Sunday, December 8, 2013

Advent Days 4-7: Snowmen Ice Cream, Grinch Floats, & a Christmas Parade

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

We're enjoying our Advent calendar activities and tonight will be one of our favorites.  For Day 7, we headed  downtown for our local Christmas Parade with friends and family.  We look forward to this tradition each year.

The last few days have been delicious and fun!  Our advent activities included making Snowmen Ice Cream and Grinch Floats for deserts and the local parade and dinner out with family.  The deserts are both easy but a lot of fun for special holiday treats and our local parade is a family tradition from when I was a little girl.

Snowmen Ice Cream are easy to throw together with any of your favorite candy treats.  We used Vanilla Ice Cream, don't judge me on that huge bucket of ice cream in the background!  I used Twizzlers for the arms, some Reese's Christmas Bells for his hat, M&Ms for the eyes and buttons and mini chocolate and peanut butter chips for the nose and mouth.  Of course, you can decorate him anyway you like or let the kids do it and have a great time.  I also put some whipped cream around the bottom to be the extra snow around him.

Grinch Floats are even easier but so cute and yummy!  I bought some lime sherbet and filled the cups with it, packing it down just slightly.  Once the glasses were full, I added some Sprite and topped, of course, with whipped cream. 
Grinch floats are fun to drink while watching the Christmas move, "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" together.  When my daughter, Alyssa, was little she was afraid of the Grinch but my 2 year old nephew loves him and enjoyed him at the parade last night!

In order to get good seats and parking, we arrive several hours before the start and hang out.  My sister, my niece, and the girls.
Which brings us to the parade.  Having lived within the area most of my life, I've been coming to our local parade each year for as long as I can remember and so have my siblings and all of our children.
Chance and my nephew hanging out while waiting for the parade to start.
  It's a family tradition we look forward to each year and we followed it up with some hot, "home cooked" food at Cracker Barrel.  Enjoy some of the photos I took last night. 
My sister and brother in law.  As you can see, much of the day and evening is spent waiting and trying to keep warm, but since we're with family, it's a huge part of the enjoyment!

I hope you're enjoying our Advent activities series and finding some ideas to begin Christmas traditions with your families.  If you're enjoying other advent activities or Christmas fun with your family, leave us a message, we'd love to share in the joy and I'm always looking for new ideas for my own kids!
As always, the grand finale is Santa's arrival!

 For more fun ideas I found for Christmas, follow my Christmas Pinterest board.  For more photos of life at The Egg Basket, follow us on Facebook

Blessings to you and yours,

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Advent Calendar with Activities & a Creamy Hot Cocoa Recipe

The Christmas Countdown Begins...

It's that time of year again!  I can't believe it's been a year since I posted about our Advent calendar last year.  So much has happened but it feels as if the time has passed so quickly.  Things are definitely different this year and, for once, I'm on time with my Christmas Calendar Countdown post!

If you read last year's post, you saw our adorable advent calendar that I (somehow) sewed for the kids a couple of years ago.  This year we're doing something simpler.   If you're worried it's too late to start this tradition with your family this year, it's not.  Since we just moved a few months ago (and as embarrassing as it is, I'm still unpacking) I went with a simple solution.  I labeled Christmas envelopes with Scrapbook numbers 1-24 and then slipped our advent activities cut outs into the envelopes.  We hung them from some beads left over from decorating the tree and different lengths of ribbon.  Super easy and just as fun!

For the activities, I drew some easy pictures on labels and then stuck them to construction paper and cut them out.  Easy-peasy!  The kids could do it for you! 

To start the year off right and get everyone in the holiday spirits, I always begin playing Christmas music in the house and in the car (when we're not listening to our literature on CD).  Don't have a lot of Christmas CDs laying around?  No worries, I've been spoiled the past couple of years by Pandora radio on my laptop.   Simply type Christmas in the search box and you'll be blessed with tons of Christmas tunes.  There's just something about Christmas music that gets me in the mood- I even feel happier cleaning! 

Then it's time to get the Advent calendar out and begin our countdown!  Here's my basic plan of activities, since I was unsure of the dates on some activities, the great thing about using the slips of paper is I can always switch them around before the kids open them!

