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All old recipes and posts and NEW recipes and posts can be found at my new(ish) domain: themombob.com

I’m so happy that you’re here, and I really hope that I can see you over there!

I promise to have lots of yummy and fun new content regularly!

Coconut Joys: A Perfect Christmas Candy

I love Christmas treat plates!!!

But the last thing you want is a plate full of just cookies…you need a mix of seasonal treats!

One of my favorite things to add to the plate is my now most popular post of all time, Forgotten Cookies.

But another favorite, is these little Coconut Joys.

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While they aren’t as photogenic as the Forgottens, they are every bit as tasty and hours quicker to slap together. You won’t need to invest more than an hour, and only half of that time is spent actively working with these little joys.

Here’s what you need:

Coconut Joy Ingredients

These couldn’t be more simple.

You will want a nice portion scoop for these that’s about 1 tbsp. in size. I personally use this scoop from Pampered Chef. You’ll see these scoops all over this blog. You should get yourself a set.

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You’ll need to really pack the coconut mixture in there to ensure these little candies stay together.

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With my small scoop I always turn out 21 of these cuties, which is a very fun number. After they’re all balled up, I toss them in the freezer to harden up.

While I freeze them, I stick some chocolate chips and coconut oil into a warm oven. No more than 200° though.

I don’t like melting chocolate in the microwave. It’s far too easy to burn the chocolate and ruin it’s silky smoothness.

The coconut oil is there to soften it a little bit.

If you don’t have coconut oil, you can sub in some Crisco shortening for the same amount. This helps the chocolate to “shell.”

After your little balls of joys are hardened enough, you’ll pull them out and gently dip them in the chocolate.

I’m a real slob when it comes to melted chocolate. My stuff never turns out really pretty, but I’m okay with that. I’d rather have really tasty food than really pretty food any day. My hats off to the people who can pull off both though.

The easiest way for me is to stab the tops of my coconut balls with a toothpick and then dip the bottom in.

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After, I set them back on the parchment paper lined baking sheet, and when all is done, I toss them back in the freezer to harden, and once I can touch the chocolate without it rubbing off on my finger, I transfer them to the fridge for up to 1 week!

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Coconut Joys

  • Servings: about 20
  • Difficulty: quite easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
1/4 c. (1/2 a stick) melted butter (I always use and prefer salted)
1 c. sifted powdered sugar (or a scant cup)
1.5 c. sweetened coconut flakes
2/3 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. coconut oil (or Crisco shortening)

Directions:
1. Mix coconut flakes with melted butter.
2. Once coconut flakes are thoroughly mixed with the butter, sift in the powdered sugar and mix completely.
3. Using a 1 tbsp. sized portion scoop, tightly pack the coconut mixture into little balls. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
4. Place coconut balls on baking sheet in freezer to harden for about 20 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips in either the microwave or in a warm oven. I prefer to heat my oven to 200, place the chips inside, and then turn off the heat. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate or it will burn and turn lumpy. After it’s melted, I add the coconut oil and mix.
6. Remove the coconut balls from the freezer, and using a fork or toothpick, dip just the bottom fourth into the chocolate to create a little chocolate base for the candies.
7. Place back onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet, and repeat until all have a chocolate bottom. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes to harden.
8. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week, and in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Enjoy!

Christmas Gift Ideas: Preschool Boys (ages 3-4)

(Please note that many of the links here are affiliate links, which means that if you click through them and make a purchase, I may receive a small compensation at no cost to you! This helps me keep the lights on around here and my self-esteem from plummeting haha so I really appreciate any and all purchases you make through these links! And above all, I appreciate you stopping by to read my little blog! Thank you!) 

I love the concept of minimalist giving that I always see on Pinterest, but for my boys, I have to switch up the categories just a little bit! I like to get just one or two things from each category to give the boys a nice, but not excessive Christmas. I focus on quality toys that will last.

Here are the categories for the gifts we’ll be giving this year: 

Christmas Gift Ideas_ Preschool Boy Edition

(Just click the red links to be taken right to the items shown above!)

Something to Ride: 

These are perfect big ticket WOW gifts for Christmas morning! 

