Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The {Not Just} Homemaking Party

Hello! Welcome to The {Not Just} Homemaking Party! My 5 year old daughter, Avalon, has renamed our party! I told her that several readers have been concerned that their posts don't fit the category of homemaking---but this party is for everyone! So, she came up with this genius new name! So link up all your great posts---homemaking or not---and join in the fun by visiting the other party guests to see what they've been up to!

Homemade Creme Drops for Valentine's Day

Today I'm at Raising Homemakers, sharing my recipe for homemade creme drops. They're a super easy and special gift for Valentine's Day. Check them out and let me know if you give them a try!

Behind the Scenes with Walmart Tire & Lube Express #DropShopAndOil #Ad #cbias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DropShopAndOil #CollectiveBias
Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes when you take your car for an oil change? I'll be honest---I've usually left this "guy thing" up to my husband. He's the one who does the work or hires help for all the maintenance needed on our cars. Now and then, I'm the one who takes them in for whatever needs to be done---but I do not do so happily! Last night, he got to hang out with the Walmart crew while they serviced our car. He got some great photos for me, showing the process they go through in those few minutes it takes to perform the services at the Walmart Tire & Lube Express.

I've always felt a little intimidated when taking our cars to be worked on. It's just not a world I know much about and when the workers ask me questions like, "what kind of oil do you want put in this thing," I kind of freak out. After Jamie's experience last night, I don't think I'll be intimidated anymore. The employees at Walmart knew exactly what needed to be done---I'll show you in a minute. 

Here's the great thing about having a Tire & Lube Express inside your Walmart. You can drop your car off to be serviced and you can go shopping! Why this never occurred to me, I have no idea. No more waiting in the waiting room feeling nervous that someone is going to ask me about my air filter.

While I'm trusting them to give my car what it needs to be happy, I can go do all the stuff that makes me happy! Hanging out shopping with Lynzie makes me happy.

So, here's what goes on a the Walmart Tire & Lube Express. Yep. They dress your kids up like Minions. Actually, these are the hat and safety glasses the employees had Jamie put on before he came back to the shop. Liam just had to try them on first---just to make sure they fit and all.

While Minion Liam hung out in the store with his older brother, the employees got to work on our car. They started out checking fluids. They filled our wiper fluid container with a winter mix that will help keep our windshield from icing up---if we'd ever get below 60ยบ this winter. They also checked coolant levels, changed the air filter, adjusted the air pressure in our tires, and even vacuumed out the car and checked to make sure our lights and blinkers were working.

After that, it was time to drain the old oil out and put the new stuff in. The Walmart Tire & Lube Express uses Pennzoil. I remember my dad always buying Pennzoil when I was a kid, so I've always thought of it as a trusted brand. Pennzoil helps clean out the junk that lesser oils leave behind and is designed for total protection, allowing you to drive an extra of 550 miles each year compared to the mileage you'd get with a dirty engine.

Ok, here's the part that truly exposes my oil changing ignorance. Did you know that the type of oil you need is actually written on your oil cap! I know! Shocker! If, however, your oil cap does not provide you with this essential information, the Walmart crew has this handy reference book to figure it out. Seriously, that cuts out like 90% of the intimidation factor for me!

Jamie had them put in conventional oil (the yellow bottle). Fortified with Active Cleaning Agents™, it continuously prevents dirt and other contaminants from creating deposits in your engine that mess with the performance of your car.

Once they've determined the type and amount of oil for your car and begin filling, they watch the digital gauge on the oil pump to make sure it doesn't go over. 

When the service is through, they put a sticker on the inside of your windshield, letting you know when to come back and have the oil changed again. Important notice about the sticker: you're supposed to read it...and actually bring your vehicle in when it says to. Just thought I'd throw that in there. It's not like we have actually had issues with this. Ahem.

In between oil changes, should you notice your oil is getting low, you can find Pennzoil on the shelf at Walmart and give your car a top-off on your own. The sticker on the inside of your windshield will let you know what kind of oil was last put in your car so you can make sure to buy the same thing. Pennzoil offers a free warranty that covers 15 engine parts that may need replaced due to engine wear or that suffer from abnormal wear because of friction.

If you like to change your own oil, here's a deal from the free mobile savings app, Ibotta. For a limited time, you can save $5 off one 5-quart bottle of Pennzoil Platinum with PurePlus Technology.

So there you have it. There's no need to be intimidated by things I don't understand and, if I have Walmart do my oil changes, there's no reason to have my husband try to carve out the time to go get them done. I can just drop off my car and shop, shop, shop 'til they're done! Have you used the Walmart Tire & Lube Express? Tell me about your experience with the ease and convenience of this service in the comments below.

