Category Archives: For the kids

Holmes’ Humidifer – Yes, Please!

It’s funny how life works. I never knew what a humidifier was as a child. The tried and true way of decongesting a child who couldn’t breathe was a steamy bathroom. As a Mom of two in this day and age, I can honestly say we would have had to renovate the bathroom by now, if I truly used it everytime the children were stuffy or suffered from croup.

Through out the last 12 years, I have purchased many, many different types of humidifiers and vaporizers. The vaporizers were just too hot, I live in Florida and the last thing you want is more heat in the house. The first couple of humidifiers I bought, required a filter that would absolutely disgust me when I had to clean them. They were gunky and brown and it just would drive me crazy thinking that I was most probably circulating that through the room along with humidified air.

Several years ago, I noticed in a Target flyer, a humidifier by Holmes
that was shaped like a cube.

I loved that there were many different colors and they didn’t stick out like a sore thumb. I decided to head on over and check them out. The price was right at the time and the biggest draw for me was that they did not require a filter. My dreams of not having to clean one of those again was fulfilled. What can I say, I don’t always dream big.

The clean up on the system is super easy and the light hum was the best bonus ever. Some of my old humidifiers were so noisy, I felt like they were preparing for take-off.

The only thing that I wish was different is the on-off switch is lit and it is a pretty strong light. One of my children has to sleep in complete darkness, so the light was a distraction and everytime she needs to use it, it’s a battle.

In conclusion, I would buy this product again, in a heartbeat. Nice looking, no filter and quiet. I really can’t ask for more from a humidifier.

Acting Out Mama!

Favorite Books for Children

I’m at an age where my children are school age but a new wave of friends having babies has started. All the little feet and round bald heads have made me nostalgic for that time when I used to read to my little babies and toddlers. As an actress, I was a total ham and remember many a nights when I was completely exhausted and forced myself to find the energy to read to them. I didn’t think I would miss it as much as I do, but thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite books.

Good Night, Gorilla

One of my all time favorites and it really doesn’t contain many words. This one is fun because you can look at the pictures and find the balloon floating away on every page.

A great little section is when all the animals are saying good night, the kiddies always loved that Mommy and Daddy used different voices for every single one.

Goodnight Moon

This book is not a surprise, as it is a classic. Another great book for finding little items on every page and there is nothing cuter than a toddler saying good night to everything in the room. I also owned a Spanish version of this book which let me introduce them to a different language at a very early age.

The Snowy Day

It is no surprise that this book is a Caldecott winner. Living in Florida, means my children were fascinated with snow, and Peter’s day outside playing with it let them join in, on the fun. The children loved that Peter enjoyed the snow so much, he wanted to take a snowball in with him at the end of the day.


This little book carries a big punch, as Swimmy, a very little fish; tries to stay alive in an ocean of very big ones. It is a very clever book and by the end, the little fish comes up with the best solution for making himself bigger than he is.

Where the Wild Things Are

Another no brainer in the land of children’s books, but it really does deserve all the praise it has received. Max is so mischievous, and his imagination so vivid; you can’t help but be swept up in his story. A wonderful lesson and at the end of the day, even those who are mischievous, love to come home.

I Love You, Stinky Face

A wonderful story that lets your child know, that your love is unconditional. It doesn’t matter what kind of creature your imagination can create, a mother will love you no matter how scary or stinky you can become.

The Big Wide-Mouthed Frog

As an actress, this one is lots of fun to act out. This poor little frog is quite a talker and his inquisitive nature tests the patience of some of the animals he runs into in his journey. Humorous and fun as children learn the value of asking questions.

Time For Bed

I have fond memories of reading this book to my little ones. A lovely story about Mommies putting their babies to bed. Beautiful pictures and lovely words give a lulling sensation to the listener and reader alike.

Guji Guji

A fun adventure about a crocodile egg that is accidentally included in a nest of ducks. Although Guji Guji is extremely different than his siblings he is loved exactly the same. Follow the journey as Guji Guji meets some other crocodiles and has to decide who is family really is.

Robert Guillaume reads the book on Storyline Online and does a wonderful job. I recommend checking it out and the other books available.

And You?

Now it is your turn, share your favorite books and memories, in the comments. I would love to hear about them.

Acting Out Mama!

7up Biscuits – Yum!

Okay, so I feel like I should start this post out with an apology because as good as these are, they really are quite buttery. I had made these for my son once and now whenever we are celebrating something, he asks for me to make them again. I try not to make them too often, as they are very rich.

Once you make them, you will see why they are so addictive. I have included a picture from the last batch I made.

Special Notes:

  • I used flour to dust the table for kneading, so that I could  work with the dough because it is super sticky
  • Instead of a biscuit cookie cutter (which I do not own), I used the mouth of a cup to cut out the biscuits. I made sure the top of the cup was floured so the dough didn’t stick to it.
  • I have made these with lemon-lime sodas and also with light sour cream and they were still delicious.


