is when said toddler curls up on the couch as mama serves him mini pancakes and a sippy cup of milk. Barney or Little Einstein is cued up for his early morning entertainment while mama runs around finishing packing lunches.

Just like his daddy, it takes a bit of time for the toddler to get his grounds in the morning.

That is, until I hear a little voice come from the couch demanding, "mommy sit. Mommy sit right here!" To deny a request so adorable? Well I just cannot.

So I sit, and he scoots closer to me. And closer. And closer. Until he has kicked the dog off the couch and claimed my lap as his. Then snuggling down onto my chest, he kicks back with mama and his sippy cup.

These moments of silence in the storm of our mornings, are my happy place. They are the best of toddlerhood and serve as affirmation this toddler loves me just as I love him.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Lightening Your Load with Cascade #MyPlatinum Pacs

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Cascade. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

Around these parts, cleaning the dishes is my chore. But between the terrible two's, the long summer days and sicknesses all around, I've not been up for tackling our overflowing sink. 

Just thinking about the process of doing dishes exhausted me. 

Soak. Pre-wash. Rinse. Dishwasher. Repeat. 

I've been going through this process for years, wasting hour after hour of dish prepping before throwing them into the dishwasher. I blame my mother; she did this too. I also blame dirty dishes post-dish washing! 

All this changed last week though. Thankfully, my kitchen is now stocked with Cascade Platinum Pacs.


Cascade #MyPlatinum Pacs

The resealable bag couldn't even begin to contain the fragrance of these little pacs. So fresh, I tell you! And, as my friends from Nola Mom Blogs pointed out they sport a pretty festive color scheme as well.

No need to pre-wash those day-old dishes. No rewashing spotty glasses. No more extra work.

Cascade #MyPlatinum Pacs

Cascade has even teamed up with Gail Simmons, Top Chef judge and editor of Food+Wine magazine, to share the importance of presentation. If you've been around my blog for any amount of time, you know I'm a sucker for a good recipe. And often that means piles upon piles of dishes.

As Gail recommends, “The easiest recipes pop with unexpected, gourmet presentations.  Drizzle bright sauces on sparkling white plates or layer desserts in crystal-clean glassware. Keep your presentation sparkling with Cascade Platinum, which keeps dishes perfect for anytime entertaining and impromptu guests.”

Cascade #MyPlatinum Pacs

Cascade is in the midst of hosting a four-week Instagram contest in which they're encouraging you to share your shiniest of dishes. Visit the contest landing page for information on how to enter and submit images (FYI you need to have an InstaGram account!). 

Two contestants will be selected to receive a brand new Whirlpool dishwasher each week! Additionally, one lucky grand prize winner will receive a Platinum kitchen makeover! 

To win, users have to both register and upload a photo with the #MyPlatinum hashtag and tag @MyCascade.  Participants that have not registered will be disqualified from winning.


Each week Cascade will have a 6-day entry period where Instagram users can enter the contest with their #MyPlatinum Photo. Cascade will choose two weekly winners and one final grand prize winner after the entry period has ended. Please be sure to include both the #MyPlatinum hashtag and tag @MyCascade in your entries to the contest! 

·      Week 1: My Platinum Plate (Entry Period: 6/3-6/9)
              Show us your best dish styled from the sparkling plate up!
·      Week 2: My Platinum Bite (Entry Period: 6/10-6/16)
       Show us your best bite and most creative use of sparkling silverware!
·      Week 3: My Platinum Clink (Entry: 6/17-6/23)
       Show us how you serve up creative concoctions in sparkling glasses. Cheers!
·      Week 4: My Platinum Table (Entry Period: 6/24-6/30)
       Show us your sparkling tablescape for your most special celebrations!
Grand Prize Winner (Entry: 6/3-6/30)

A huge thanks to Cascade for changing my dish-washing routine! In both Fresh and Lemon scents, you can find Cascade Platinum Pacs from your local grocers and retailers.

Learn more about Cascade’s partnership with Gail Simmons by viewing videos available on the Link to the Cascade Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/10Y8RQQ and Cascade YouTube page: http://bit.ly/124rLfa

Keep up with Cascade Platinum on Facebook for even more sparkling products!

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Cascade. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Oreo Bomb Cake Recipe

I have three go-to ingredients when it comes to choosing a treat to make for my husband. These would be: bananas, peanut butter (ahem, Reese's) and Oreos. By sticking to these guidelines I'm guaranteed the recipe will receive two thumbs up, and if I'm lucky a standing ovation.

Today's Oreo Bomb Cake recipe? It's more-than deserving of a standing ovation!

Calling for only several ingredients, some of you may not even need to leave the house in order to whip this one up! And in my opinion, that's the best kind of recipe around.

