---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday, June 30, 2014

Creative Candy Ideas for Party Time with Zours! #ZoursFace #shop #cbias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Yesterday was Jamie's birthday, so the kids and I planned a fun family party for him. We had cake, presents, and his favorite Mike and Ike candy---with a little twist! It's always been a tradition to wrap up some movie snacks for Dad on his birthday, and Mike and Ikes are always included. 

This year we bought him the new variety, Zours, since we knew he'd never tried them before and would love them. We found them in the Walmart candy aisle with all the other movie candies. Zours are like Mike and Ikes with a sour coating that makes you pucker! There are five flavors in the box---my favorite are the sour blue raspberry.

I had some cupcakes in the freezer, so I decided to play around with them the day before and see how these Zours would look on top of frosting. They looked pretty cute---just like giant sprinkles! 

At present time, the kids all gave him the things they'd made for him, then it was my turn to give him the family gifts. I gave him the Zours first, since I knew he'd be expecting a box of candy anyway. He was surprised by the new version of Mike and Ikes and thought they were pretty awesome! 


After Jamie was done opening all the presents, I brought out his cake. He had asked for pound cake frosted with my cheesecake fruit dip. I decided to use my sprinkles idea and decorate his cake with the Zours too. He thought it was a fun idea and joined the kids in guessing which color they'd get on their piece of cake.

Since the party yesterday morning, there have already been special requests put in for more Zours in the house. In fact, I was out buying Jamie more this evening only to come home and find that the he and the boys had finished off the birthday box---and took this lovely #ZoursFace picture of themselves. Ugh. What am I going to do with these guys??

Want to try Zours for yourself? Check these lists: list #1 & list #2 to see if there's a Walmart demo in your area!

#Collective Bias

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Homemaking Party: 4th of July Crafting

It's a thundery ol' day out there today so we're all inside being crafty and relaxing. Lynzie played piano and read her book all morning. The boys played Legos, the little ones played in their room, and Selah and I worked on paper crafts. Selah made a cute paper doll and I prepared my package to mail for Sue's Patriotic Banner Swap at It's a Very Cherry World. I love rainy, inside days like this!

Thanks for stopping by the Homemaking Party!
Linking with:
Homemaking Party @ Hope In Every Season
Thursday Favorite Things @ Katherine's Corner
Thriving Thursday @ Serving Joyfully
Homeacre Hop   
Think Tank Thursday @ Saving4Six 
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home 
Create It Thursday
Open House @ Bernideen's Tea Time Blog 
Share Your Cup Thursday @ Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson
Inspiration Friday @ Dear Creatives
Anything Blue Friday
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Foodie Friday @ Rattlebridge Farm 
Beverly's Pink Saturday @ How Sweet the Sound
Pintastic Party
The Creative Collection @ Craft-O-Maniac
Link Party Palooza
Show and Tell Saturday @ Be Different, Act Normal
The Party Bunch
The Art of Homemaking
Inspiration Monday @ Your Homebased Mom
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Motivate Me Monday 
Modest Monday @ The Modest Mom 
Living Proverbs 31
Inspire Me Monday @ Create With Joy 
Masterpiece Monday @ BoogieBoard Cottage 
A Round Tuit @ Creating My Way to Success 
Make It Monday (paper crafts) 
Monday Funday @ C.R.A.F.T. 
Making Your Home Sing Monday

Monday, June 23, 2014

How To Help Your Kids Deal With Severe Weather -- Duracell Batteries #PrepWithPower #shop #cbias

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

They say the tub is a good place to take shelter during a tornado, but with our big family, I'm not so sure that helpful hint applies! When Jamie was offered a job in NW Arkansas last fall, we had only one reservation about moving here: tornadoes. Since then, we’ve decided to do our best to take the threat seriously, without letting fear consume us. Everything’s more bearable when you add some silliness! Being prepared for severe weather is important in our part of the world, so we decided to make that part fun, too. In addition to the essentials like a weather radio, phone app, and a well-practiced plan of action, I've also come up with a fun kids pack idea to keep the little ones' minds off of the stormy weather outside. Since the loss of power is a major part of severe weather, Duracell batteries are essential additions to our kids packs.

I buy all my batteries at Walmart. Their battery center is conveniently located near the checkout aisles, so I don't have to head back to the electronics section every time I just need to grab a quick pack. They're always well-stocked with lots of different sizes. 

Duracell has always been a trusted brand for us as they're long-lasting and affordable. Batteries are a hot commodity around our place. You wanna make one of my boys happy? Batteries. Batteries are the answer.

Each of my younger kids has a pack specific to their own interest. This one is 5 year old Avalon's. She's got a snack, a water bottle, coloring and reading books, a pair of socks, a battery-powered game, her flashlight lantern, and fresh batteries.