Day 1: Sip Hot Cocoa (recipe below) while we decorate the tree.
Day 2: A Family Game Night
Day 3: Elf some friends and family & a little box of Christmas chocolate as a surprise for the kids while we went to the houses.
Day 4: Snowman Ice Cream Deserts
Day 5: Make Ornaments
Day 6: Grinch Floats
Day 7: Local Christmas Parade with my Sisters, Brother, & Their Families
Day 8: Bake Cookies & Decorate them Together
Day 9: North Pole Breakfast- Santa Pancakes & Hot Cocoa
Day 10: Make Gingerbread Houses
Day 11: Write Christmas Cards and mail to friends and family.
Day 12: Christmas Skate with our friends from our local home school co-op group
Day 13: Christmas Pez containers & Pez candy
Day 14: Drive around the area and look at Christmas Lights (Scavenger Hunt?)
Day 15: Hot Cocoa & Christmas Chocolate
Day 16: Put up their small trees in their rooms
Day 17: New PJ's
Day 18: Bake Cookies & decorate to give away
Day 19: Ring Pops
Day 20: Camp out in the family room under the Christmas tree
Day 21: Visit the Washington, D.C. Zoo & the National Tree with my sisters and their families.
Day 22: Christmas candy treat
Day 23: Watch a Christmas Movie together with popcorn & drinks
Day 24: Christmas Eve!  Open 1 small gift!

As you can see, I've used Christmas chocolate or Christmas candy treats a couple of times in there to give us (me!) a break on those hectic, busy shopping days I know I'll face.  Since I don't allow them to have candy often, it's a real treat for them.  I'm hoping to cut those down by a few as the month goes on and I have a better idea of my time.  Again, those are the easy days for me so if I happen across a tough school day or event that gets moved around, I can move those slips of paper in and switch things around.  They're my little saving grace when the day gets crazy as can easily happen!

We're going to try to photograph the fun and share some of it.  Of course, in the midst of the glorious holidays, we're still running the farm, homeschooling, taking care of each other, and getting the day to days done.  I also won't forget the reason for the season and we'll be celebrating our Lord and praying constantly throughout the season!

My Creamy Hot Cocoa Recipe
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa (we used the Hershey's Dark cocoa)
Dash salt
1/3 cup hot water
3 cups milk
1 can (15 oz) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Mix sugar, cocoa, and salt in saucepan and stir in water.
2. Cook and stir over medium heat until it boils and boil (stirring often) for 2 minutes.
3. Stir in milks and heat (still stirring often)
4. Add vanilla
5. Remove from heat and top.  We used whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles to top ours.

Monday, November 25, 2013

doTerra Essential Oils Giveaway! Enter to Win!

essential oil giveaway

Essential Oil Giveaway

Just in time for the holidays!

Sponsored by:

Jenni Hulburt

of the

Nature Fed Wellness Movement

You can find more information about Jenni's doTerra Essential oils here! And please take a moment to visit Jenni's website here!

My friend over at The Self Sufficient Home Acre posted a review here!

Jenni Hulburt is a health and fitness expert, creator of the Inspire Workouts, and author of the Dirt Detox. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and a Master’s degree in Kinesiology (Sports Psychology). As a certified American College of Sports Medicine – Health and Fitness Specialist, Jenni creates fitness, nutrition, and wellness plans for people who want results in their body and their life. She is an educated researcher in exercise psychology, and has formally studied body image perceptions, chronic pain, exercise adherence, and motivation. Through personalized coaching and inspiration, Jenni helps you commit to your health and happiness, leave excuses in the dust, and move.

The Giveaway!

The Essential Oil Gift Set includes 5 ml bottles of 3 amazing essential oils in a a wooden gift box! Retail value of this Essential Oil Gift Set is $25.50! This would make a wonderful gift for a friend or loved one, or a great kit to pamper yourself through the busy holiday season!

Wild Orange essential oils can be used for digestion, immune support, depression, and anxiety.
Peppermint essential oils is good for pain, digestion, hot flashes, allergies, and sinus congestion.
On Guard essential oil is a blend of wild orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils that help to fight off viruses and bacteria. It can be used for mold, sinus infections, cold/flu, and is great during the winter to stay well (and it smells like the holidays).

How to Use Essential Oils

  • Aromatically: Put a few drops in a diffuser to purify a space, affect mood, or help the respiratory system
  • Topically: Dilute 3-5 drops with a tablespoon of carrier oil (like fractionated coconut oil) and apply to affected area or to bottoms of feet. Note: Use 1-2 drops diluted for children and babies.
  • Internally: Add drops to water or empty gel capsules, and swallow. Great for the immune, digestive, and urinary systems.