Oreo Bomb Cake #Recipe

I'm officially giving you permission to take that pack of Oreos and dunk 'em in a glass of milk. The kids are going to be jumping to help with this recipe, but I recommend waiting until naptime. There are only so many extra Oreos to go around, you'd hate to have to share :)

Oreo Bomb Cake #Recipe

After giving the Oreo a quick dunk, cover your pan with one layer of them.
Then cover the cookies with a layer of cool whip.

Repeat. Twice. Cover and set in the refrigerator for the night. All night!

Oreo Bomb Cake #Recipe

The next morning be prepared for the most delicious dessert!

Test out the Oreo Bomb Cake for your next Cookout or just because it's Thursday. I guarantee you'll find someone licking the dish clean. That is, if it's not you!

Oreo Bomb Cake 
recipe via Cookies & Cups

Ingredients
90 Oreos
1 1/2 cups of milk
3 8oz tubs of Cool Whip (thawed)
chocolate sauce for topping (optional)

Directions:
1. Drunk each Oreo into milk and set into 9x13 dish. Continue until the bottom of the dish is covered.
2. Spread a layer of cool whip over the Oreos.
3. Repeat the first two steps, creating two more layers.
4. Cover and set in the fridge overnight. A minimum of 8 hours.
5. Serve chilled topped with crushed Oreos and chocolate sauce. (this shouldn't be optional!)

Linking up with A Night Owl Blog, Tatertots and Jello, Somewhat Simple, Home Stories A to Z, I Heart Naptime, Lambert's Lately

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Decorate.All.The.Things. Wedding Brunch Edition

The official countdown shows less than two months now until my cousin's wedding. This go-round, we're the family of the groom which I thought would be less work. Right? Wrong! So very, very wrong. You don't just have one big shabang to plan, you have two.

Most of the wedding guests are traveling in town for the wedding, so we're responsible for the Rehearsal Dinner and a Post Wedding Brunch of greater guest lists. The women of my family are in a frenzy to plan said events. Picture My Big Fat Greek Wedding, just we're Southern. Basically, women running around making plans upon plans.

You get the idea.

This brings us back to: T-Minus 58 Days until Wedding day. Which means 57 to rehearsal. 59 until Post Wedding Brunch. Between now and then? SO MANY THINGS.

Expect wedding party details to begin gracing the blog as my mind is all wedding wedding wedding right now. A million miles a minute. Currently on my wedding to-do list. Finalize the invitations.

We've been pooling ideas for the brunch on a group Pinterest board which has been fabulous! Enjoy a little of our inspiration for the party and get excited about an invitation debut next week :)

#wedding brunch ideas


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Monday, June 17, 2013

The Third Father's Day

Hard to believe this parenting journey has seen Brandon and I through three seasons of this Hallmark milestone. All cheesiness aside, it's one of those days that causes reflection in even the busiest of days.

Our blur of two-year-old life hasn't left much energy for any excess motivation. But for weeks, I've planned Brandon's gift, a chance to let him dictate our daily activities and some time for him to really relax a bit.

Who are we kidding though? We have a toddler and relaxing is just not in the rulebook. I did, however, manage to keep Jackson entertained long enough for Brandon to sleep in a bit longer than usual. Every parent knows any spare minute of sleeping bliss is heaven!

Our day remained calm as we played at home, cooked our first batch of Dad's Famous Chili and Flapjacks and wasted the day away.


This Father's Day, I hope Brandon knows how thankful we are for him.

Life has thrown several curve balls lately, and he's managed to handle them with more grace than the rest of us. The terrible-twos continue to test our limits and our teamwork is necessary now more than ever. Together, I know we'll continue to see the sunshine through the storm.


You're our sand-seat digger, our handy man, our laundry washer, our dog groomer, the chauffeur, best yard worker, and number one tickle monster.

Thanks for all you do, Brandon. You are such an amazing father to J-Bird.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Weekly Menu Planning Printable

I hope you've all heeded my menu planning advice, and at least attempted some meal planning. Truly, it's as easy as creating a pin board and dedicating just a sliver of time each week that will save you mounds of stress down the road.

Yes, that's correct, I'm on my soap box on Monday morning no less.
But really! This will make your life so!much!less!stressful!

Still having trouble motivating yourself to menu plan?

Perhaps, Tiffany's new printable will get you moving. Once again, my favorite designer has me giddy with this print.

Weekly Menu Planning Printable #free #printable
download printable here
Be sure to stop by Tiffany's blog, The Momma Bear Diaries, to download this printable, learn more about her new menu plan linkup, Tasty Tuesdays, and show her a little love. 



Want one customized to your preferences? Just email her at tiffanykuehldesigns [at] gmail [dot] com (and for a small fee of $10) she'll whip up your custom weekly menu plan! 

For more printable inspiration check out the best of free meal plans I've rounded up!