Also, make sure to enter this awesome giveaway! Pennzoil Richard Petty Driving School "Experience of a Lifetime" Giveaway

Monday, January 26, 2015

Check Out These Rollbacks on Chef Boyardee and Banquet Frozen Dinners #LowPriceMeals #ad #cbias

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

It's a busy time of year, so make it easy in the kitchen with Banquet dinners and pot pies, as well as products from Chef Boyardee. The rollback prices on Chef Boyardee cans and frozen Banquet dinners and pot pies make it simple to save and spend less time in the kitchen. 

Tasty meals like Banquet salisbury steak and Chef Boyardee raviolis make dinner easy and delicious. Be sure to head to Walmart and stock up on this great deal while supplies last.

See the entire list of meals on rollback price:

Frozen Banquet dinners -- $0.80 for each frozen Banquet dinner and pot pie now through Feb. 24.

Chef Boyardee cans -- $0.75 for each 14.5-15 oz can of Chef Boyardee now through March 16.

Find out more here: www.walmart.com/rollbackmeals

While shopping at Walmart, be sure to look for the Rollback signs for Banquet in the freezer section and Chef Boyardee in the canned food aisle.

#Ad Dipping Sauces for Game Time Wings featuring Honey Mustard BBQ #GameTimeHero #cbias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GameTimeHero #CollectiveBias
Our very favorite football team has made it to the final Big Game of the year and the whole family is gearing up for a fun game day. Around here, game day always involves yummy food and the kids have already been making their requests. Freshly prepared deli wings and dipping sauce are definitely on the list. Everyone in our family loves wings---and everyone has their favorite sauce to complement their chicken. 

We buy our wings at the Walmart deli. It's really easy to grab a bucket or two when I'm in a hurry or when I've got other things I'm planning on making and want to save a step. I can even call ahead and order them---which is something I'm sure they appreciate from our large family! 

They've got lots of great flavors of Tyson wings to choose from, including Boneless General Tso, Bone-In Hot Wings, and Boneless BBQ. Today I grabbed a Pick 3 bucket for the kids to share at lunch time.

I'll be attending a wings demo at my local Walmart on January 30th. Check out this store list to see if there's a demo in your local store, too.

Anyone who reads this blog knows that the Collers are big Tyson chicken fans. These all white meat wings are coated in just the right amount of breading and sauce to compliment the chicken. They're large, thick pieces so you know you're getting what you paid for---rather than sauce-coated batter lumps like I find in some other brands I buy frozen.

I've never really been much of a football fan until the last few years. It's different now, having kids old enough to get excited about the game and the family time. As with most family events, I'm the food girl so I have fun planning fun snacks and decorations for them to enjoy. What would you pair with the wings for a great game day table?

Our family likes to make three special dipping sauces for our wings: Cajun Pink Sauce, Tangy BBQ Dipping Sauce, Honey Mustard BBQ Sauce. Check out the links for sauces I've featured in the past and let me know what you think of the easy sauce recipe below.

Honey Mustard BBQ Sauce

3/4 c. mayonnaise
2 tsp. BBQ sauce
2 tsp. mustard
2 TB sugar  

Just mix well and enjoy!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Morning Energy Helps for the Busy Homeschooling Mom #NewBreakfastRoutine #Ad #cbias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NewBreakfastRoutine #CollectiveBias
As a homeschooling mom of many, it can sometimes be a challenge to make time to form morning routines that will give me the energy and good attitude I need to run an organized household. Some days, getting even a short walk outside in the fresh air is an accomplishment. I recently discovered two new products at Target that are great for moms like me---moms who are "on the go" without having to actually go anywhere.

There are four new flavors of V8 out in their Veggie Blends line: Carrot Mango, Purple Power, Healthy Greens, and Golden Goodness. My Target had all four to choose from so I grabbed Carrot Mango. BelVita has recently released a line of Mini Breakfast Biscuits including Chocolate and Mixed Berry varieties. I knew our family would love both so I picked up a box of each.

Earlier this week, I visited a special section in Target where there were several new products featured to help shoppers with their 2015 goals. Check out the display at the back of your local Target to find V8 Veggie Blends and BelVita Bites.

Here are some money saving offers coming up at Target:

One of my big goals for this coming year is to spend more time doing fun organized lessons with the kids in our homeschool. This notebook is my most important tool when it comes to keeping all our plans straight and scheduled out. 

Another goal I have is to plan healthy but frugal meals to keep us on budget. I like to sit down one morning a week while the kids are working on lessons and write out my menu plan and grocery list. I try to use up things we already have in the kitchen so there's very little waste. A breakfast of V8 Blends and Mini Breakfast Biscuits is an excellent non-messy and energy-packed meal to eat while I'm writing out my plans.