Jenni's Favorite Ways to Use Wild Orange, Peppermint, and On Guard Essential Oils

  • Diffuse wild orange for depression, add it to water to aid digestion and detoxification, or apply it to the back of your neck for energy.
  • Rub peppermint (diluted for sensitive skin) on stomach in a clockwise direction for digestive issues, apply to sinuses as an anti-inflammatory, or diffuse for respiratory congestion.
  • Add On Guard to water and gargle morning and night, apply to bottoms of feet (diluted) for immune system support, or dilute in spray bottle with water or white vinegar to clean.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Blue Silkie Cockerel For Sale

For sale : Blue Silkie cockerel, 6 months old.

Meet Oreo, a young Blue Silkie cockerel from one of our Blue/ Splash breeding pens.  We've kept Oreo as one of our future show birds and breeders and grown out this gorgeous boy over the past 6 months. 

He's as sweet as can be and loves to cuddle and talk.  We're all head over heels for him and had planned to show him this week at the local Virginia Poultry Breeder's Association's 2013 Fall Show.  He's gentle with kids and seems to get along with any of the ladies and even most of the roosters as long as they're not being aggressive towards him.

Oreo has nice, black feet with proper toe spacing.  As you can see from his picture, this little man has a full beard and is growing in a nice crest.  His crest and cushion are still full of pin feathers and his cushion is already decent for a young cockerel.  When  he's standing properly, he's also showing nice type.  Can you tell we love this boy?

Unfortunately, Oreo began to grow in some leakage over the past month.  He has gold leakage around his hackles and so he won't make the final "cut" for our program.  We have too many others growing out to keep him based on this flaw. 

We would love to see Oreo go to a good quality, loving home.  For this reason, although we have him listed for $25 on most of the poultry selling sites, we're willing to sell him to one of our readers or customers for only $15 to a nice home where he can be the only male with some ladies of his own.  Kids would be a plus as he dearly loves my son. 

Our small farm is located in Partlow, Va or we can deliver Oreo to the VPBA Fall Show this coming Saturday since we will be there for the kids to show their other birds.  We would love to find the perfectly matched home for Oreo as he means a lot to us.  Thanks!


Friday, November 15, 2013

Hatching through the winter - an Outdoor Brooder!

It's been awhile since I've posted so my apologies for getting so far behind!  Moving all of the animals, coops, pens, and so on (not to mention the human stuff) proved to be a big job!  Partner that with the busyness of the farm season and then starting home school again, time ran away without me!

As you'll know, I love to hatch- okay, I admit it, I'm a hatch-a-holic!  It's true, I'll cave into the label!  There's something so addicting about bringing those little lives into the world and watching them grow and develop into beautiful birds.  Anyway, as breeders striving for the best birds we can create and getting as close as possible to the Standards of Perfection, a LOT of hatching is required so it's good that I enjoy it.

Hatching throughout the winter also sets us up for good timing.  Winter chicks are ideal candidates for Spring pullets ready to lay and produce their own chicks.  It allows them time to grow out enough for me to go through them and be able to easily "pet out" those that don't meet my breeding program needs when the Spring chick buying is in full swing.

Our challenge has been that my dear husband does not enjoy the dust and dander from having so many chicks inside the house.  Inside the house?  Yep!  That's what he asked, but it's been a necessary "evil" (my evil grin here because I love being able to see the little ones at night) in order to keep them safe and healthy.  Chicks are babies, after all, and they need heat, constant and regular temperatures, clean food and water, and since they haven't yet grown in their feathers, they can't be brooded outside in the winter!  Right? 

Before moving the farm, we had an unfinished basement, what use to be a garage, that we used for brooding the chicks.  My husband wasn't thrilled about the idea but it didn't cause him to have to deal with the dust or poop so he tolerated it.  Then we moved to our dream house.  Here we are and SO unbelievably happy but we didn't have an unfinished basement.  Luckily, the entire house is finished.  What to do with the babies?  I tried keeping them in the laundry room but he quickly decided that wasn't going to be a permanent brooding room.  What to do?  I simply suggested that if he wanted them moved, he should come up with another option for us! 