Radio Flyer EZ Glider Scooter

We love this one because it’ll be so easy to toss in the back of the Highlander to hit the trails down by the river. Our boys have been wanting scooters for awhile now! I’ve been picturing them in front of the tree on Christmas morning with a big red bow on the front of each one! And there’s no way I’m giving the credit to Santa for these gifts! I want the credit for making these two so excited!

EZ Roller Mini

These. Are. The. COOLEST. They make them all the way up to adult sizes too. Truly, they’re a blast to ride on. One of our local kids’ places has them for kids to play on, and my twins are obsessed. They holler “boom, baby!” anytime they get to ride one! It’s perfect for flat drive ways and garages and flat walking trails/sidewalks. Perfect for wiggly legs!

The Original PlasmaCar

This is the funnest little wiggle car, and while they don’t make it in adult size, you’re little ones will have fun on it for years to come! It’s great for kids who can’t quite bike yet, but want the thrill of riding something on their own. It allows them to move their body in a different way, and it’s suitable for indoors (no real hardwoods though). The kids’ place I mentioned above has these available as well, and my twins are just as big of fans. Perfect for wiggly arms!

Something to Build:

I’m a big believer in toys that allow for maximum creativity. My boys are very hands-on, and, like all kids, they thrive when they aren’t overwhelmed by mountains of stuff. These toys allow for lots of fun and learning for little ones and beyond. 

Tegu Skyhook Magnetic Block Set 

This is my favorite toy right now! Our boys are obsessed with this little set! I realize that the price tag might seem a little scary at first for such a small set of toys, but I assure you, you’ll get your money’s worth! My boys have played with nothing else for days now, and every creation they come up with a more cool than the last! Plus, the mess has been minimal for me >:) This is THE toy. And made from wood and painted in muted colors, it’s beautiful and durable. This is a set you can easily save for many years and pass on.

We already own the Helicopter set, but we bought this adorable car set for our boys for Christmas as well. It’s also part of the Tegu Stunt Team line, so it will enhance the Skyhook set we already own.

ZoZoPlay STEM Learning Toy: Tubular Pipes & Spouts & Joints

I bought this set for the little guys, and I’m so excited to see what they come up with! It’s a great toy at a great price and they can build so much! This is perfect for an activity bin intended for independent play!

Picasso Tiles 100 Piece Set 

Year after year, I recommend these to people. We’ve got 300 of these magnetic blocks, and there’s nothing else like them. I do think 300 is a great number, because the whole family can get in on the fun and we can build large intricate structures! Our boys love to build themselves into a tower only to come crashing out of it! These blocks are very fun and very durable and inspire creativity like no other!

If anyone in the family is reading this, please don’t give us anymore of these haha! 300 is our max, but we appreciate y’all for gifting us the 200 last year! ❤

Something to Wear: 

Big boys don’t always get excited about getting clothes, but preschool boys still get excited about everything! And these cute little tops will be sure to bring a big smile to your little one’s face on Christmas morning and beyond!!!

Dinosaur Sweatshirt

So we already have this one, and our boys just LOVE IT! The pocket unzips and has a mouth with teeth inside! So cute. And it’s big enough that my boys can squirrel away their little treasures for the day. So precious!

Dinosaur Jeans

We don’t have these…YET! But I know my boys would get a kick out of this entire outfit, and I love the slim fit jeans from here, and you cannot go wrong with an elastic waistband for preschoolers. Truly, I don’t know why anyone bothers buying pants with buttons and zippers.

Something to Play

These are awesome games to get the whole family involved! 

Feed The Woozle Preschool Skills Builder Game

I don’t have this game yet, but it comes highly recommended! I love that it has three different levels, so your children can enjoy playing it for years to come! Games like this promote a lot of great skills like cooperation, decision making, dexterity, and many others!

Disney Classic Characters Matching Game

We have a great set of memory cards that our boys love to play with! They can play alone, with each other, or, their favorite, playing with mom and dad! These are especially fun because of all the familiar characters!