I like to keep individually wrapped snacks on hand that can be put into their packs. Granola bars and fruit snacks are good choices because their shelf lives will last through the whole season. (Don't forget your medieval armor to protect you against flying debris!)

Ok, so no one has actually done the tornado drill with the medieval helmet on---but I do have them wear bike helmets and bring a pillow to put over their heads. When I was a kid growing up in Oregon, we had earthquake drills. The main thing they'd try to drill into us was to cover our heads, so I want my kids to get in that habit too. Avalon also loves to bring this little flashlight that doubles as a lantern.

Lynzie brings along her battery-powered book light. Our shelter-in-place spot is one of our bathrooms because it's the only room with all interior walls. Since we don't have a tornado shelter or basement, this is our next best option. It has actually really surprised me how many of my friends don't have a tornado shelter or basement. In fact, I took a poll tonight on Facebook to see how my local friends handle severe weather alerts. I'll post the results at the end of this article, but one of the biggest surprises to me was that the majority of those polled think that 50% or less people in our area have a safe shelter plan when a storm hits!

Handheld, battery-powered games are another fun thing my kids like to include in their packs. It's a good distraction for them and helps release some of that tension and worry that comes with the fear of the unknown. (The boys are pretty good about the eyes, nose and mouth protection---but I think they need the girls' lessons in head protection!)

Here are the results of the poll I conducted with my local friends tonight. 

 Do you live in an area with severe weather? Besides, the obvious essentials, are there any fun or silly things you do with your family to help lighten things up during a storm? Make sure to grab a Duracell coupon so you'll be stocked up on batteries if your lights go out!


#PrepWithPower  

#CollectiveBias

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Low-Cost Pregnancy Tests from Kisses From Above

Is there an official disorder for compulsive pregnancy test taking?

With 10 pregnancies so far, (we lost a baby in 2007) you can imagine how many pregnancy tests I've taken in my life! Waaay too many to be spending $10 or so every time I couldn't be patient and just had to know NOW! I'd heard about companies that offered testing strips for a much lower price, but had never actually seen them or tried them out.



My friend, Kendra, and her family run a home-based Christian business called, Kisses From Above. She sent me a generous trial package of pregnancy and ovulation tests---must-have items if you're like me and praying hard for more little ones to love! These are the same type tests the doctor offices use and are just as accurate as the store bought tests.

Besides the very inexpensive pregnancy and ovulation strips, Kisses From Above also offers books and fertility products, including supplements, at an amazing price. Right now, they've even got a sale going on for all Fertility Herbal Supplements.


Make sure to sign up for the newsletter, at the bottom of the site, to hear about upcoming sales, giveaways, and more; as well as to receive fertility tips and other great info!


Thanks so much to Kisses From Above for the opportunity to review your great products! This post contains affiliate links. I was compensated with products for this review and all opinions are honest and are my own.


Thanks for stopping by the Homemaking Party! Hope you're all having a lovely week!



Linking with:
Homemaking Party @ Hope In Every Season
Thursday Favorite Things @ Katherine's Corner
Thriving Thursday @ Serving Joyfully
Homeacre Hop   
Think Tank Thursday @ Saving4Six 
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home 
Create It Thursday
Open House @ Bernideen's Tea Time Blog 
Share Your Cup Thursday @ Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson
Inspiration Friday @ Dear Creatives
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Pintastic Party
The Creative Collection @ Craft-O-Maniac
Link Party Palooza
Show and Tell Saturday @ Be Different, Act Normal
The Party Bunch
The Art of Homemaking
Inspiration Monday @ Your Homebased Mom
Motivate Me Monday 
Modest Monday @ The Modest Mom 
Living Proverbs 31
Inspire Me Monday @ Create With Joy 
Marriage Monday
Making Your Home Sing Monday

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Prepping For a Teen Driver at AutoInsurance.com #Compare2Win #shop #cbias

I am a member of the Collective Bias Social Fabric® Community.  Collective Bias has provided me with compensation for my time and effort to evaluate this website.  Participation in this program is voluntary. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

Oftentimes I don't want to admit it, but it really is getting time for Lynzie to start learning to drive! Here in Arkansas, she can get her learners permit at 14---a year younger than Oregon. Jamie just bought a little Prius to commute in a couple weeks ago, but I think Lynzie has plans on taking it over! We've had a few discussions the last couple weeks about the responsibilities of driving. Things like staying off the phone, focusing on the road and not conversation, and making sure to carry good car insurance, are all important parts of Lynzie growing into a responsible teen driver.

At this point, she's pretty intimidated about driving the gigantic 15-passenger van, (not sure there's enough insurance out there to cover the possibilities...) but she thinks the Prius is just the right size for her. We do too, and we want to make sure we've got the right insurance to cover anything that might come up.

I've been spending some time comparing rates on AutoInsurance.com. It's a new site that is not affiliated with any particular insurance company---it's unbiased and is a neat way to compare coverage options. Right now, it's only fully functional in the following states: Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Mississippi.