To my surprise, he did!  I love that man!  He gets major husband points for building us a brooder that we can use to hatch throughout the winter OUTSIDE.  Could it really be?  I was skeptical, even up until the first night, rushing out to check on them over and over but it worked! 

The real test came this past couple of nights, it has been COLD here, dipping in the 20's with a fierce, bone chilling wind but as Chance and I trudged out back to the goat shed where the brooder is kept, freezing ourselves, we only found little fluffy babies chirping away happily and running around without a care in the world!  They're perfectly comfortable and healthy and I have a happy husband! Happy mama, happy husband, happy household, right?

It wasn't rocket science either.  He built a large box essentially using 2x4s and plywood.  We put it on legs to keep it off of the ground (away from mice and other pests). 

I had him build it deep to keep critters from being able to grab at my babies but long because I plan on hatching a lot and I need the room to grow them out properly all winter.  With the cold in Virginia, they'll need to be warm until they fully feather out. 

He put two doors on the top so we can easily reach the waterers and feeders as well as any chicks.  I had him add latches with locks to the side of both doors.  This keeps out predators (human and animal) and protects them.  You'd be surprised how smart raccoons can be, I've heard too many stories of them opening doors and latches to not add tough latches and locks. 

He also added the ventilation to the doors.   This part worried me the most at first.   Frostbite on chickens is caused by lack of ventilation and too high of a humidity in cold air and not by the cold itself.  Chickens also pick up respiratory infections from coops that are too tightly sealed and do not provide adequate ventilation.  Many well intentioned flock owners create infectious and even colder environments for their birds unknowingly by not providing proper ventilation.  You want to ensure your coops and brooders are free of cold drafts but adequate in ventilation.  We all need fresh air flow, especially birds being cooped up together in cold weather. 

Dampness can also be a detriment in the cold weather but we can ensure that's not an issue by keeping the brooder dry and clean.  It's always a good idea to check the areas around the waterers especially well.  We're using large flake pine shavings in our brooder and the chicks have a tendency to kick the pine into the water and then get the water in the pine surrounding the waterers.  A quick and cheap remedy is to elevate the waterers (and feeders) slightly with something.  We used a thin board we had left over on top of the pine.  We put two waterers and a feeder on top of that central to the brooder. 

Lastly, we needed heat!  As I said, chicks are covered with fluffy, sweet down.  Although adorable and cuddly, it's not a good insulation so the babies must be kept warm by external sources.  Naturally, this would be a mama hen.  Although I'm never short on broody mamas since we raise Silkies, I don't want all of my mamas tied to the coop in the cold.  Instead, we added heat to the brooder.  My husband cut a hole to fit the heat lamp in the center of the coop.  This gives the chicks plenty of room on either side of it to back away from the heat source if they get too warm or move into it together if they get cold.  This is very important to their health.  A chick will die of a heat stroke as quick as they will freeze to death. 

The general rule of thumb is to start your chicks off in a brooder around 95 degrees and then reduce the temperature 5 degrees each week until you reach a room temperature.  When we first started out, we were VERY methodical about this.  Each brooder had it's own thermometer (or two) and we checked it often.  The more we brooded, however, the less we relied on the thermometers and the more we depended on the chicks behavior to determine the proper temperature for them.  If your chicks are all dispersed evenly in your brooder, hanging out, eating, drinking, playing, and sleeping you're good to go.  If your chicks are all cuddled up and piling together under your heat source- they're chilled and need more heat.  Silkies are pilers anyway and it's nothing short of heart breaking to find a little chick smothered because they were chilled or in a draft and they all piled on to get warmer and accidentally smothered the chicks on bottom.  If they're all huddled up in a corner as far away from the heat source as they can get, panting, and/or holding their wings out from their little bodies, they're too hot and you need to lower that source.  Once you get the hang of it, you may certainly keep the thermometers to help monitor their heat for extremes but you'll quickly learn their signals. 