Weekly Menu Planning Printable #free #printable


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Don't miss out on the Kiss the Cook Giveaway featuring a Rachael Ray Cookware package that will blow your mind!


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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Kiss the Cook Giveaway

Kiss the Cook Giveaway #RachaelRay

Kiss the Cook Event

Organized by: Mom to Bed by 8


I'm so excited to share today's giveaway with y'all! There's nothing better than having a reliable set of cookware in your kitchen to get those creative juices flowing. 

Now is your chance to win a Rachael Ray Cookware Package!
Prize Package Includes:
Kiss the Cook Giveaway #RachaelRay
Rachael Ray Hard Anodized II 10 piece Set
Create super-nutritious and innovative meals that are never boring with the help of Rachael Ray cookware. Create Rachael's Vegetable Cacciatore by browning vegetables in the saute pan while the accompanying whole wheat penne bubbles away in the stockpot. Or try adding a little spice to a simple lunchtime meal with a chipotle grilled cheese sandwich browned to perfection in one of the skillets. Rachael Ray Hard-Anodized cookware is the perfect combination of durability and style, and this 10-piece set certainly fits the bill.

This set has all the essential pieces to make memorable meals every day. Hard-anodized construction provides even heat, helping to reduce "hot spots" that can burn food, and it's coated with a durable nonstick both inside and out for exceptional food release and easy clean up. The tempered glass lids allow you to monitor your food while it cooks, keeping heat and moisture sealed in. Grippy handles feature striking orange padding for a comfortable feel.

This cookware is oven safe to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and dishwasher safe for convenient, fast and simple cleanup. Set includes 1-Quart and 2-Quart Covered Saucepans 6-Quart Covered Stockpot 3-Quart Covered Saute 8.5-Inch and 10-Inch Skillets

Kiss the Cook Giveaway #RachaelRay

Rachael Ray Bakeware Set - Orange (5 Pc)
This Rachael Ray 5-Piece Nonstick Bakeware Set is perfect for sweet and savory dishes alike. With five versatile pieces, this set has what you need for baking everything from fresh cookies to decadent cakes and breads, but Rach uses this set for so much more. The cookie sheet is perfect for roasting vegetables or oven fries; the rectangular cake pan is the perfect size and shape for a cheesy lasagna; the loaf pan is the essential pan for homestyle meatloaf; and the round cake pans fit the bill for quiches or a zesty chicken tortilla casserole. Rachael Ray bakeware is made from durable carbon steel that can bake over and over again with the same great results. The grippy handles provide a firm grasp when pulling items from a hot oven. The sturdy construction also resists warping so cakes and pies come out perfectly round every time. This bakeware is oven safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit for convenience and a portion of the proceeds from this purchase goes to Yum-o!, Rachael's nonprofit organization that helps kids and their parents develop healthy relationships with food and cooking. Set includes 10-Inch x 15-Inch cookie sheet 9-Inch x 13-Inch cake pan 9-Inch x 5-Inch loaf pan Two 9-Inch round cake pans
Kiss the Cook Giveaway #RachaelRay
Rachael Ray Nylon Tool Set - Orange (6 Pc)
These slender spoons are lightweight and easy to hold. Fill your kitchen drawer with these must have tools. The flat head on this ladle mean no more pan-tilting so you get every last drop, just glide and remove. This classic whisk stands alone with it's wide base and easy to grip handle. It gets the job done and keeps your counter clean. The long flexible heads on these Spatulas can flip everything from delicate eggs to juicy steaks. The open design lets grease fall back into the pan instead of landing on your plate. Thank you to each reader who is taking the time to visit, read and entering to win this fabulous prize package.

Do take a moment to also visit our lovely co-hosts whom without them great things such as these would not be possible: Making Memories With Your Kids, TOTS-Business Resources for Bloggers and Business Moms, Monica's Rants Raves Reviews, My Vegan Gluten-Free Life, Ultimate Coupon Club, Capri's Coupons, Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer, The Mandatory Mooch, Quick Tattletails and Cloth Diaper Addicts.

One lucky reader will receive a Rachael Ray Cookware Prize Package!

Giveaway ends June 24th at 11:59pm, open to US and Canada residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. The View From 510 is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. Please contact teri@mompoweredmedia.com with questions or to see your business or blog featured on the next big event!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

So What Wednesday

Today, I'm putting it all on the table with my friend Shannon and saying so what?

Dear Lord, this phrase applies more to my life each and every day as we delve further into terrible-two land.

So, what?!

If I told my child he had to wear shoes to school because all the other kids are doing it. Not because his toes could get hurt or too sandy or too cold, but because the other kids are doing it. Yep, instilling the peer pressure at a young age in our house.

