Mickey Muffin Molds

I love my food Mickey shaped! As you can imagine I was SUPER excited when I discovered this silicone Mickey muffin mold from The Disney Store. If you like making Mickey shaped foods this pan will delight you again and again.

What I love most about this muffin mold (aside from being Mickey shaped) is how easily baked goods slide out. The flexible silicone material really allows baked goods to pop right out of the pan after cooling.

I’ve been enjoying making these delicious banana almond meal muffins from The Minimalist Baker. Here’s how they turned out Mickey style.

Behold—the perfect Mickey shape!

I don’t recommend filling the molds all the way to the top or you’ll end up with a really thick Mickey muffin. (If you like your Mickey muffins thick then go for it!) If that does happen to you, you can always cut the muffins in half with a serrated knife (see photo below, sliced banana optional). Perfectly baked, all the way through!

I recommend that after filling the molds you use a baking sheet to transfer the molds to the oven. I found the molds can be wobbly during the transfer and the baking sheet really helps.

When it comes to washing you can flip the molds inside out which allows for easy washing. Yay!

These muffin molds are currently available at the Disney Store. In addition to baking you can also use the molds for candles, soap and these super fun Mickey crayons.

Happy Mickey baking!

10 Favorite Simple Self Care Tips

Self care can be hard when we are caught in the hustle and bustle of life. Trust me, I get it. We forget this but our relationship with ourselves is the foundation for all relationships. Treating ourselves with compassion helps us treat others with compassion.

What comes to mind when you think of self care? There is no right or wrong answer, self care is personal and means different things to different people. It may be treating yourself to something sweet every now and then or having a spa day. There are many ways to practice self care, and self care is all about you and what makes you feel best.

Here are my 10 favorite simple care tips.

Create Something

Whether it’s a sketch, a coloring book, a craft, or something tasty in the kitchen, getting artistic allows us to feel mindful and offers an outlet. Make more art.

Explore

I love adventuring and exploring new places. Sometimes it’s a new hiking spot or trying out a new coffee shop or a new food. When you go someplace new your mind naturally wants to observe and focus on your surroundings, which gives it a break from your day-to-day routine. Wherever the place may be, it’s great to see and experience something new! Adventure is out there!

Exercise

Exercise gives you something else to focus on besides the endless items on your “to do” list. It’s also a great way to help your body produce endorphins and reduce stress. Move your body.

Get outside

Get outside and walk around. Take a few deep breathes. Fresh air and sunshine can really change your perspective. http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/90720.html

Spending Time with Friends

Spending time with your favorite people is a great way boost your mood.

Music

Music is an amazing way to de-stress. Whether it’s listening to it in your free time or going to a concert, music can almost always lift your mood.

Meditate

The business of life can fill our minds with chatter. Daily meditation can help melt that chatter away. In its place come feelings of peace, calm and a sense of awareness. I love guided meditations. Apps like Headspace, The Calm app, Stop, Breathe & Think both have something to offer for beginners and experienced meditators.

Sleep Enough

I know it can be hard especially when you feel you have tons to get done, but give yourself this gift and notice how it changes your life. Studies show not getting enough sleep leads to making poor choices and decreases in the hormones that help us regulate appetite and body weight. Are you getting the recommended 6-8 hours/night? 

Revamp Your Space

If you have the option, redecorating is a great way to give an area new life. You don’t have to go all out and it could be as simple as reorganizing or clearing out physical clutter. Anything to give your space a little flair can change your attitude for the better. By building a space that feels warm and inviting, you establish an inviting retreat for when tough times arise.

Do Something Just for You

Paint your nails. Take a bubble bath. Read a book. Enjoy a special meal. Watch your favorite Disney movie. Do something relaxing just for yourself!

Whatever it is you do, do something nurturing that brings you joy. Don’t put off taking a needed break or having some me-time. Create a better relationship with yourself.

What are your favorite ways to self care?

Valentine's Strawberry Oatmeal Smoothie

Valentine’s Day is approaching so I thought I’d spread some love with a pink strawberry smoothie recipe because I love smoothies! It’s my go to breakfast. It’s quick, refreshing, and I can bring it on the go in my Mickey cup on busy days with the kids.

I like adding protein to my smoothies as it helps me stay satisfied longer. Some protein options are Trader Joe’s Vanilla Flavored Soy Protein Powder or Vega One French Vanilla All-In-One Nutritional Shake.

This smoothie is a classic banana strawberry flavor with a creamy texture that’s awesome for breakfast or a snack. The oats add an extra boost of protein and fiber. Bonus: kids love it!  

Much love to all! 

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Valentine's Strawberry Oatmeal Smoothie Recipe 

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Find Movement You Enjoy

I never thought I'd enjoy exercise, let alone have it become an integral part of my life.  I struggled with exercising consistently but everything changed when I discovered an exercise that made me happy.

I registered for a 10K at Disneyland because I figured if I did start incorporating exercise in my life I might as well train to run a race at my favorite place. When I first started training it was hard to find the motivation to start and when I finally did I couldn't run a mile. I kept at it, found buddies to join me, set some realistic goals and discovered a love for running! I've completed four half-marathons in six months and am looking forward to many more.

Since I found my exercise mojo with running, exercise is now a consistent and enjoyable part of my life. Here are my tips to help you learn how to enjoy it too.

Make it Fun (Woohooooo!)

Fun is big motivational factor. I used to associate my workouts as a hassle, but I discovered that running gives me the opportunity to be outdoors and I can keep it fun by snapping a photo or two of views along the way.  Keep it simple and get creative. You might have to try a few different exercises before you find what works for you.

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Find a Workout Partner

Working out with others may give you the motivation you need. I find it hard to skip a workout when my buddy is expecting me to show up. A partner is also great motivation to take your fitness to the next level.

Embrace Variety

Every day is different and your exercises can be too. On days when I can’t get out for a run I like to do a short home workout video. If your only free time one day is your lunch break, go for a walk (great for mind and body!). Find ways to move more and try to build movement into your day.

Set a Goal and Make a Plan

Decide what you want to accomplish before you work out and stick to it. Setting a goal can make your workouts fun because it gives you something to strive for. I like to plan my workouts on my calendar so that I stick with my training, especially when preparing for a race. Make sure your goal is reasonable: it should challenge you, but not be impossible for you to accomplish. (But don’t fret if you have to adjust your goals, reality can be like that.)

Whether exercise is your passion or just a means of staying healthy, it's important to find something to enjoy in every workout. Here's me crossing the finish line at the Star Wars 1/2 Marathon at Disneyland, smiles and all! It all starts with a decision to get up and move, and you too can find something you love to do.

Do you have an exercise you enjoy?