Getting Your Kids To Open Up

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FavoritesInAMix #CollectiveBias

Lately, Scarlet and I have shifted into a nighttime routine that just seemed to happen on its own. Cassidy was out or busy or working a few times, and even though he’s been the bedtime guy for years now, ever since I was pregnant with Des and then also handling a newborn, I enjoy putting the kids to bed. I enjoy the process of putting one, two, and then three blankets over her – no matter what time of year it is. I enjoy the back scratches, strange questions, and short stories. Only recently did she want me to tell her real stories from my childhood and young adulthood, rather than the made up “door in the floor” stories I had been telling her since toddlerhood. In many ways, this is exactly why I always wanted to be a parent before this.

I’m a storyteller and I always will be. And I have a lot to say. Yet, what about what I want to hear?

With our long Alaska trip and having the kids go to “Nana Camp” for nine days, as well as getting a little lost in the shuffle of daily life – camp, school, friends, activities, learning, reading, writing, sports, whatever, I miss my girl sometimes. It’s not that she needs me less than she used to, but it’s that she is having longer intervals of time away from home. This is growing up. This is what I want for her, but I miss her gorgeous face – and more importantly – the words that come out of her mouth.

I was shopping at Target, unsurprisingly, and I found four NEW Pillsbury™ Girl Scout™ flavored baking mixes in the baking aisle. I’m always looking for products that bond Scarlet and me together. They excited us quite a bit in four flavors:

And, here are the flavors!

1. Girl Scouts® Caramel & Coconut Blondie Mix
2. Girl Scouts® Caramel & Coconut Cookie Mix
3. Girl Scouts® Thin Mints® Brownie Mix
4. Girl Scouts® Thin Mints® Cupcake Mix

So of course I picked up a couple so I could let Scarlet decide which one she wanted to make together. I was a Girl Scout when I was just a little older than she is, and some of my favorite memories of my troop meetings were when we baked together! In the fall, we made caramel apples and cupcakes. In the spring, we sold cookies. I love that my favorite cookie flavors can now be found in brownies or cupcakes. This is a special memory for me, and now it’s time to make more for her:

The Pillsbury™ Girl Scout™ flavored baking mixes are so easy to use, and they come out so beautifully! I love the chocolate mint taste, and the ganache is probably my favorite part, although the cupcakes are equally good. It melts in your mouth!

Pillsbury™ Girl Scout™ flavored baking mixes are an easy and creative way to bring loved ones together, with the products and flavors that everyone loves. Clearly, I’m a fan. We bonded quite a bit while baking together over the weekend.

And so, it got me thinking about the best ways to get our kids to open up to us, so that we don’t miss too much.

Five Things You Can Do Together to Get Your Kids to Open Up to You:

1. Of course, I’ll say this first. Make a meal or bake a snack or dessert together. It requires concentration, but there’s also downtime. Notice the conversation openers and jump on them! Also try to listen before instantly jumping in to offer advice.

2. Teach them something. Whether it’s something you love – in my case writing and photography – something new that they love, or a new skill, it creates so much opportunity for conversation. Like when Scarlet taught herself to tie her own shoes!

3. Have a picnic together! They say to make sure you connect with each of your children every single day, and I love to have one-on-one picnics with mine. We talk about everything buzzing around us, and also about the deeper things on our minds.

4. Build “special time” with each child into your routine, every day. If that’s bedtime, great, because that’s when I can tell my kids all the stories that mean so much to me, and pass along the most special memories I have to the people I love most.

5. Stay open and available. Listen. Look them in the eyes. Respect them. Always be there. You know, just like you’re doing.

Pillsbury™ Girl Scout™ flavored baking mixes bring us together in conversation and love.

Finally, how do you get your kids to open up to you? Do you like baking? What flavor of Pillsbury™ Girl Scout™ Baking Mixes looks best to you? Right now, there’s a Cartwheel offer at Target. Save 20% off purchase of product from 7/31 – 10/1!

Grilled Corn Tacos With HERDEZ® Salsa

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AuthenticSalsaStyle #CollectiveBias

What if I told you I had the perfect outdoor grilling recipe that suits all tastes?

I do! What do you think of tacos? I think highly of tacos. Sometimes it’s a matter of throwing things together over the stove, in the oven, or even in the microwave. Although when company is coming over for a summer barbecue, sometimes you have to take tacos to the next level! About a month or so ago, Cassidy discovered some incredible local corn tortillas and decided to brush them with olive oil and grill them before turning them into tacos! The result was delicious for all of us, unsurprisingly.

Sometimes you have no choice but to get outside and GRILL your dinner.

When you think of outdoor entertaining and grilling, and how to prepare your shopping lists, menus, and backyards for a get together or barbecue, what do you think of most? I think of fresh and crisp foods. I think of avocado. And I think of salsa.

HERDEZ® Salsa Casera is fresh, delicious, and centered around delicious flavors. It’s perfect for enjoying time with your family and friends. When it’s a party in the summer, or even a gathering for Game Day in the fall, we love salsa.

As much as I do love dipping chips into salsa, I love it as a key ingredient in our grilled corn tacos. The taste is fresh and tart – and ties all of the beef, cheese, and vegetable tastes all together. I personally spoon about four or five tablespoons per one taco. That way you get the great taste, as well as the other tastes in the mix. Then use sour cream or more shredded cheese as a topping and dig in! We buy our HERDEZ® Salsa Casera at Walmart as well as our ribeye steaks. One stop shopping.

The other night, my father-in-law and brother-in-law were due over for dinner and we had spent our day sweating at a local theme park in New Hampshire, while my husband was at work. Needless to say, we needed to get something good on the table, and fast, for a nice outdoor dinner we could have while watching the kids play in the yard. First we took the corn tortillas, brushed them with olive oil, and grilled them into perfect hard tacos – ready for their tasty toppings.

Then we grilled them for about 3-4 minutes on each side until they got crisp.

Then it was time for an array of fresh ingredients, including grilled ribeye and HERDEZ® Salsa Casera.

Now it’s recipe time!

Grilled Corn Tacos With HERDEZ® Salsa

Grilled Corn Tacos With HERDEZ® Salsa


  • Your favorite homemade or store-bought corn tortillas
  • Olive oil
  • Grilled ribeye steak - chopped up
  • 1 bottle HERDEZ® Salsa Casera
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Avocado
  • Fresh tomatoes - diced
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Refried beans
  • Hot sauce
  • Seasonings


  1. Grill your ribeye or other beef of choice until finished
  2. Brush the corn tortillas with olive oil and grill at 400 for 2-3 minutes each side until crispy
  3. Pile with desired toppings
  4. Set corn tortilla back on grill until cheese melts
  5. Enjoy!





Herdez Salsa

Our favorite tips for hosting an outdoor get-together:

1. Pay attention to the weather – and have a backup plan for sure!

2. Keep your guests comfortable with plenty of food, water, shade, bug spray, and sunscreen.

3. Have plenty of seats.

4. Make sure the lighting and music are planned!

5. Lastly, be creative! Have games, pools, balls, and plenty of ways to entertain the kids, and the adults!

Get recipe inspiration and beef nutrition information at “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.”