Made with 75% vegetable & fruit juices and 25% pure water, these V8 beverages are a healthy blend of vegetables with a little fruit. There is one full serving of vegetables, 60 calories or less, and no sugar added in every 8oz. cup. With no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, V8 Veggie Blends are an excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, & E.

With 20g of whole grain, BelVita Bites provide four hours of energy to keep you going in the morning. They contain no high fructose corn syrup, no partially hydrogenated oils, and no artificial colors or sweeteners. 

Do you normally eat breakfast? What goals do you have for 2015 that need some healthy fuel to help you accomplish them?

Monday, January 19, 2015

THM Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy & THM Bigelow Sweet Tea with Natural Sweetener Truvia #SweetWarmUp #Ad

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SweetWarmUp #CollectiveBias
Today was such a beautiful day here in Northwest Arkansas and all I wanted to do was sit outside with my book and my sweet tea and enjoy the sunshine! As a homeschooling mom of a large family, I don't get a whole lot of "me time". When I do, it seems I'm always wanting tea, hot or cold, and a sweet snack. However, these kinds of treats don't always fit in with my goals for a healthy and fit figure through the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan. Thankfully, I recently discovered Truvia, and paired with my favorite flavors of Bigelow tea, I can enjoy my tea and treats guilt free!

Last week, a few of the kids and I went shopping at Target for some essentials, as well as to use some coupons I'd been hanging on to. We picked up Truvia in the baking aisle. They carried both the boxes of packets and the canister.

We are all tea fanatics and the kids love to look over the different varieties and choose their favorites. A couple we like especially are Bigelow's Vanilla Chai and Earl Grey. You can find your own coupon here. You can also save 10% on a Truvia purchase through the Cartwheel mobile app, as well as request a free sample at Truvia.com/freesample

I'll admit it---I've got a sweet tea addiction! Bigelow's Constant Comment is one of my favorites for cold tea as it's flavored with delicious spices and orange that really make for a refreshing drink. I make it in a gallon jug with five tea bags and four packets of Truvia. It's wonderful!

Another one of my favorite "me moments" involves hot tea, a sweet snack, and my book. Snuggled up in bed with a favorite story, I can think of nothing more relaxing! I often like to use a special tea cup and saucer set to remind me that this is my own time. My mom gifted me with this set when we went to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home in Mansfield, MO last fall. Both the Wilders and Jane Austen's family used the Blue Willow pattern so this set is especially dear to me.

I've recently discovered a great way to make chocolate peanut butter candy with Truvia. Not only is it delicious, it actually contains ingredients that are beneficial to your health. With calorie-free Truvia, you can indulge all you want. Since these are so rich, you really only need a couple pieces to satisfy that sweet tooth! I made these little Razorback chocolates because I was looking for a candy mold to pour my mixture into when I came across my Razorback gelatin mold. Perfect!

Good For You Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy
1/2 c. natural peanut butter
1/2 c. coconut oil
1/4 c. baking cocoa
1/8 c. Truvia

Melt all ingredients in a saucepan and stir until Truvia is dissolved. Pour into a plastic mold, cupcake liners, or onto a plastic plate or tray. Freeze until hard and store in the fridge or freezer. This will melt into a puddle quickly if you leave it out!

I'd love to hear about how you spend your "me time", as well as find out how you like the candy recipe. Make sure to let me know in the comment section below.

Looking for some great Trim Healthy Mama Recipes? Try these! 

THM Lunches & Dinners

Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken
Pork Egg Roll in a Bowl
Spaghetti Squash Casserole (No Pasta Spaghetti)
20 Squash Recipes
Baked Spinach and Pepperjack Chicken

THM Breakfasts

List of THM Breakfast Ideas
Chicken Ranch Omelette

THM Treats
Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy

THM Misc.
Homemade Ranch Dressing
Make Your Own Chicken Stock & Broth
Zesty Burger Spread

Max Lucado's Before Amen: Family Christian's 2015 Book of the Year

This is a sponsored post for Family Christian. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Family Christian has just announced their 2015 Book of the Year: Max Lucado's Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer

"We selected Before Amen as our 2015 Book of the Year because not only is Max Lucado a trusted pastor and author on the topic of prayer, but his words throughout this guide will inspire you and anyone you know to improve their prayer life."

I had the opportunity to receive a free review copy and, having not read anything by Lucado for a good 12 years or more, was pleasantly surprised by the easy-going tone and light-hearted wit in this little book.