It's fun to change up the different coverage options to see how you can get your best rate---without feeling the pressure and intimidation of a salesman sitting across the table. To get started, you enter some information about yourself, and the site will pull up the vehicles you own. 


You just need to verify that it's all correct and then fill in a couple answers toward the bottom of the page. You'll then continue on to another page that will pull up your current insurance coverage. You'll be able to either use these amounts or you can change amounts and coverage options in order to compare your current coverage with other companies the site accesses.

Once you've decided on your amounts, you continue on to a screen that gives you several coverage amount options. You can click the gray tabs to go between different coverage and payment options. As you do, you'll see your coverage summary on the right change to match the plans. This shot shows the quotes for the coverage options I chose.

Here are my minimum coverage amounts. The site offered me quotes from two companies that I'm not yet familiar with, so I'll check these out and see what local friends think about them. 

Autoinsurance.com also has what I call the "fun page". This page, Auto Insurance 101, answers lots of questions and is really easy to navigate. I especially like the section at the bottom for finding out local information and laws for each state.

I think Jamie is looking forward to this whole teen driving thing a little more than I am. It must be a dad thing because the only part of all of this that has been fun for me, so far, is playing around on the website. Ha! My favorite thing about the site is that I can do my own research and comparing before ever talking to an agent. In fact, I don't have to talk to an agent at all, if I don't want to! I can purchase coverage when I'm finished comparing and do the whole thing online or over the phone. It's not that I'm antisocial or anything...just a little busy raising teens!

Visit AutoInsurance.com to discover your own rate options. You can also check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

#Compare2Win
#CollectiveBias

Gideon: A Homeschool Bible Study & Make Bake Create Party

By far, our favorite homeschool activity is doing history studies. We've had a Titanic Tea Party, made an Egypt Map Cake, and more! One of our favorite resources is Mystery of History. We've been using it for our homeschool Bible study time for about eight years now and we totally love it! Yesterday, we did the MOH lesson on Gideon and had so much fun with a couple great projects.

I read them half the story of Gideon in Judges 6, and then we did project number one: making clay pots. Some of the kids didn't recognize the significance yet, but they had fun putting them together while I talked about what Gideon's people would have used clay pots for. Everyone got two lengths of modeling clay and creatively formed them into unique vessels.

After that, I read them the rest of the story of Gideon's defeat over the Midianites and they learned that Gideon's army broke clay pots to intimidate the enemy army and defeat them. We talked about how God helped Gideon weed out warriors---one way was by having them take a drink from the river to see whether they would remain on guard while being bent down. Michael and Elisha demonstrated how much quicker it would have been for the "lapping" guys to jump up than for the kneeling men.

Finally, it was time for my big surprise! Everyone headed outside and I gave terra cotta pots to four of the kids. You know what's coming, don't you?!

Everyone raised their pot and yelled, "the sword of the Lord and Gideon!"....

SMASH!!! Yeah, it was awesome.




Welcome to the Make Bake Create Party! 5 Blogs-1 party-lots of fun and creative ideas for you!


Please follow your hosts:
Hope In Every Season | Facebook Twitter | Pinterest 

Follow the MBC Pinboard!





This post contains affiliate links.


Monday, June 16, 2014

#ad Southwestern Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas #SummerofGiving #shop #cbias

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. All opinions are honest and are my own.

If you ever want to really bless me, bring me a meal. Many times, friends have brought our family food after the birth of a baby, during or after a move to a new place, or sometimes, just because. I absolutely love it! This is also one of my favorite things to do for others and I try to always be available when I hear there's a meal list going around for a friend in need. Recently, I heard about Tyson's partnership with Champions for Kids on a project called, Summer of Giving. Every time you purchase a specially marked bag of Tyson products, they'll donate a meal to a child in need. Ending hunger is an important goal for Tyson and they're dedicated to making people aware of the hunger problem in their own communities through their KNOW hunger campaign. 

I use these bags of Tyson Grilled & Ready chicken pieces all the time in recipes. They're convenient, they taste great, and the price is good. Walmart had Grilled & Ready varieties on rollback for $5.97 this weekend, so I decided to take advantage and buy some for one of my favorite sharing meals: Southwestern Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas. A friend of ours has been in the hospital, so we wanted to deliver a hot and flavorful meal to encourage her and make her night a little easier. Both Tyson and Walmart are local companies here in Northwest Arkansas, and I'm proud to partner with these companies that give back in this excellent initiative to end hunger nationwide. Walmart has promised to feed 5 million kids this summer and I'm glad to have my purchases go toward that commitment.

We first had this meal when someone brought it to us about 10 years ago after I'd had one of the kids. Since then, it's been one that I love to share with others. The Southwestern Style Chicken Breasts Strips are perfect in these enchiladas because they've already got some of the seasonings needed to make the dish taste great.