That I attempted to turn my toddler eating sugar-filled chewy treats into a learning lesson. Blue treat. Green treat. Lellow treat. Parenting at its finest up in here.

If I'm now scheming a massive cookout thanks to this week's Kickoff to Cookout Season series!

I've been studying, yes studying, the session agenda for BlogHer. And? I've narrowed down every session choice but one!

That I'm nowhere near ready for BlogHer and I'm in denial about the to-do list that needs to be drafted. Because for real? I'm SO.EXCITED. BlogHer veterans out there, what will I forget to do to prepare? Advice?! Business cards for BlogHer, custom ones at an affordable rate? Where should I purchase them?!

That our AC went out last week and yet I'm still planning this not-always budget friendly trip to Chicago.

That I'm feeling both inspired and burnt out all in one fowl swoop this week.

That I'm going to plug my Kickoff to Cookout Season series just one more time.

And? Thank goodness for cute toddlers.


Bless it. He even let us burry him in the sand.

Head over to link up your So What Wednesday posts with Shannon :)

Best of: Burgers {Kickoff to Cookout Season}

Since marrying Brandon, I've tried a wide variety of burgers. Between him and his best friend, we've attempted almost every burger concoction under the sun. Back before we were parents (ahem), we'd throw something on the grill every single night with friends. Some days, I'm thankful those days are of the past. Other days, when I'm craving a juicy, flavorful burger I'd give just about anything for my kitchen to be filled with creative cooks again.

burger #recipe ideas :: kickoff to cookout season

Burger's, y'all. It's got to be one of the most important components of the cookout. Don't be scared to venture out there a little with your burgers! My best of burger features are a good start for your Summer plans.

While you're at it, be sure to catch up on the rest of the Kickoff to Cookout Season series!

burger #recipe ideas :: kickoff to cookout season

Nick's Best BBQ Burger via Dine and Dish

burger #recipe ideas :: kickoff to cookout season


burger #recipe ideas :: kickoff to cookout season

Mozzarella Stuffed Burgers via Simply Delicious

burger #recipe ideas :: kickoff to cookout season

Bacon Cheddar Burger via Food Republic


burger #recipe ideas :: kickoff to cookout season


Don't miss out on the best of appetizers and side dishes!



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linking up with Mostly Homemade Mom

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Every child is an artist.

I spent many years yearning to be an artist. 
Due to awful brushstrokes, I settled for studying art as a minor in college. 
It worked for me


But to be an artist? I longed for that creativity. 
I adore seeing the artistic impulses Jackson exhibits. 
It's such a reflection of his father and his uncles, both of which make me happy.



Typical. 

Have you ever known an artist without a sense of humor? Yeah, me neither.


So much independence, this one. His free-thinking side is really starting to take lead.

That imagination, wonder and wander of a child are blossoming each day.
It's both challenging and charming. To put it mildly.


"Every child is an artist." Pablo Picasso  One of my favorite quotes. 


Yes, my little artist, I have a special DIY project in the works featuring your many masterpieces!! Just you wait!

Linking up with Jenni from the Blog, My Organized Chaos

Kickoff to Cookout Season {Side Dishes}

Back again for our second post officially kicking off cookout season.

My friend Sarah noted yesterday that I properly differentiated a cookout from a BBQ in my little series. I found myself laughing when she pointed this out, but really? Some people confuse the two! Or think they're the same?

By Southern definition, a cookout refers to a party or gathering where a meal is cooked and eaten outdoors. On the other hand, a BBQ references a party or gathering where meat (typically ribs, pork, or other meat) is cooked low and slow and a special BBQ rub and/or sauce is used to spice things up.

I've just recently learned that many people refer to these gatherings in the same manner and sometimes switched which is just wild to me. I guess, in the South, you're just born with a Cookout and BBQ etiquette flowing through your veins. It's one of those odd traditions we Southerners hold dear to our hearts.

The biggest difference, in my opinion, between the two is that BBQ will take all day to prepare. Someone will tend to the meat all day and usually the gathering will be a bit longer as such. But a Cookout? It's that gathering you can both dress up or throw together in the last few hours of the afternoon. Call a few friends, throw some burgers and hotdogs on the grill and you're set.




Cookout, BBQ, Fiesta? Whatever you're celebration, these recipes will all prove to be family favorites. Once the guests arrive no one cares what you've titled the gathering so long as there's good food, friends and drinks to go around!

I hope you'll visit the featured recipes and give them a try! 


Baked Potato Salad via Will Cook for Smiles


Deviled Eggs via Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen


Broccoli Salad via The Country Cook


Kick Ace Pasta Salad via The View From 510


Southern Baked Beans from Paula Dean

Miss the first post of this series? Catch the best of appetizer ideas here, and tomorrow come back for the best of burgers!


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linking up with Mostly Homemade Mom

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