This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GiveABox #CollectiveBias
Gather ’round, boys and girls, while I tell you a story from my childhood. I’ll get back to that deliciousness you see above in a bit, I promise.
It’s about to get all sorts of nostalgic up in here.
You see that white-blonde whippersnapper in the *really* 90’s floral dress with the huge white collar? That would be me at my 7th birthday party, getting what were most likely really loud kisses from my parents. You know the ones I’m talking about – the “MMMMMMMMWAH!” kind that last entirely too long, but are necessary when you’re trying to get a good picture and only have so many chances when it’s on a film camera with limited shots. I lived for those kisses. I’m an only child, so despite knowing that all the love was always directed 100% at me, I still knew appreciating that affection it was important.
Any only child can tell you that you learn the ability to entertain yourself, whether or not you’re making a conscious effort to do so. You learn what games you can play by yourself, you read books, you play on the jungle gym (and get really, really good at swinging high without help), you watch television. Another thing you learn in the process is independence.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s not like my parents were nonexistent or something. My mother stayed at home with me and my father worked a 9-5 job with the occasional need to travel. He’d even bring me with him to the office if he had to stop by on the weekend and I would print stuff out on his calculator (with the paper spool, by the way – how’s that for nostalgia?) and hand it to random people in the office while he did what he needed to do. I was just never the child that needed attention 24/7. As a toddler, I liked setting up my toys in my crib and “talking” to them while I waited for my parents to get up. When I was in elementary school, I would bring homework to restaurants so that my parents could talk amongst themselves and I wouldn’t be bored. I would even sing the “Happy Birthday” song to myself while everyone else was singing – you know, just in case they stopped, or forgot the words. My parents taught me to be independent, and they started teaching me that at an early age. One of the most memorable ways that I learned independence is also one of my earliest memories.
On the weekends, my father would cherish not having to wake up early to go to work and they’d set me up so that I could make myself breakfast if I woke up before them. I’m actually not sure why I said “if” I wake up before them – I always did. Even as a child, I’m pretty sure I had some crazy accurate internal clock that always got me up in time to watch my favorite shows. When I woke up I would use the potty all by myself (because I was a big girl, obviously), use the step-stool next to the sink to wash my hands, and then head to the kitchen. When I opened the fridge, I would find a sippy cup full of milk, a spoon, and a pre-measured bowl of Cheerios™ on the bottom shelf. I would pour the milk into the bowl and then plop myself down in the living room to watch TV. I’d be happy as a clam.
To this day, I will still sometimes pour myself cereal and sit on the couch in my pajamas. Mind you, I live alone, so if I didn’t… no one would. But still! It takes effort and motivation to get out of bed sometimes, especially after a hard, long week of work. As an adult, I now understand why it made perfect sense to teach me independence and let me make my own breakfast when it doubled as a way to sleep in. Props to the two birds, one stone approach.
Everything you read above is why I wanted to send my dad a box of Cheerios™ as part of their Give a Box offer – and frankly, it’s the least I could do as a thank you for all those weekends as a child. Here’s to hoping he’ll eat his on the couch while he watches weekend cartoons, too!
If you hadn’t heard, Cheerios™ has specially marked boxes of their original Cheerios™, Honey Nut Cheerios™ an Apple Cinnamon Cheerios™ with a “Buy One, Give One Free” marking on the front. Those boxes include a code on the inside that you can enter online to send someone a coupon (via email or snail mail) for a free box of Cheerios™. How sweet is that? You can make someone’s day, and it’s such a simple thing to do. Keep in mind, you’ll only find these specially marked boxes at Walmart!
I found mine on the back wall at the end of the aisle with soft drinks at chips, but they might be located at a different part of the store for you. Take note of the photo above – almost all the boxes you see are the normal Cheerios™, but you’ll notice on the bottom shelf that there’s one slot of the “But One, Give One Free” visible. It’s a great promotion, so I’m not surprised that they were almost gone! Just make sure you’re paying attention to the box you choose to ensure you get the right one that has the code inside so that you can redeem it here. Even if you’re not ready to redeem your code, you should check out the site anyway – it has a really lovely video and gives you more information about the mission behind this effort.
I wanted to use the box of Cheerios™ I had purchased to make a snack or dessert of some kind, and I realized that it would be so quick and easy to make bars out of them with only a few ingredients that were already lying around the house: Cheerios™ (duh), peanut butter, honey and chocolate chips.
All I had to do was:
- Combine the peanut butter and honey in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it until it was fluid
- Stir that mixture in a bowl with the Cheerios™ and chocolate chips
- Pour it into a dish and let it cool in the fridge.
The end! How easy is that?! I sliced mine up into 9 large bars, but you could easily slice them into more than that if you’re looking to make them more granola bar-sized to grab and go.
I’m sort of in love with these, and I’m fairly sure that the ease of making them is contributing to why this is going to become a default go-to at home. And even better is that if you use Honey Nut Cheerios™, you could decrease the amount of honey in the recipe. Or if you really love honey, keep it in! I’m not going to tell you how to live your life.
With whom will you share a box of Cheerios™?
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup honey
- 3 cups Cheerios™
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a microwave safe bowl, combine peanut butter and honey. Heat in 30 second increments, stirring each time until melted and easy to combine.
- In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter mixture and Cheerios™. Add chocolate chips and stir again to combine.
- Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and place in the fridge to set (30 minutes to an hour).
- Cut into 9 squares (or 16 smaller squares) and enjoy!