***Safety Note*** These types of heat lamps (especially when using the red heat bulbs) are known to melt at the socket and drop the HOT red lamps into the bedding, starting fires.  If you choose to use these, ensure you use chicken wire or other wire to cover the bulb so if it melts, it can not drop onto your babies or into your brooder and start any fires.  Although we're currently using these, we fashion wire very well all around the lamps and plan to begin with the Sweeter Heaters in the new year. ***

Having easy access to the brooder was important to me because I am the one that does the sanitizing and cleaning.  I had him add two large doors to the top that folded upwards and cut them wide enough that I'd have plenty of elbow room to get the dirty pine out and clean pine in as well as room to move with my scrub brush.  We also built it to my arm length for that reason.  A simple cinder block on the ground under it gives the kids easy access to check on any of their chicks as well for pasty butt, foot issues, weight gain, and overall health. 

The next step was painting the brooder so it would withstand the elements.  We chose a Barn & Fence Paint in a classic Barn Red and I love the color!  We moved it into the (empty) goat shed area and I now had my outdoor brooder and chick "room". 

I'm thrilled with the new brooder and the ability to continue my year round hatching while making the dear husband happier having a chick free home!

How are you'll doing?  Are there any other hatch-a-holics out there who are hatching all winter? 

Friday, November 1, 2013

I am Thankful for...

Today is Nov 1, so although, as busy as things get here, I can't PROMISE to post everyday, I'm going to try really hard to post what I'm thankful for each day. Please, feel free to join me and let us know what you'll are thankful for also! I'd love to share in your blessings! Today, I'm most thankful for my Lord & Savior! That I can be a mess, a wreck, a sinner, a mistake-maker, selfish, lazy, proud, grumpy, a waster, ungrateful, and more yet I'm forgiven and taught through life and His word to strive to be better and do better and love deeper because He loves me! Okay- your turns!!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pinspiration Post- Homemade Lara Bars & Granola Bars

Pinspiration Post #1 ~ Homemade Snacks

I have to admit, I enjoy my Social Media.  Sharing photos and chatting with readers, other breeders, friends, and family on Facebook, sharing photos on Instagram, and checking out all of the amazing ideas on Pinterest can be fun and informational.  The challenge is, as a homeschooling mom of 3, wife, homemaker, family cook, blogger, farmer, breeder, youth club leader, co-op teacher, etc. I really shouldn't be "wasting time" on Pinterest, right?  So what's a lady to do?  There are SUCH fabulous ideas on Pinterest that COULD help me out, be enjoyed, and be fun for the family!  My guilt-free idea was that I must at least use some of the ideas I find rather than just drooling over them all and pinning them to boards to never be looked at again.  With that idea came this post, my "Pinspiration" trials whether they are a success or a total failure, I'm going to share them here with you'll!

This first week I decided to give some healthier, homemade snacks a try.  I've been eyeing some homemade Lara bar recipes for some time now but never took the time to grab the ingredients.  Once I decided I'd post about it, I buckled down, put the ingredients on my shopping list and gave them a try.  Most of them came out SO well that I just HAD to try the granola bar recipe I'd printed out and stashed in the same "To Try" pile.  Although I made some mistakes, they were really good as a whole and the kids actually ate them up! <3  Getting them to go crazy over healthy, easy, grab and go snacks was all it took for me to want to share them.  Here are the Pinterest Homemade Snack Recipes I tried this week.  You can find these and other "Real Food" ideas and recipes on the board labeled as such on our Pinterest page here.  There are so many other ideas on here I'm definitely going to be trying soon so keep an eye out for other Pinspiration posts from me!

First and foremost are those homemade, healthy Larabars I mentioned. 
I began buying Lara bars for my kids after reading about them on the 100 Days of Real Food blog last year.  A pack and go snack with 5 ingredients or less?  AND one that will help my kiddos to stay "regular" (sorry for TMI! but it's so true!)?  AND one that they will actually enjoy and ask for?  I'm all over that!  I loved the Lara bars and became an instant fan but they do tend to be a little pricey AND homemade is always my best choice.  When I saw the Pin for Jessie Monds "How to Make Homemade Larabars" I was on it.

Her genius is not just the taste (which is extraordinary- no exaggeration!) but the simplicity!  These things are SO easy to make and even easier to tailor to your own tastes!  Now that I've made all three of her recipe flavors, the kids and I have tried them with different dried fruit and nut combinations!