Solar System Back Pack

I’m a real sucker for Pottery Barn backpacks. I love that they have so many outside pockets (especially those cupholders), and you can’t beat the size variety. The small is the perfect size for preschool through kindergarten.  Oh, and this one glows in the dark. Talk about major cool mom points!

Mini Squigz

My kids LOVE these! They’ll build with them on the tabletop or sometimes they’ll make these really cool designs on the windows with them. They love toting around a few, and I love how quiet and small they are!

Melissa and Doug Farm Cube Puzzle

My boys are officially too big for simple puzzles. Sniff. It’s crazy how smart they’ve become!! I love that this puzzle offers plenty of challenge, while being extra space-saving! I love that it’s a six-in-one puzzle! Melissa and Doug does it again!

Prioritizing Kindness Over Weight Loss: Intuitive Eating

I started this year with the same goal that I’ve had for as long as I can remember: To lose weight and to finally uncover the body that will allow me to have the confidence to live life freely and fully. To type that out feels silly. I don’t think I’ve ever verbalized it in so many words. To me, weight loss has always seemed like an essential. It’s always been something that has to happen before I can feel the confidence to be my truest and most authentic and successful self. It didn’t matter if was 11 and 85 pounds. It didn’t matter if I was 16 and just 105 pounds. It didn’t matter if I was 21 and 115 pounds. No matter what, in my mind, the weight has always been in my way. I needed to shed something. Before I could fully offer myself to the world, I had to find a way to make myself seem more palatable, and that, to me, translated to being skinnier.

I’ve never had a dangerous eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia. But ever since I can remember, I’ve always eaten my food with a feeling of guilt. Like it was something that had to immediately be burned off or feeling guilty and disgusted with myself for being hungrier for more than the suggested serving size. I’ve never been free of this lingering guilt alongside my food. In fact, I think that the only thing I’ve eaten without the feeling of guilt or shame is the idea that I have to be thinner to be more acceptable to the world no matter what size I am. I’ve accepted that idea over and over again. The world has fed me that, and I’ve gobbled it up. And it’s the only thing I’ve gobbled up without question or a second thought for the last 20 years.

Until very recently.

I started 2019 the same way that I have started every single year since I was a preteen. I took my weight and measurements and some pictures to compare myself to, and then I set out with a group of friends on what I now believe to be one of the most mentally destructive diets out there: Whole30.

I totally give up 10 days in when the plague hits our house. Giving up tastes amazing, but feels horrible because of all the guilt and shame. Another day, another diet.

By spring, I’m working out and fasting every Tuesday and Thursday and only eating in little 10 hour windows for the other days. I still feel guilty about the food I eat, and on the days when I don’t eat, I feel fatigued and cranky, but proud of myself because I’m not eating, but all I think about is the food I want to eat. Sometimes my friends go out and I want to join, and so I do and I eat and I feel miserable about it. I’m not really losing weight, and I’m dieting during the day and binge eating at night.

I’m working out pretty hard by June, and I’m feeling really awesome about it. I’m enjoying myself and my new-found strength. I’m excited to make this a routine. I’m not really losing weight, and that’s very taxing on my mind. I’m taking daily pictures in the mirror to see if I can catch the change, but I don’t and I eventually stop because it’s starting to make me cry. I don’t want to quit working out the way I am, so I know I have to stop feeding myself my own negativity.

It’s around this time that I start to consider a new kind of cleanse: a social media one.

I get on Instagram and I unfollow all of the fashion and fitness bloggers I had been following. I once regarded them as inspiration of who I could be, but slowly began to recognize them as representations of a standard I could, would, and should never be. These women are are sizes 00 and XXS. At my smallest as a CHILD just entering puberty, I was never an XS, much less and XXS. Some of these women were 5’5” and I’m barely 5’1”. I was comparing myself to bodies that my body can never be no matter how little I ate or how many hours I slaved away on a treadmill. I’m. Not. A. Model.

I eventually found that it was time to start adding variety to my mental diet. I started following body positive accounts. Some weren’t for me. But I found a couple that were. I also replaced Instagram fitness models with actual dieticians sharing real, evidence-based information. There wasn’t a skinny tea in sight on my feed. I even started adding in Enneagram accounts to give me some variety and fun. But the real game changer happened when I stumbled onto some intuitive eating accounts a few months ago.

