Valentine’s Day Breakfast Idea – Eggs in a Heart-Shaped Basket

I love adding sweet touches that say “I love you” throughout the day on Valentine’s Day. I usually start by making a special breakfast with a love-inspired menu. One of our favorites? Eggs in a Heart-Shaped Basket. This is basically eggs in toast, but just kicked up a notch for this special day.


Eggs in a Heart-Shaped Basket

What You’ll Need:

  • Eggs
  • Bread, toasted
  • Heart-shaped cookie cutter (heat resistant; silicone or metal)
  • Cooking Spray

Directions: Using cookie cutter, cut out heart from center of toast.



Heat griddle or pan on medium heat. Lightly spray pan and cookie cutter (both inside and outside). Place cookie cutter on griddle or pan. Gently crack open egg into cookie cutter.


Cover with a lid (this allows egg to cook via steam). Once egg is cooked (to your liking), remove cookie cutter and egg from pan using a spatula. Place the cookie cutter and egg into the toast, and gently remove the egg from the cookie cutter (you may need to use a small knife or spoon to help the egg separate from the sides of the cookie cutter).




Holiday Party Idea: Eggnog Soda Bar

One of my favorite things about the holidays is figuring out what new party I will throw! This year we will be hosting a few parties: gingerbread house decorating for the kids, holiday brunch, and a holiday open house. I am already planning out the themes, decor, and menu for each. One thing that I like to do for parties is to set up a self-serve beverage station. It’s a lot of fun for the guests and allows me to relax instead of having to serve everyone a drink. We’ve done everything from a cocktail station with a signature drink, a hot cocoa bar complete with all the toppings and a homemade soda bar that includes a variety of SodaStream soda flavors. This year we are putting a twist on the homemade soda bar by offering a holiday-inspired Eggnog Soda Bar.


For our festive Eggnog Soda Bar we made root beer, cola, and ginger ale. And of course, we had plenty of egg nog.


Plus, a few seasonal toppings. Whipped cream (which I wrapped in a piece of cardstock and added a cute chalkboard label to make it look nicer), cinnamon, nutmeg, and candy canes. You could even include sprinkles, cherries, shaved chocolate, and more.



A cute chalkboard sign lets guests know how to make their festive drink. Make sure to tell your guests to pour their soda in before the eggnog or else it will fizz too much.


The result? Delicious! These kind of taste like a root beer float with a twist!


Setting the Eggnog Soda Bar up was very easy with the SodaStream Play! We have been using a SodaStream for years now and love it. It’s a much healthier alternative to store-bought soda. It has less sugar and little-to-no caffeine (depending on the flavor). Over the years, Sodastream has also added a huge variety of soda flavors and they even offer natural sodas made with pure cane sugar. Both the kids and adults love it!




Another cool feature? The SodaStream Play now has removable skins in a variety of colors, patterns, and even designs to match your personality, home decor or party theme. I chose red for the holidays! Putting the skin is effortless as it is vinyl and is easy to lift up and reposition if you don’t get it lined up correctly. Right now you can get a code for a FREE skin when you purchase a SodaStream Play.


As you can see from the video below, using the SodaStream Play is so simple!

Additional Info:

The SodaStream Play would make a fantastic gift for the holidays. It would be perfect to give to a family, a foodie, cook, or anyone who wants a healthier way to enjoy soda. For additional information on the SodaStream Play, please visit

Semi-Homemade Thanksgiving Side Dishes & Desserts Ideas #HolidayExperts

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As you know, we have been hosting Thanksgiving at our house for several years now. We have a huge family! We typically have 20-30 family members join us for Thanksgiving dinner. That’s a lot of cooking! In the beginning, I used to insist on making everything from scratch. Now many years and turkeys later, I am singing a different tune lol. I now fully embrace outside help in many forms such as buying a few pre-made items that I either serve as-is (think dips for appetizers or easy cheese course) or I doctor to make my own or to incorporate into a more complex dish.


