Friday, May 8, 2015

What Kids Drink at My House

If I'm hosting my nephews on a school night or a week night, I keep everything healthy. They're offered the option of milk or water with their meal.

But if they're staying over for the weekend, or attending a special event (back yard camping, a holiday, a birthday party) then they get indulged with some sugary drinks they aren't allowed to drink at their own home.

Instead of sugary pop, I serve them fruit juice - still sugary, but at least it doesn't have caffeine!

On nights we haven't been eating birthday cake, we make root beer floats with A&W Root Beer. (I prefer the taste of Barq's, but it has caffeine. I don't need any more hyped up nephews!)

For years we've been alternating between Simply Lemonade and Simply Limeade for our summer weekend beverages. Next time I'll serve them a taste test with the two newest Simply juice flavors: Simply Fruit Punch and Simply Tropical.

Only one of my nephews likes cherry-flavored things, so he and I will have our own tasting party to check out the new Cheerwine Cherry Soda which we'll pick up at Cost Plus World Market some weekend soon.

I can't stand it myself (too sweet, and not chocolatey enough) but the only kind of hot cocoa my nephews will drink is Swiss Miss milk chocolate. I make it for them in the mornings and in the evenings if it's cool enough. I make it with milk, not water, and for one of the kids I add a sprinkle of cinnamon. They never, ever finish their hot cocoa though, after waiting interminable ages for the not-hot cocoa to "cool down." Wimps!

For holidays (especially Thanksgiving) it's our tradition to drink Martinelli's sparkling cider.

So far I can't get any of them to enjoy my own favorite - iced tea, unsweetened, made fresh in a pitcher set out in the sun. Maybe someday!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Retro Toy Kitchens for Favorite Aunts' Playrooms

I'm looking for just the perfect toy kitchen for my playroom. There are a lot of colorful (often crappy looking) plastic kitchens out there. I want my play kitchen to be attractive and to appeal to both genders, not just little girls. I'm leaning towards only buying a retro themed kitchen - the kids won't understand the difference, but I will love the way it looks in my playroom.

I estimate my play kitchen will get used just once per week, so I don't want to spend more than around $140 on it if possible.

This Kidkraft vintage red toy kitchen is tempting because it's not geared specifically towards girls. It does have a microwave, though, which of course an actual vintage kitchen wouldn't have had.

Here's the same kitchen in baby blue. This brings back fond memories of my grandmother's 1950s kitchen!

I'm voting an immediate no on this white retro kitchen playset. Too boring, and shows too many dirty fingerprints!

This retro pink kitchen is my personal favorite, but probably too girly to be practical. I have far more nephews than nieces. I like that it's more true to vintage kitchen history - no microwave.

The Kidkraft retro kitchen also comes in cranberry, but that's not an authentic vintage color.

This Bubblegum pink KidKraft retro kitchen isn't an authentic color either, but how fun!

Here's a simple pink retro stove with oven and sink.

I'm leaning towards this simple play kitchen in blue. It's actually more expensive than the bigger KidKraft play kitchens, but takes up less room in my busy playroom.

Which retro kitchen would you pick for your nieces and nephews to enjoy playing with, if this is your kind of thing?

Naughty Limited Edition Sugary Treats to Spoil Kids With

New from Nabisco for Summer 2015 - Cotton Candy Oreos. I love to spoil my nephews with treats they won't be allowed at home. I spoil in moderation, of course - I don't want to deal with a bunch of hyper little boys any more than anyone else does!

Let's check out some reviews of Cotton Candy Oreos from bloggers:

The Impulsive Buy

Junk Food Guy

Sometimes Foodie

US Magazine

And here's a weird recipe from The Domestic Rebel: Cotton Candy Oreo Bars and a Cotton Candy Oreo Truffles recipe from The Sweet Chick.

Nabisco is also bringing back the limited edition Oreo Reeses Peanut Butter Cups this summer as well.

I've picked up a pack of each at my local Target for my nephews to enjoy when we spend this next weekend together. I have a feeling we'll each eat two or three and then abandon the cookies for salty popcorn during our movie. I'm willing to throw these in the trash after the boys leave - Auntie needs to save her sugary calories for post-nephew-weekend cocktails.