Fun Frozen Treats For Hot Summer Days

On those hot summer days spent at the park with your little ones running around, there is nothing like coming home and making something cold and sweet for them to cool down. Frozen treats are fun and delicious, no matter how old you are. Today we’ll be bringing you all sorts of simple ideas for frozen treats to make and enjoy with your kids.

Kiwi Ice Pops

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Glowing in green, these sweet and tart kiwi ice pops appeal to kids and adults alike. This recipe is not only refreshing but no-fuss, making it one of the coolest ways to extinguish summer’s sizzle.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup(s) water
  • 1 cup(s) sugar
  • 4 kiwis
  • 1/2 cup(s) (about 4 limes) fresh lime juice

Directions

1. Make the syrup: Combine 1 cup of water with the sugar in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Set aside to cool.

2. Make the ice pops: Using a paring knife, cut kiwis into quarters, peel, and remove the white core and seeds from each piece. Place the seeded kiwi pieces in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and purée to a liquid — about 1 minute. Combine the puréed kiwi, 3/4 cup syrup, lime juice, and remaining 3/4 cup water in a large bowl. Pour the mixture into molds and freeze until solid — about 6 hours.

Lemon Sorbet

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This fragrant sorbet can be served as an intermezzo to cleanse the palate and stimulate the appetite, or be presented, instead, with not-too-sweet cookies for a light dessert. Add fresh herbs to the sorbet to give this treat an unexpected twist.

Ingredients

  • 10 sprig(s) mint, stemmed
  • 4 teaspoon(s) mint sprigs, finely chopped
  • 3 sprig(s) thyme
  • 3 cup(s) sugar
  • 3 cup(s) lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon(s) lemon zest, finely grated

Directions

1. Combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in three small saucepans. Add the mint leaves to one pan and the thyme sprigs to another. Bring all three to a boil, remove from the heat, and steep for 12 minutes. Strain each steeping mixture into a separate bowl, stir 1 cup lemon juice into each, and cool completely. Process each batch separately — starting with plain and ending with thyme — in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions for sorbet. Stir the finely chopped mint into the mint-infused sorbet once it has set. Stir the lemon zest into the plain lemon mixture when it has set. Place a film of plastic wrap directly on the sorbet surface in an airtight container and freeze until firm — about 1 hour.

Watermelon Pops

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Don’t be fooled by these frozen treats! Made from sorbet blended with mini chocolate chips, they’re a great cool down dessert on hot summer days.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup strawberry sorbet
  • 2 teaspoons mini chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup lemon sorbet
  • 2 drops green food coloring
  • wedge-shaped popsicle molds
  • popsicle sticks

Directions

1. To make a batch, mash together 1 cup strawberry sorbet, 2 teaspoons mini chocolate chips, and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl.

2. Put the mixture into wedge-shaped popsicle molds (we used six 2-ounce molds), filling each about two-thirds full.*

3. Spoon a thin, even layer of lemon sorbet on top. In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup lemon sorbet, 2 drops green food coloring, and 1 tablespoon water.

4. Spoon a layer into each mold and insert a popsicle stick. Freeze the pops for at least four hours.

Ice-cream Cookie Cups

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This summer, double your pleasure by serving your family’s favorite ice-cream flavors in edible chocolate chip cookie bowls.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. To make the cookie cups, beat together the shortening, butter, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg and vanilla extract, beating until combined.

2. In a separate bowl, sift together the salt, baking powder, and flour, then gradually stir them into the batter. Stir in the chocolate chips.

3. Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a flat disk, and wrap it in plastic. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

4. Heat the oven to 375º. Turn two 12-cup muffin tins bottom side up and cover 10 of the cup bottoms with squares of aluminum foil (use every other cup so there’s some space between them). Grease the foil with shortening and set it aside.

5. Unwrap 1 disk of dough, place it between 2 sheets of waxed paper, and roll it out to a 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out 4-inch circles of dough and place each one over a cup bottom, smoothing out any cracks. Repeat with the other disk, rerolling and reusing any scraps.

6. Bake the cookie cups for 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown. Let them cool for 10 minutes, and then remove the foil and cookies together from the muffin pan. Peel off the foil and let the cups cool completely on a rack. Just before serving, fill each cookie cup with a scoop of ice cream. Makes 10.

What are some other ideas that would make great frozen treats?

 

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Hot New Spring Nail Trends

Spring is finally here, which means no more mittens! Phew. It also means it’s time to get your nails looking their best. But why stick with a traditional manicure when there are so many easy ways to take things to the next level?  Check out our 3 most loved trends for this Spring!

Cool Ombré Trend

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Ombré patterns have been everywhere this season. The French word ombré means “shaded,” and in fashion it refers to pretty much anything that starts out one color and then slowly morphs into another. So, why not ombré nails? They’re easier than you’d think.