A great place to start if you need a little help this holiday season is at Boston Market – they have a variety of home-style menus all prepared using fresh, high-quality ingredients.


Semi-Homemade Thanksgiving Ideas from Boston Market

  • Skip peeling, boiling, and mashing potatoes! Add minced garlic, sour cream, and chives to pre-made Boston Market mashed potatoes.
  • Skip making corn bread from scratch! Use Boston Market corn bread to make cornbread stuffing, bread pudding, or serve as-is as your Thanksgiving dinner rolls.
  • Save time from trimming and steaming green beans and pick up pre-made green beans from Boston Market and turn them into the classic green bean casserole.
  • Turn Boston Market creamed spinach into a quick spinach pie made with pre-made pastry dough.
  • Turn Boston Market cinnamon apples into an apple crisp by putting into a baking dish and adding the “crisp” toppings.

We love bread pudding so we decided to try Boston Market’s Head Chef and Director of Culinary Innovation, Rik Kiessling’s, Corn Bread Pudding recipe. Of course we used Boston Market cornbread!


It is delicious and would be a welcome addition to your family’s holiday table!

Corn Bread Pudding Recipe

Corn Bread Pudding Recipe



  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Whisk together all ingredients.

Caramel Sauce

  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup Bourbon
  • 1 cup heavy cream

1. Mix sugar, water and corn syrup together.
2. Place in a pot and bring to a boil, and slow down to a slow simmer.
3. Cook the sugar until it reaches an almond color.
4. Remove from heat and add heavy cream and Bourbon.
5. Return to stove top for a quick boil and then remove from heat.
6. Set aside and let cool.

Bread Pudding

  • 8 Boston Market® Cornbread, cubed
  • 2 ½ cups bread pudding custard mix, see recipe above
  • ½ stick butter, melted
  • Caramel sauce, see recipe above


1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. With cooking spray, coat the inside of four 8 oz. soufflé dishes.
3. Place cubed cornbread evenly in soufflé dishes.
4. Pour custard mix evenly over cornbread, being careful not to overfill soufflé dishes.
5. Place on cookie sheet and place in oven.
6. Cook for 18 minutes.
7. Drizzle butter over the top of bread pudding.
8. To serve, drizzle with caramel sauce.


Did you know?

Boston Market has been open on Thanksgiving for more than 15 years! They served more than 1 million people last Thanksgiving, and expect to serve more than 1 million again this year. Boston Market’s home style menu items are all prepared using fresh, high-quality ingredients, and offer consumers a tremendous value.

In addition to full meals, Boston Market encourages customers to visit our restaurants to pick up any last-minute sides or pies they may need. If you’ve waited until the last minute or something happens Thanksgiving Day and you need sides, they’re open. If ordered in advance, Boston Market also offers a whole roasted turkey holiday meal for 12 for $99.99.

Visit for more information and make sure to check out Boston Market’s Celebration Hub at to find recipes, tips and other ideas for a stress-free, delicious Thanksgiving.


One lucky Jolly Mom reader will win a $250 Boston Market Gift Card! Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Quick Crowd-Pleasing Thanksgiving Appetizer: Apple Pie Dip Recipe

Disclosure 1

I’m a big believer in appetizers being simple and quick to prepare – especially on Thanksgiving when I am already spending several days before cooking and cleaning and getting everything just right in preparation for the big day. So today I wanted to share with you a to.die.for appetizer that is easy and quick to prepare, but is also a crowd-pleaser.  Hot Apple Pie Dip served with Triscuit and/or Wheat Thins crackers.


You guys. This dip is FALL on a plate. It is creamy and filled with apples and pecans and spices. The melted cheddar cheese on top makes it a little bit sweet/salty. And…it is served warm.


Total rustic, comfort food while still being an elegant dish perfect for the holidays. It is also an easy recipe to double or triple if you have are expecting a full house on Thanksgiving.