7up Biscuits



  • 4 cup(s) Bisquik
  • 1 cup(s) sour cream
  • 1 cup(s) 7-up
  • 1/2 cup(s) butter melted


  1. Mix bisquick, sour cream and 7 up. Dough will be very soft – don’t worry Knead and fold dough until coated with your baking mix. Pat dough out and cut biscuits using a round biscuit / cookie cutter. Melt butter in bottom of cookie sheet pan or 9×13 casserole dish. Place biscuits on top of melted butter and bake for 12-15 minutes or until brown at 425 degrees.
Photo by Isabel Natera
Photo by Isabel Natera

Acting Out Mama!


Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies

Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies

So, as you know from a previous post, I really, really, love the Hannah Swensen Mystery series that includes wonderful recipes. When I attended the house party, I made these excellent cookies and they were gone in a heartbeat. My kiddies love them and my Husband has been known not to leave them many as well. This particular recipe is from the 1st book in the series, //” target=”_blank”>Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder.

Enjoy these!

Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies



    • 1 cup butter, softenedChoco Chip Crunch 2
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 1/2 cups flour ( not necessary to sift)
    • 2 cups corn flakes, crushed ( measure after crushing)
    • 1 -2 cup chocolate chips ( we like to use the mini’s as they mix more evenly)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cream together butter and both sugars till light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Add baking soda, salt and vanilla.
  5. Slowly add flour and corn flakes.
  6. After everything else is throughly combined, add chocolate chips.
  7. Form into 1-2 tablespoons sized balls, 12 cookie balls to a standard cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or till lightly golden on the edges. Let cool on the cookie sheet till cookie begins to set up some then transfer to cooling racks.

Choco Chip Crunch 1

Acting Out Mama!

Crock Pot Lasagna

Crock Pot Lasagna

 As you know from some of my previous posts, my son is super picky and getting him to eat with us at dinner time is a daily challenge for me. I have made the lasagna recipe below several times and the last time I made it, he was not enthused. After talking with him, it seems that he doesn’t like a lot of ground beef in his lasagna, so I am going to cut that it in half  next time. The best thing about crock pot lasagna,  is that it doesn’t dry out.

Don’t hesitate to post in the comments how this recipe works for you and your picky eater.


Crock Pot Lasagna


10 lasagna noodles, uncooked

1 lb. ground beef

28 oz. jar spaghetti sauce (I love to use Bertolli Five Cheeses)

1/3 cup water

15 oz. ricotta cheese

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Break noodles and place on the bottom of greased slow cooker.
  2. Brown ground beef in saucepan, drain and spread half of it on top of the noodles in slow cooker.

    Crock Pot Lasagna Before
    Lasagna before Cooking
  3. Layer half of sauce and water, half of ricotta cheese and mozzarella over beef. Repeat layers.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.

Crock Pot Lasagna
Lasagna after Cooking


Acting Out Mama!

Macaroni, Ham and Cheese

As a Mom, the major struggle I face everyday is dinner time. I know that sounds weird, but dinner time has become a very big pain for me because everything must be “Made to Order.”

An example of this is a breakdown of my family:

Husband – will eat everything but mushrooms and black olives (super easy to deal with),

 Me – will eat just about everything but anchovies and anything heavy with ginger (again, super easy),

Daughter – will eat everything but fish, rice, steak, bits of onion and garlic, and sweet tasting bread (getting a little tougher but not impossible),

Son –  will only eat hot dogs, hamburgers, macaroni and cheese, cheese raviolis and egg sandwiches. Every now and then he will stop liking one of his favorite items so I will have cooked it for nothing as he will ask for a bowl of cereal for dinner. Ugh!?!

When I do find a recipe my son likes, I do a happy dance and make it once a week. I feel I have done well when I don’t haul out a bowl of cereal for any of the children during dinner.

Below is a recipe for Mac and Cheese with cut-up ham steaks to add a little heartiness for my husband. You can always make it without the meat and it is still super tasty.

Enjoy, and don’t hesitate to share your favorite macaroni and cheese recipe.

Macaroni, Ham and Cheese


1 (10.75 oz) can Health Request Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

1/2 cup fat-free milk

1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard

Dash of ground pepper

3 cups elbow pasta, cooked and drained (approx. 1 1/2 dry pasta)

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

3 small ham steaks


1. Heat up ham steaks in pan then cup them up and set asideUncooked Mac, Ham and Cheese

2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Stir the soup, milk, mustard, pepper, pasta, 1 1/2 cup cheese, and cut-up ham steak  in a 1.6 liter casserole dish. Should look like the pic on the right.

3. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

4. Stir the mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for 1 minute to melt the final cheese.

A pic of the finished product is below:

Mac, Ham and Cheese