How-To: Start with shaped and buffed nails. Clean nails thoroughly with acetone polish remover. Do not use a base coat, as the blending for the ombré look will not work as well over a base coat. Work with one nail at a time so polish is wet enough to blend. Starting at the cuticle area, apply a blue polish in a thick layer, using a dabbing technique, about 1/3 of the way up the nail. Using a lighter, metallic-blue shade, immediately polish, starting where darker blue ends, and “drag” the end of the darker blue polish up the nail to the end with the lighter blue to create an ombré “fade” (so the colors look like they fade into each other). Continue this application with all nails. Seal nails with a quick dry-top coat.

The Glitter Trend

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After years of sticking to subtle shimmer on our nails—more flicker than glare—we’ve found ourselves besotted with the new mega-size glitter polishes. A little bit rebellious and very luxurious, this trend is flashy in the best possible way.

How-To: Working with one nail at a time, apply a layer of brush-on nail glue, then dunk your finger into a container of craft glitter. Shake off the excess and re-dip as necessary to get the glitter to cover the entire nail. Once all your nails are finished, apply another layer of glue to hold everything in place, then top with clear polish.

Half Moon Trend

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One of the easiest and quickest looks to re-create is the half moon. This trend focuses on the moons of your nails (the half circle on the base of your nail).  Instead of highlighting the tip of the nail, try showing off the half-moon shape near the cuticle of the nail. You can switch it up by using two contrasting colors or by leaving the half-moon completely clear. It looks tough to make but following my DIY steps you will realize it’s super easy and looks killer!  Let’s try together:

How-To: Leave the moon (the white, half-moon shaped part of your nail closer to the skin) of your nail bare (you can use half of a hole perforator to cover), and coat rest of nail with two coats of plum polish. Do high-arched tip in one coat of black polish (note: to achieve full effect, nails should be a pointed, triangular shape). Finish with a shiny top coat.

What nail trend are you wearing right now?

 

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Fun Ways to Get Your Kids Excited About Gardening

Involving children in fun gardening activities provides valuable opportunities to enjoy the spring and summer weather while helping to instill a love of nature in your little ones.

Kids can benefit from gardening in many ways. Not only does it teach children patience, it helps to improve life skills, a child’s well-being and forms a positive connection between the child and the environment.  Children not only learn the process of growing a flowers, fruits or vegetables, they get to experience the process using multiple senses. These experiences, along with hard work, encourage kids to respect their environment and learn how things within the environment work together.

Tips to get your Kids into Gardening:

  • Start with a story: Choose a selection of books that focus on different veggies you may plant, the process of gardening, and the overall impact that a garden can have on your family, community, and the environment. Books can plant the seed of excitement in your child and give her an idea of what to expect from her own garden.
  • Give them the Tools:   One thing is for sure, and that’s that things aren’t as fun when it’s hard to maneuver the tools needed to get the job done. Provide the kids with a set of tools their own size so that they can get the work done more easily and because they’ll like having their very own set that made just for them.
  • Get the whole family involved: Children find anything more exciting when there are others to share the experience with and garden is no exception. Pick the vegetables, wash them, bring them into your home, and talk about the ways that your family will enjoy the vegetables that they grew on their own.

Check out these fun gardening projects that your kiddos can enjoy!

Hanging Rainboot Garden

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This is a great way to repurpose those adorable little boots that your kids have outgrown (and that you just can’t bear to part with). You can also represent each member of your family with a boot!

What You’ll Need: Several pairs of rainboots, all sizes and colors (the more the better!), soil and seeds, a drill or awl, nails or hooks.

How to Do It: Drill drainage holes in the sole of each boot, and then again in the top of the boot for hanging. Fill boots with soil, plant seeds or plants according to directions and hang as desired using a nail or a hook on a fence or wall. You could also arrange the boots on the ground as a collection of colorful containers.

Letter Gardens

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It’s a gardening and spelling lesson all rolled into one! This project couldn’t possibly be easier, and the results will delight your kiddo.  It can be done indoors at any time of the year, so no worries if you don’t have a yard. Let your kid’s imagination go wild and help them spell out words, their initials — or even use this project to help teach your preschooler the alphabet.

What You’ll Need: Seeds, soil and containers for planting, preferably one that is tray-like.

How to Do It: Fill your containers with soil and use your hands or a stick to draw the outline of a letter. Carefully sow the seeds along the shape, spaced according to the directions on the packet. Water the soil daily until your seeds begin to grow.

Herb Terrarium

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It’s simple, fun and can be done indoors, and your kids will have fun decorating their mini-garden with bits and pieces they collect from around the neighborhood.  It’s super inexpensive and you don’t need to get down on your hands and knees.

What You’ll Need: A big glass jar or a bowl, two or three small herb plants, gravel, pantyhose or some other mesh material, moss and some small decorative items like shells or stones.

How to Do It: Soak your moss in water while you place two inches of gravel in your container. Place the mesh over the gravel. Arrange your plants in your bowl or jar and then fill with soil. Lay the moss over the soil where you want it and add your decorations.

How do you get your kids excited about gardening?

 

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