Hot Apple Pie Dip Recipe


Hot Apple Pie Dip Recipe


  • 1 tub (8 oz.) reduced-fat cream cheese spread
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 apple, chopped, divided
  • 1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped pecans
  •  WHEAT THINS Original Snacks and/or TRISCUITS


  • HEAT  oven to 375°F.
  • MIX  cream cheese, sugar and spice in medium bowl until well blended. Stir in half the apples.
  • SPREAD  into pie plate or small casserole dish; top with remaining apples, cheddar and nuts.
  • BAKE  10 to 12 min. or until heated through. Serve with WHEAT THINS and/or TRISCUITS.
  • OPTIONAL: Top with extra chopped nuts and apples for garnish.

Holiday Party Inspiration!

To get some fresh new holiday party inspiration, make sure to visit The Ultimate Party Planner. It features lots of yummy and festive holiday recipes (like the Apple Pie Dip recipe featured above) tested and tasted by bloggers along with tips on how to host the perfect party this holiday season. Plus, you can print Publix coupons to use for your grocery shopping this holiday season. Visit to get inspired and save!


Five Dishes On Our Thanksgiving Table

Disclosure 1

We have been hosting Thanksgiving for our family for almost a decade now. While it is definitely a lot of work, it is also one of our favorite holidays to host. We have family from both mine and Mike’s side of the family join us. There’s typically 30+ people, including kids. Mike and I spend days before cleaning and cooking and cooking some more lol. Even Lucas joins in to help and there’s usually holiday music playing in the background. It’s a lot of fun! Over the years, we have had some food hits and misses so today I thought it would be helpful to share five dishes (besides the turkey, of course) that always make it onto our Thanksgiving table.

Thanksgiving Dishes

1. Cheese Board: We used to make fancy appetizers for Thanksgiving, but we quickly learned that with all of the cooking you have to do for the main meal – the appetizers are a great opportunity to lessen your load and buy something pre-made. We always set out a cheese board complete with a variety of cheeses, hard salami and thin water crackers.


I usually pair this spread with some nuts and we’re all set! The other thing I like is that this doesn’t fill you up like a bunch of carbs and allows you to save room for the main event – turkey and all the fixings!

2. Sangria: Along with the appetizer, I like to prepare one large cocktail drink that everyone can enjoy during the evening. Our favorite? Sangria. It’s super simple to make. It’s festive. Everyone loves it!


I set it out on a table with appetizers, other drinks for the kids, and wine glasses and allow guests to help themselves.


3. Mashed Potatoes: I’ve tried to make all sorts of fancy variations of potatoes, but we always come back to the classic mashed potatoes. I like to infuse the milk with chopped garlic before mixing with the potatoes and I always add in sour cream and chives.


One more tip – don’t over whip your potatoes or they will get a glue-like consistency. I actually prefer mine with a lot of texture so I don’t whip them at all and instead use an old school potato masher.

4. Homemade Rolls: If there is ever a time to make your own bread, it’s Thanksgiving. The aroma of homemade bread baking in the oven is instant comfort and your guests will love it!


The key is to find the right recipe that allows you to make the rolls the day before (see my favorite recipe HERE). I use my bread maker to mix and knead the dough, then roll them by hand, pop them into a dish, and refrigerate until I’m ready to bake. Before baking, you’ll want to pull them out about 1-2 hours before to allow them to rise and come to room temperature before baking.

5. Pecan Pie: I used to not like pecan pie because it was overly sweet. Since it was a classic, I would still typically make one every Thanksgiving. A few years ago though, I started tinkering around with the recipe and created my own WITHOUT corn syrup.


My pecan pie is made with maple syrup and let me tell you…I now have to make TWO pecan pies every year and there is still never a crumb left over!

Get the Thanksgiving Look Pictured Above!

