Library Elf

I have a love/hate relationship with libraries. I love getting all the books I can possibly ever want to read, but I hate keeping up with due dates and pesky little things like that. Believe me when I say that overdue fine and I are well acquainted.

Today, though, I think all of that has changed! Check out Library Elf. All you have to do is create a Library Elf account and link it to all of your library cards. It will remind you through email and/or rss when your books are due, overdue, and when your holds are available. The best part for me is that I can manage all three of our family’s library cards in one spot–no logging into and out of my library’s site multiple times just to see if we have any books due. I think I’m in love…


The Best Trail Mix Ever

trail mix, cheez its, cashews, M&Ms, peanut butter chips, craisins, cheerios

I have three boys and they are always hungry. One of the biggest problems I face in my homeschool is food. This is how my day used to go…get up fix breakfast, eat breakfast, clean up breakfast, do a little school, fix snack, eat snack, clean up after snack, do a little more school, fix lunch, eat lunch, clean up after lunch. Well, you get the picture. I decided enough is enough, so since I can’t stop feeding them breakfast and lunch I decided that one thing I could do was tame the snack monster.

Now I’m not one of these people who believes kids shouldn’t have snacks. I think a healthy, well timed snack can help them do better with their school work and keep the grumpies away. The big question always is, what do I feed them for snack and how do I make it simple for me? The answer? Trail Mix. And not just any trail mix, you need to make The Best Trail Mix Ever.

Now snack time is so easy. I cut up an apple or two and give them a small portion of trail mix and they are good to go. Try it! Your kids (and you) will love it.

4 cups Honey-Nut Cheerios
4 cups Cheez Its
4 cups window pane pretzals (also known as snaps), broken into pieces*
2 cups cashews
2 cups M&Ms
2 cups peanut butter chips
2 cups craisins

Mix it all together in a very large pot and store in sealed containers.

trail mix, cheez its, cashews, M&Ms, peanut butter chips, craisins, cheerios
*Here’s the type of pretzals you need
trail mix, cheez its, cashews, M&Ms, peanut butter chips, craisins, cheerios

And this is about the size you need them to be. Just pinch them between your thumb and finger and they will snap into 2-4 pieces. If you don’t do this, the pretzals won’t mix well with everything else.

trail mix, cheez its, cashews, M&Ms, peanut butter chips, craisins, cheerios

I store mine in Tupperware cereal containers, but of course any sealed container works well.

This recipe is so simple and there are many variations to help keep it fresh and new each time you make it. There are tons of different types of Cheerios, Cheez-its, pretzals, nuts, craisins, and small candies you can try. The kids watched ET for the first time a couple of weeks ago and were begging to try Reese’s Pieces. So the next time I made the trail mix, I traded the peanut butter chips and M&Ms for Reese’s Pieces and chocolate chips. You could do plain or apple cinnamon Cheerios, white cheddar or spicy Cheez-its, there are even different flavored craisins. You could use Ritz Bits peanut butter crackers in place of the pretzals and peanut butter chips.

I’d love to hear if you make this! Enjoy!