Dear Readers,

How many of you are beach lovers?  As I mention in my previous blog, Playing with Water, there are so many great images of children on the beach with big smiles and wagons loaded with essential gear!  As a beach lover myself, I treasure my beach days and aim to savor every moment of it.  Now that we are in August I brainstormed some tips to make your beach trips expand over a week!

1.    Create an Activity Calendar/ Include Beach Trips on it- An activity calendar is a great way to map out the week while also offering an opportunity to ask each other what you want to accomplish.  If your child’s love language is quality time, this is a great way to fill their emotional tank through making plans.

2.    Designate Responsibilities for the Upcoming Beach Trip– If your children are old enough, they can be responsible for packing their sand toys or beach bag for the upcoming day.  This is a great activity for the day prior and a subtle way for a child to start demonstrating their independence.  

3.    Baking/ Cooking a Special Treat for the Trip– Baking is a wonderful activity in that it is tangible and incorporates many cognitive skills as well.  We often create special treats for other occasions in advance of the party so why not the beach! (I have included a favorite recipe at the end of this post.)

4.    Collecting Seashells/ Rocks at the Beach for Future Crafts– While at the beach a scavenger hunt is a great activity and what better to collect than seashells!  Seashells are wonderful for crafts to be painted and decorated with trims, etc.  This is an activity that can be done the day after the beach and allow an opportunity to reminisce on your special day out.  

Bonus Tip!!!  I am super excited to share this next tip with you.   Are you ready?!?  Always have Baby Powder in your beach bag!  Why you ask?  Baby Powder is a simple remedy to get beach sand cleanly off your skin.  After you leave the beach and you are trying to get that last bit of beach sand off your feet sprinkle baby powder on your skin and simply rub.  The sand come right off!  I never go to the beach without it and it never fails me. 

As our summers gradually draw to a close and autumn approaches, I hope you all get in as many beach as your calendars will possibly allow!  If you are looking a new recipe to try out, I have included my recipe for chocolate hazelnut cookies.  I pray these tips and recipe will help you make the most of these precious days.

Love Always, 

Kristina Lucia xoxo

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies Recipe

INGREDIENTS FOR COOKIES:

·       2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

·       ½ cup of chocolate coco

·       1/4 teaspoon baking soda

·       1 teaspoon of baking powder

·       1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

·       1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

·       1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

·       1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

·       1/3 cup (firmly packed) dark brown sugar

·       1 cup granulated sugar

·       1 large egg

·       1 teaspoon of hazelnut extract

·       ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

PREPARATION

1.    In stand mixer, beat butter and sugars together till light and fluffy.  Add egg and extracts to the mixture.

2.    Gradually add dry ingredients to this mixture.  Once fully combined, cover the bowl and refrigerate. (Most recipes recommend 2 hours, but I highly suggest refrigerating the dough overnight).  

3.    Preheat oven to 350°F

4.    Coat the counter and rolling pin lightly with flour and roll out the dough.  Use cookie cutter shape of your desire.

5.    Lay out cookies on baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes.  (I recommend that you keep an eye on your cookies to make sure they do not overcook.  Every oven is different!)

6.    Once the cookies have cooled, eat and enjoy with loved ones.