The personalized serving pieces, glasses, and pitcher pictured above are all from Personal Creations. The stoneware casserole dishes (round and rectangular) and the pie plate were all personalized with Thanksgiving messages rather than names. I think that is such a special touch that really speaks to the season! Plus, wouldn’t you be the best guest ever if the dish or pie you take to your Thanksgiving dinner was presented in one of these? The casserole dish or pie plate would be the hostess gift!




The cheese board was personalized with our last name and year we were married. I love how the cheeseboard neatly stores all of the cheese knives within itself (see picture above).

cheese board

And, my absolute favorite are the personalized glass pitcher and the Chalk It Up wine glasses! These wine glasses have a chalkboard base so that you can write each guests name on the bottom.



They are also etched with whatever message you’d like. I decided to have them etched with “Cheers” in different languages (i.e. cin cin, salud, salut, kippis, kampai, and more). I got twelve glasses each etched in a different language. These are now one of my favorite things EVER.







Fall Treat: Pumpkin Pie Spiced Muddy Buddies or Puppy Chow Recipe

Disclosure 1

Have you ever had muddy buddies – aka puppy chow? Every holiday season, we are guilty of whipping up an embarrassing number of batches of peppermint muddy buddies. They are slightly addictive. Ok, not slightly. Highly, highly addictive. We have been known to make a batch late at night because wejusthavetohavethemnow. This year I thought – what if I put pumpkin spice + muddy buddies together? The result is a perfect fall snack. We have been using Kellogg’s Krave Cereal to make all of our muddy buddies recipes since last year (which by the way if you don’t have time to whip up muddy buddies, Krave cereal all by itself will satisfy any late night sweet tooth!). It’s great because it is light and crunchy on the outside and has lightly sweetened chocolate on the inside. Consume at your own risk though. You might feel the need to make a batch in the middle of the night too.

Pumpkin Pie Muddy Buddies

Pumpkin Pie Muddy Buddies Recipe


  • 1 box chocolate Kellogg’s Krave Cereal
  • 11 oz White Chocolate Chips (White Chocolate)
  • 1.5 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 4 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • (OPTIONAL) Fall sprinkles


  1. Place cereal in a large zip top bag and set aside.
  2. Put powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice into a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, melt white chocolate chips by microwaving 30 seconds then stirring and repeating until melted (about 90 seconds).
  4. Pour melted white chocolate into the zip top bag with the cereal, close, and lightly shake until cereal is evenly coated.
  5. Pour cereal mixture into a large bowl, sprinkle powdered sugar mixture over the cereal and lightly toss until cereal is coated. Store in a sealed air-tight container or zip top bag.
  6. OPTIONAL GARNISH – add sprinkles when ready to serve.



Midnight Snack: Frosted Flakes®-Chocolate Chip-Marshmallow Cookies Recipe

Disclosure 1

You might remember that over the summer, I headed up to NYC for the Kellogg’s Recharge Bar, which featured elevated cereal and milk breakfast combinations (think lemon zest and thyme in your cereal – read more about it HERE). However, I missed the last night when the Recharge Bar was transformed into a nighttime, living room atmosphere and swapped the more traditional breakfast cereals for some indulgent treats and evening snacking options by the uber talented, Chef Christina Tosi of milkbar.

Chef Tosi at the evening Kellogg's Recharge Bar in NYC

Chef Christina Tosi at the evening Kellogg’s Recharge Bar in NYC

One of the treats served during the event were these decadent Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes®-Chocolate Chip-Marshmallow Cookies that Chef Christina Tosi created for the Recharge Bar. They are to.die.for. I know because I just re-created them at home and I’m sad to say…24 hours later they are all gone.




This cookie recipe has Frosted Flakes that have first been baked, which almost caramelizes the cereal. Um…honestly, I could have eaten a bowl of just the baked Frosted Flakes! When incorporated into the cookies, it gives them a delicious caramel flavor.


Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes®-Chocolate Chip-Marshmallow Cookies

Frosted Flakes®-Chocolate Chip-Marshmallow Cookies

makes one dozen cookies


  • 1 ¼ cups kellogg’s frosted flakes®
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ea egg, large
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat milk powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions: 1. heat oven to 300f. spread frosted flakes® onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. set aside to cool.