Before starting the book, I wrote down my thoughts on prayer:

Although I don't spend as much time in Bible study as I'd like, I feel like my "prayer life" is strong. I go to God in need, just as much as I go to him in thanks. In fact, I probably thank him more, lately, than anything else. When I feel his Spirit nudging me to pray, I'm faithful the majority of the time. Without my prayer life, I don't think I'd feel close to God right now, as everything else seems far less grounded than my being able to talk to God anytime and anywhere.

Recently, my eight-year-old daughter, Selah, and I were discussing prayer and Bible reading. I told her how essential prayer is to our relationship with God. Not everyone can have daily Bible study time, but just about everyone can pray. Like Lucado points out, there's no need to be profound. Prayer is a simple conversation.

"Prayer, for most of us, is not a matter of a month-long retreat or even an hour of meditation. Prayer is conversation with God while driving to work or awaiting an appointment or before interacting with a client. Prayer can be the internal voice that directs the external action." ~page 7

Regarding prayer, Before Amen reinforced truths I know and practice. However, there was a great little section on guilt that really spoke to me. Lucado explained how guilt is God's idea and how it reveals to us the difference between who we are and who God wants us to be. It prods us to repentance. While I often deal with unnecessary guilt for things that are really out of my control, it's refreshing to be encouraged to put guilt in its proper place and understand that it can be beneficial. More than that, its nice to see someone not trying to talk me out of my guilt and blaming it on the enemy trying to discourage me at every turn. Funny how much "God stuff" we blame on the devil.

A special component of the book that I appreciate is the in-depth study guide, as well as the "prayer strengths" guide, that makes up two-thirds of the book. More than just a few discussion topics, there are sections for each chapter that provide the reader with the opportunity to pull the most possible from the reading. Whether you're studying alone or in a small group, definitely take the time to go through the study sections. They'll help you examine your current prayer habits, strengths and weaknesses, and stir up a desire to kick the good stuff up a notch or two!

Book Description: "We all pray ... some. We pray to stay sober, centered, or solvent. When the lump is deemed malignant. When the money runs out before the month does. When the marriage is falling apart. We pray. But wouldn’t we like to pray more? Better? Stronger? With more fire, faith, and fervency? We aren’t the first to struggle with prayer. The first followers of Jesus needed prayer guidance too. In fact, prayer is the only tutorial they ever requested. And Jesus gave them a prayer. Not a lecture on prayer. Not the doctrine of prayer. He gave them a quotable, repeatable, portable prayer. Couldn’t we use the same? 

In Before Amen, bestselling author Max Lucado joins readers on a journey to the very heart of biblical prayer, offering hope for doubts and confidence even for prayer wimps. Distilling prayers in the Bible down to one pocket-sized prayer, Max reminds readers that prayer is not a privilege for the pious nor the art of a chosen few. Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and his child. Let the conversation begin."

Congratulations to Max Lucado and his team for an excellent and encouraging book---Family Christian's top choice for the coming year! Have you read Before Amen? What's been your favorite Christian book lately?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Heart To Home Women's Conference 2015

This post was written to promote the Heart To Home 2015 Women's Conference, as well as to enter a contest with Family Christian to win a free VIP pass. All opinions are honest and are my own.
I've been writing this Homemaking blog for almost seven years now, and I don't think I've ever been as excited about an opportunity to promote homemaking as much as I am about the Heart To Home conference taking place next month! Family Christian, official sponsor of the conference, is sending one extremely blessed blogger to the conference with a VIP pass! I can't even fathom how awesome it would be to meet some of the Duck Dynasty cast, hang out at Willie's Diner, and be blessed by the corporate worship and special teaching that each guest will experience. Oh, and did I mention I'd have a car trip there and back? That means cranking up the music loud and sipping on sweet tea---all by myself! Sometimes the best thing you can do as a homemaker is leave home for a couple days!

Our family has lived in Arkansas for 14 months now, and we're already feeling like born and bred Southerners! We have formed relationships with so many people who have made us feel loved, welcomed, and part of the family. One reason I'm totally looking forward to the Heart To Home conference is that it's hosted by some of the South's best hostesses: the Robertson ladies of Duck Dynasty, along with author, speaker, and radio host, Dr. Joneal Kirby. I just know I'm going to come away from this feeling super motivated and ready to bring a refreshed attitude to my family and my homemaking. What better place to learn from the best!