It felt radical to me. No diet. I was already kind of adhering to the Delay, Don’t Deny principle of intermittent fasting, but, that’s still a diet. Intuitive eating is basically eating what you feel hungry for when you feel hungry for it.

W. T. F. No rules??

I was like, there’s no way to lose weight on that. And the more I read about it, the more I realized, yeah, that’s the point. The point isn’t to lose weight.

Let me say it again: The point isn’t to lose weight.

The point of life isn’t to lose weight.

You’re allowed to not lose weight.

I’m allowed to not lose weight.

I’m allowed to eat what I want, when I want, and to look how I look.

It was a radical idea for me. There were basically no rules. Just live. Live and try to let go of what the world has fed you about your body.

So, I decided to quit the diets. Right out of the gate, my body demanded a lot of food. Lots of major guilt-inducing foods. Sadly, I don’t need to list them for you to know which ones I’m talking about (you’ve probably felt guilty for eating them too. You shouldn’t.). But I just went ahead and said yes. I said yes every single time to every single craving.

And I stuck to this. I didn’t stop weighing myself because that’s a hard habit to break, and I noticed that my weight would go up after a very carb-y day, but it’d typically settle back down around the same weight. I also didn’t stop my early morning workouts because I really like those. They bring me joy. I did and still do give myself very gracious permission to skip them when I’m sick or tired. I didn’t used to do that and very much paid the consequences.

Over time, I’ve noticed that things are bringing me more joy and less anxiety. I’ve also noticed that I don’t think about food half as much as I used to, and my cravings aren’t in the driver’s seat anymore. I’m not going on these shameful “I start/re-start my diet tomorrow” binges like I used to. I actually existed for a few weeks with a package of Oreos in the house without touching them!!! I knew that if I wanted them, I could have them, and I just didn’t want them. I managed to do the same thing with ice cream in my freezer! Previously, a gallon of ice cream hasn’t been able to last in my house more than a couple of days! I also realized that I craved things like salad, eggs, steak, yogurt, potatoes, and fruits. My body was asking me for what it wanted and was readily telling me when it had had enough. I’m so much more in tune with myself and my needs. It turns out I’m not this crazy sugar monster that the Whole30 ladies were telling me I was. I’m just a regular human who has physical and emotional needs and I’m allowed to meet those needs. I just needed to really let myself know that I would meet them.

And because I’m not following all of these teeny tiny little women, I don’t feel absolutely distraught pulling on jeans that fit me. Sometimes I still feel a little disappointed when my “skinny” jeans don’t fit or when my waistband pinches, but I try to gently remind myself that I can just change. It’s okay to be comfortable. I still backslide into old thought and behavior patterns, but I know how to correct.

For the first time in my life, I feel very in control. And that really started with just letting go of control.

I noticed something huge this morning: I was nice to myself.

I’ve noticed that I’m starting to fit back into some old clothes that I kept. That hasn’t been my primary goal, but today all of my regular leggings were dirty, so I pulled out an old pair. I felt a little apprehensive at first. I vividly remembered how they started to feel when I abruptly gained weight and I remembered how much that made me cry. I pulled them on just to see if I could comfortably wear them for my errands, and they fit!!! I did have a sweet little muffin top that certainly hadn’t existed before, but they were downright comfortable. So, I tossed on a t-shirt and sweater. And as I made my bed I said this to myself: “I’m really proud of where you are. I’m really proud of how you’ve continued working out even when you didn’t see the results you wanted to see. I’m proud of how you learned to appreciate the good that was happening even if it wasn’t visible. You’re a good person.”

And sadly, I was a little taken aback by how nice and genuine that was. I typically don’t speak kindness to myself without some mental coaching, but this was totally unprompted and not even about the leggings or appearance. Normally, I would have harped on the muffin top and beat myself up for skipping the gym for sleep this morning. But I didn’t even think about that stuff. I just thought nice things about myself.

It was a welcome change that I hope to continue into 2020 and that I hope to encourage in others. ❤