The basic steps are:
1. Process your nuts (and any coconut, sunflower seeds, etc. if you're using them) and salt in your food processor until they make nice crumbs.  Pour them in a large bowl and add in any chocolate chips.
2. Process your pitted dates (and any other dried fruit called for in the recipe) until they start to come together in a sticky mass. 
3. Add the sticky, chopped fruit to your chopped nut mix and mash it, knead it, work it with your hands.  Sort of like you do with bread dough until it's nice and mixed together. (Let the kids all grab chunks of the new flavor you're trying.)
4. Press it into your 8x8 lined pan and refrigerate until set.  It takes a couple of hours for them to set really well.
5. Cut into bars and store in the refrigerator.  I also found that if we're taking them with us somewhere for snacks and lunches it works best to freeze them the night before, they do get mushy in the heat. 

There are three flavors we tried-

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough- didn't stick together as well as the others- it could have been my processor

2 cups raw cashews
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts (we used almonds and they were delicious so we're sticking with almonds)
2 cups pitted dates
1/2 cup organic mini chocolate chips (we used dark chocolate chips because of the heart healthy benefits)
Pinch of sea salt

This was the first flavor I tried and it was a hit all around.  I did have trouble with it sticking well.  The dates didn't process as well as I would have liked in my food processor and I ended up cutting many by hand.  In hindsight, I'm fairly certain this is why they didn't "form" well.  Rather than bars we could pick up, we found ourselves eating the bits with a fork but the flavors were amazing!

Chocolate Cherry Pie Torte - Hands down the kids' favorite
1 1/2 raw cups cashews
1/2 cup almonds or pecans (we used almonds)
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup organic dark chocolate chips

This was the second flavor we tried and it went MUCH better than the first.  The cherries helped the dates go through my processor easier and it became the sticky ball it was supposed to.  The dried cherries adds an awesome tangy flavor we all loved.  This came in a close second to my favorite and was hands' down the kids favorite flavor.  I've already had to make more of these for them!

Coconut Cream Pie - MY favorite
2 cups raw cashews
1 cup organic unsweetened coconut
1 cup pitted dates
1 TBL melted coconut oil
1/3 cup organic dark chocolate chips
Pinch of sea salt
Process the melted coconut oil with the dates.

I can only say, "YUM!"  This one is delicious if you're a coconut fan- it tastes like a Mounds bar, seriously.  The coconut oil helped my food processor chop the dates easier and they formed much easier than the first batch.  I DID make an oops and add too much coconut oil which I corrected by doubling the rest of the ingredients and making two batches of these.  No harm there, they're amazing and still didn't last long around here!  The kids aren't the big coconut fan I am so while they enjoyed them, this wasn't their favorite.

Homemade Granola Bars

Okay- my third and final Pinspiration snack trial was from Two Peas and Their Pod.  These are No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars.  I know, it sounds like a party in your mouth kind of snack, doesn't it?  It is!  After searching through my Pinterest boards, I had my fourth recipe to try and I'm SOOOOO glad I did.  The Larabars were delicious but these were even better- these are completely snack-worthy! As in, the kids would eat them and not ask for deserts instead snack-worthy!  I made all of these for a recent APA-ABA Youth Poultry Club meeting I hosted at the house and these granola bars were gone in the first ten minutes! Seriously, kids LOVE them!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Yield: 8-10 bars
These no-bake granola bars are easy to make and kids and adults love them! They are perfect for picnics, lunch boxes, or snack time!


1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup crispy rice cereal
3/4 cup chopped pretzels
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips


1. Cut out an 8 x 8 inch square of parchment paper. Place the parchment paper in the bottom of an 8 x 8 inch baking pan.
2. In a large sauce pan, add butter, brown sugar, honey and peanut butter. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to bubble. Once bubbling, cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

3. Stir in the oats, crispy cereal, and pretzels. Stir until well coated. Pour into the prepared pan. Press the mixture evenly into the pan. Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips over the top and gently press into the granola bars with your hands.
4. Place the bars in the refrigerator and let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Cut into bars and serve.
Note-I store the bars in the refrigerator. I've kept them in the fridge for up to a week and they are still tasty!

So, there you have it!  I actually made four recipes for the kids from Pinterest this week! I'd definitely say that makes up for some of my Pinning minutes!  No wasted time here!  I enjoyed taking the time to create this post and discovering new recipes that had just been pinned to my boards WAITING for me to use them!  Thanks to you'll for the motivation!  Give these recipes a try, they're great for this time of year with the running around summer seems to create and stop back by and leave comments about how they worked for you!   Check back with me next week for my next Pinspiration!