2. heat the oven to 350f. in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and light brown sugar on high for 2-3 minutes until fluffy.

3. on low speed, add vanilla and egg and mix to incorporate, about 1 minute.

4. on low speed, add flour, nonfat milk powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt, mixing just until the dough combines together. about 1 minute.

5. on the same low speed, add the cooled, toasted frosted flakes®, mini marshmallows and mini chocolate chips until the dough is evenly speckled with mixins, about 30 seconds.

6. drop or scoop the dough (about ¼ cup) onto a greased or lined baking tray, 3-4 inches apart from one another. pat down the cookie dough rounds with the palm of your hand.

7. bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until cookies have puffed, spread and browned around the edges. cool cookies completely on the baking tray before transferring to a plate or airtight container.

But you know what? While I love to whip up tasty sweet treats in my kitchen, I don’t always have the time or honestly…my waistline can’t take it. That’s why I love cereal. I have been enjoying cereal as an after-dinner treat for years! I love grabbing a small bowl of Kellogg’s Froot Loops or my new fave – Kellogg’s Krave, which I eat without milk – straight out of the bag. It’s really that good. It’s the perfect crunchy treat to have when watching a movie or when your sweet tooth attacks and you don’t want to blow your days calories on a bowl of ice cream or a dozen chocolate chip cookies lol!


Fun ways to incorporate the convenience and nutritional benefits of cereal beyond breakfast:

  • Serve Kellogg’s cereals such as Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes, or Krave as a kid’s treat during slumber parties or children’s events. It’s easy, delicious, and sure to be a hit!
  • Enjoy cereal alone or with milk as a movie night treat!
  • Cereal is the perfect treat to reach for when the midnight munchies hit or you get a sweet tooth attack!
  • Incorporate cereal into yummy treats such as the Frosted Flakes®-Chocolate Chip-Marshmallow Cookie. For additional Kellogg’s nighttime cereal recipes by Chef Cristina Tosi, click HERE.
  • Visit for additional information and recipes.



Fourth of July Rice Krispie Treat Sandwiches #Recipe

Disclosure 1

Just in time for Independence Day, today I’m sharing my delicious and very patriotic 4th of July Rice Krispie Treat Sandwiches. They are basically two thin Rice Krispie treats with a frosting filled center. Did I say YUM?! As you can imagine, these are a HIT with both children and adults.

4th of July Rice Krispie Treats FINAL


These treats are also adorable! They make a big statement, but they are so simple to make. Recipe below – enjoy!

4th of July Rice Krispie Treats-2

Fourth of July Rice Krispie Treat Sandwiches Recipe


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 10 cups JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows
  • Red and blue food coloring
  • 15 cups Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® cereal
  • White frosting (I use cream cheese frosting)

1. In medium saucepan melt 4 teaspoons of the butter over low heat. Add half of the marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Tint with red food coloring.

2. Add 3 cups of the KELLOGG’S RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.

3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly and firmly press mixture into a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

4. Repeat steps 1 through 3, using blue food color and firmly press into another baking sheet. Cool.

5. Using a star cookie cutter, cut out stars.

4th of July Rice Krispie Treats-3

6. Using a small spatula or knife, spread frosting onto 1 star and top with other color star.

4th of July Rice Krispie Treats-4

Celebrating Special Family Moments – Mickey Mouse Layered Jello Cups #DisneyJuniorFamilia

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Whether it’s The Disney Channel, Disney HD, or Disney Junior – Disney has been a permanent staple in our lives and on our television throughout the years. When Lucas was younger, he LOVED Disney Junior. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Handy Manny were his favorites.


Now that he has a little sister, he has been enjoying watching some of his old favorites again PLUS a few new ones like Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins! He’s a good big brother! And, to be honest … he will always have a special place in his heart for Mickey Mouse.