I've learned a couple tricks for transporting food in the car. Instead of putting the dishes on the seats where they tend to tip and spill, lay a towel on the floorboards of the car and let the dishes ride flat. Always pack your meal into dishes that the recipient can throw away so she doesn't have to try to arrange getting them back to you. I like to include a dessert or breakfast for the next day, as well. When we first moved to a new town about 12 years ago, one of my happiest memories was a neighbor bringing over a batch of warm chocolate chip cookies. She'd lined them up in this cute wooden caddy and it was such a special thing. I try to always make chocolate chip cookies for the people I'm delivering a meal to, as well, because they meant so much to me back then.

These enchiladas are super easy to put together and they freeze well. Pair them with Spanish rice and beans with cheese for a delicious, tummy-satisfying dinner.

Southwestern Sour Cream Enchiladas
4 cups cooked, thawed chicken pieces
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
2 cups cheddar cheese
10 flour tortillas
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup

Shred chicken, then stir in taco seasoning and cheese. (If you're using the Tyson Southwestern Style chicken, just use half the taco seasoning and save the other half for your Spanish rice.) Fill tortillas, roll them up, and place them in a greased baking pan. Mix sour cream and soup together well and pour on top of enchiladas. Bake at 350ยบ for 30 minutes.

What are some of your favorite foods to deliver to friends? I'd love to hear about how you bless others with the gift of a meal. 

#SummerofGiving
#CollectiveBias

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Celebrating Military Heroes with Coffee-mate Glazed Cookies #CMSalutingHeroes #shop #cbias

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. All opinions are honest and are my own.

If you’re like me, you love seeing brands promoting patriotism and celebrating the USA. Coffee-mate has decorated these two flavors of liquid coffee creamer, French Vanilla and Hazelnut, with stars and stripes, and will be offering them exclusively at Walmart through Independence Day. I had the opportunity to try some out last month and used these flavorful creamers to make a fun treat to share with our teens while we talked to them about the importance of Memorial Day.

Our children come from a long line of brave military veterans. Unfortunately, most of them have passed away and are no longer here to share with us the adventures and heartaches of military life. That’s why it’s so important to my husband and I to help them understand the reason we observe Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day. We want them to honor those who have sacrificed time, comfort, even their lives, to ensure we can continue to live in peace and prosperity here in America. 


As the kids have gotten old enough to understand, it’s been fun to share our military heritage with them. Recently, I took our two teens to our town’s Veteran’s Memorial which honors local servicemen and women throughout Arkansas’s history. It really blessed me to see them excited about this part of our national history. 


Lynzie was especially excited to see this quote from Thomas Paine’s, Common Sense, as it’s a passage she memorized several years ago and she’s really taken the message to heart. 


Later, we spent some time around the table, looking at photos of loved ones in uniform and sharing memories that were passed down to us. I made some coffee and cookies and really enjoyed sharing this special time with my teens. 


Jamie cherishes several fun stories that were passed on to him about his grandpa . He never had the chance to meet him, but he still feels a special connection as they look very similar and had similar interests. This photo shows his grandpa (left) with one of his buddies during World War II.


Here are a couple photos from my side of the family. Here’s my Uncle Bud in his VFW cap. 


This newspaper clipping is one of my treasures. It shows my Grandpa Henry and his friends signing their enlistment cards at a Portland, Maine recruiting office. This would have been sometime in the late 1940s. My grandpa saved this in an album that he gave to me just before he passed away.


I used both flavors of creamers to glaze my cookies. I made chocolate cookies and glazed them with the Hazelnut creamer, and I made French Vanilla glaze to drizzle on these oatmeal ones.  It’s so easy to make dessert glaze with Coffee-mate creamers. Just mix 1 cup of powdered sugar with 2-4 TBS of creamer and whisk until smooth.  It’s a quick way to add a little extra flavor to any sweet treat.


I'm so blessed to have these men of integrity and honor, like my Uncle Gary who fought in Viet Nam, in my family tree. I wish that we could have these family heroes right here at the table with us, sharing their memories and allowing us to thank them for their honorable service. I am thankful, however, that our families passed on their stories to us so we can do the same for our children. Do you have military heroes in your heritage? How do you keep their memories alive? I’d love to hear your stories!


#CMSalutingHeroes 
#CollectiveBias

Linking with:
The Art of Homemaking
Inspiration Monday @ Your Homebased Mom
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Motivate Me Monday 
Modest Monday @ The Modest Mom 
Living Proverbs 31
Inspire Me Monday @ Create With Joy 
Masterpiece Monday @ BoogieBoard Cottage 
A Round Tuit @ Creating My Way to Success 
Monday Funday @ C.R.A.F.T. 
Making Your Home Sing Monday
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...