As a brand new Southern lady, I'm already feeling that spirit of homemaking and hospitality that the women of the South pride themselves on. There are so many aspects of my home that I want to continue to nurture and grow; but more than that, it's experiences like the Heart To Home conference that give me the opportunity to nurture and grow my own home-focused heart. The women of Duck Commander are excellent examples of the kind of godly woman I want to be: committed to family, centered at home, graceful, humorous, and not afraid to jump in and get a little muddy from time to time!
If I'm not able to attend the conference in person, I'll still be able to get in on all the encouraging sessions via live simulcast. Make sure to check it out in case you and your friends want to make your own ladies weekend centered around this excellent conference, as well.

I'd love to hear if any of you plan on attending the conference or watching it live. Let me know and we'll do some follow up on our favorite topics.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Faith and Finger Food ~ Cranberry Meatballs

Wow! I have really been enjoying the great articles from my mom lately---how about you? Not only has it been great to take a couple weeks off from writing, but I'm feeling so blessed to learn from the wisdom she's brought to her guest posts. She's a huge part of why we are all enjoying a successful blog here at Hope In Every Season. If you missed my mom's recent posts, check out Bonding With Your Spouse, Finding Peace in Busy Times, and Uncle John's Fudge.

Welcome to The {Not Just} Homemaking Party! Many people have contacted me saying they don't think their posts are relevant to homemaking, but this link up is for everyone! So, share your stuff---we wanna see it! My mom, Christy, is sharing again today---a great recipe and a special gift!

My daughter gave me a special kitchen set for Christmas to match my turquoise mixer. It is a pretty kitchen towel, crock, spoon holder and salt and pepper shakers. The verse on the crock reads, "Giving heart, prayerful spirit, trusting soul...You are a woman of faith!"

This boost of confidence in my faith sent me straight to the kitchen recently to make a fun finger food for my game night date with my husband. I pulled out some items which I had on hand and set out like a warrior in battle!

I served these delicious meatballs with crackers and my husband loved them. The next day, I served the remaining meatballs over rice for dinner.

I used venison burger and made the meatballs a little large, but I have never been known to have patience in rolling all those little balls. Thank you, Sarah, for giving me faith, and now I need a coffee mug that reads, "Woman of patience!" Turquoise, of course!

Cranberry Meatballs

Mix together by hand:
2 lb. venison burger (or ground beef)
1/2 c. chopped sweet onion
dash of salt and pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
2 beaten eggs
1/2 c. cracker crumbs 

Form into balls and place in hot crockpot that has been sprayed with oil.

Heat together in saucepan:
1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
2 TB. apple cider vinegar
1 c. ketchup
1/2 c. water
2 TB. brown sugar
dash salt
1 TB. chili powder
1 TB. cumin
Whisk in 1 can jelled cranberry sauce. 

Pour sauce over meatballs and turn crockpot to low. Cook for 5 hours and serve with crackers or over rice.

Linking with:
Cottage Style Party @ Lavender Garden Cottage
Winsome Wednesday @ My Daily Walk in His Grace
Whole-Hearted Home Wednesdays 
Wake Up Wednesday
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Homemaking Link Up @ Raising Homemakers
Inspire Me Wednesday @ MamaBuzz
What's It Wednesday @ Ivy and Elephants 
Wednesday Link up at Adorned from Above
Wow Us Wednesdays
Mom's Library (more than books)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Bonding with Your Spouse in the New Year

Please welcome my Mom, Christy, as my guest writer for today as she talks about a fun tradition she and her husband enjoy.

Do you have a tradition with your spouse? A game, a pet name, a special date spot, or something you share together---just the two of you?

I have been married to Bruce for twenty years. We love to play darts and have been keeping track of our wins every year since we were married. It is a fun way to bond and come together after a busy day.
Each New Years Eve we play our last games of the year and tally up our scores. We talk about how we have improved and share tips (no pun intended) and advice. 

I believe having something in common to share keeps a marriage strong. It could be a special hook of pinkie fingers or a secret code word. These private moments can keep your relationship thriving while separating you as a couple from the world. This says, We Are One---as God intended. In my mind, the three darts represent me, Bruce and God in our marriage. "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." ~Ecc. 4:12

It is not too late to start your own tradition. Happy New Year and may love keep you together.

Linking with:
Sunday Showcase Party@Under the Table and Dreaming 
Seasonal Sundays @ The Tablescaper
One More Time
Link It Or Lump It
The Chicken Chick Blog Hop
Weekend Bloggy Reading
Sunday Funday
Bouquet of Talent
Submarine Sunday
It's Party Time
Creativity Unleashed
Sunday Showcase
Silver Pennies
Snickerdoodle Sunday
Sunday Linkup at ARWB
The Art of Homemaking
Good Morning Mondays
Inspiration Monday @ Your Homebased Mom
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. 
Marriage Monday
Making Your Home Sing Monday
Salt & Light

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...