Meeting Mickey and Minnie Mouse for the first time in 2012

Meeting Mickey and Minnie Mouse for the first time in 2012


Seeing his buddy again in 2014

Seeing his buddy again in 2014


Amelia met Mickey Mouse at Disneyland this past year and they were best buds right off the bat!

Amelia meeting Mickey Mouse for the first time

Amelia meeting Mickey Mouse for the first time

As parents what we love about Disney Junior is that the shows are educational and age appropriate while still being fun and engaging for kids.

And, it allows us to take their beloved characters and create special memories. Whether it’s meeting one of the characters in person for the first time or simple moments at home made special with a special Disney-inspired craft, activity or yummy treat. Today, I wanted to share a simple, fun treat inspired by the beloved-by-all Mickey Mouse!

Mickey Mouse Layered Jello Cups

Mickey Mouse Layered Jello Cups


  • 2 (6-oz) box Cherry Jell-O
  • 4 envelopes Knox unflavored gelatin
  • 1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • boiling water and cold water
  • clear cups


Make the red layer: In a medium bowl, mix the red Jell-O with 1 envelope of the unflavored gelatin. Add 2 cups boiling water and stir to dissolve. Cool to room temperature and pour into clear cup. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, or until quite firm.

Make the white layer: In another bowl, mix sweetened condensed milk with 1 cup boiling water. In a separate small bowl, sprinkle 2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin over ½ cup cold water. Let stand for a few minutes and then add ½ cup boiling water to dissolve the gelatin. Add to the milk mixture and stir to combine. Cool to room temperature. Pour the white layer over the firmed-up red Jell-O layer. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until quite firm.

Glue two little white “buttons” to cup (I used white circle stickers). Hot glue black ribbon or bow on top of cup.

Mickey Mouse Jello Cup-5

Disney Junior News!

WATCH Disney Junior is a free app that allows kids to watch full episodes, clips and games of their favorite Disney Junior shows on a tablet, phone or computer in either English or Spanish!

  • Watch full episodes of your favorite shows anytime, anywhere.
  • Watch what’s on Disney Junior LIVE!
  • Play new games featuring some of your favorite Disney Junior characters (exclusive to Android apps)
  • Listen to music on Radio Disney right in the app

Your Child’s Photo Could Be Featured On TV!

  • Submit a photo on the Disney Junior Familia photo app on the Disney Junior Facebook page. Your photo could be featured on TV!


No Bake Holiday Treat: Peppermint Muddy Buddies Recipe #KChamps

Disclosure 1

One of our favorite holiday treats are Peppermint Muddy Buddies. They are the perfect treat to enjoy while watching a Christmas movie by the fire! Crunchy, sweet, and the peppermint adds a festive touch. They are so easy to make and do not require any baking at all, which is a big plus this time of year when we’re all incredibly busy.

Peppermint Muddy Buddies Recipe


Plus, there’s a twist! Instead of using a plain cereal – they are made with one of my favorite cereals – Kellogg’s Krave, which equals chocolatey goodness! It’s a crispy multi-grain cereal filled with chocolate. Yum!

Peppermint Muddy Buddies 4

One thing – these Peppermint Muddy Buddies are quite addictive. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! Enjoy!

Peppermint Muddy Buddies


  • 12oz white chocolate candy melts
  • 1-2 tsp peppermint extract (depends on what you personally like – I use 2 tsp)
  • 8 cups Kellogg’s Krave cereal
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup peppermint candy canes, finely crushed or pulsed in a food processor until it’s sugar consistency
  • 3-4 additional candy canes, coarsely crushed to use as garnish

Place cereal in a large zip top bag. Melt white chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, mixing until melted. Add extract to melted chocolate and stir to combine. Pour melted chocolate over cereal in bag; secure bag and shake until cereal is evenly coated in chocolate. Open bag; add powdered sugar and crushed candy canes to cereal, secure bag, and shake until coated.

Peppermint Muddy Buddies 2