Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Handbag

I totally forgot to photograph my handbag for this fun "What's in my Handbag" series on the SNAP blog until the last possible moment when the light was all but gone. I tried to set up a table with a cute towel behind it (it was within arm's reach, ok and the light really was fading fast). So I weighed down the towel with a book, pitcher and a bowl of grapes from the counter. I had to put the table on 4 cans of beef broth so you could not see the bottom of the towel.

Did I mention that it was bedtime? I throw my kids their pj's and tell my 4 1/2 year old to help my almost 2 year old get them on.

So I get it all set up and one picture in, the weight of the towel became unbearable and it all comes crashing down. PERFECTION.



I grab the table, take it outside to salvage what is left of the ever dwindling light and snap about three pictures when my camera battery dies. No worries. I can get one picture in every time I turn it on before it dies again. Then came the rain. Ya, we're good on pictures.

So I come in, have a total "A Walk in the Clouds" moment and squish grapes underfoot. Decide I better collect the mess before the boys join in. Big brother is in jammies bless his helpful little heart and has little brother stripped down diaperless. Hearing my squeal from juicing the grape he saunters up buck naked to join me. I decide at this point the mess can wait while I clothe the naked and put the tikes in bed.

We get a little carried away with super hero jumps off the couch and then finally all are asleep and the house is peaceful.

Thing is...the mess is still waiting. Grapes are calling.

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Flip Flips or Flip Flops?

Do you flip for flips or think they're a flop? I personally am a huge fan of flip flops (formerly known as thongs he he). I honestly hate wearing shoes and so these are the closest thing to barefoot that is socially acceptable. I love that my little tootsies can feel the sun and the breeze and that I can show off my pedicure (the once in a great while that I get a real one).

I may have a flip flop hoarding problem. I think I have them in at least 10 colors and various styles in certain hues. Up until now I never ventured in to patterns, but when Havaianas offered to send me a pair of "The World's Best Rubber Flip Flops" I figured if I was going with an exotic brand I may as well go with flair! Check these babies out...


I know right. Are they not the cutest flip flops ever?! It was love at first site! For reals, the moment I saw them on their website I knew they were the ones for me. The geometric pattern, my favorite color combo, seriously it was a match. Plus they have a cool story, the charms were made to mimic the colonial Northeastern Brazilian tile.


Granted I cannot prove the "World's Best" claim as I have only been wearing these about a week, but I can tell you they never gave me blisters. I always get blisters when breaking in new flip flops, but these were super comfy from the first wear. I broke them in with a Wal-mart trip for heavens sake. They also survived a trip chasing kiddos at the children's discovery garden which is saying something.

The only drawbacks I see is they are they are pricey compared to the, ahem *cheap* ones I usually buy to wear in the garden and spray paint in. Also, the charms also leave little gray marks on my toes from the metal, but it comes right off so it doesn't bother me.

All in all I am totally happy with them and am coveting their adorable superhero flip flops that might just have to find a new home for my boys. Or the Mickey Mouse pairs for the splash pad on our upcoming Disney trip? 

I received the product shown and a stipend for my time from Havaianas. The opinions are all my own. 

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fun School Lunch Idea

When it comes to school lunch sometimes things can get repetitive and boring which is why I was thrilled to take the challenge from Glad to come up with a fun new school lunch idea. I have seen so many cool Bento ideas, but I don't have any of those boxes. What I do have is tons of Glad containers. Don't we all? You don't need a special box to make a special school lunch for your kiddos, just a little imagination.

Dino Themed School Lunch


It's this little sandwich cutter for a couple bucks at Wal-mart that makes this lunch super easy.


INGREDIENTS:
Spinach tortilla wrap
Turkey
Provolone
Pretzel rods
Fruit roll-ups
Celery
Strawberry yogurt
Red food coloring
Juice pouch (frozen)

I put the dinosaur scene in a Glad entree size container and the yogurt in a mini round.


INSTRUCTIONS:

It's a good idea to pack lunch night before so you can freeze the yogurt and juice.

1. Cut dino shapes from your wrap, provolone, and turkey. Layer them with two turkey and one provolone in each. I stacked two little sandwiches on top of each other. I did not use condiments because I did not want it to get soggy. You could pack some on the side, but they really aren't necessary. I ate a couple dinos and as long as your wraps are fresh they are not dry at all.




2. Cut leaf and spikey bush shapes out of the fruit roll-up. Break the pretzel rod in half and stick leaves on the top of each to make trees. Place the bushes and trees around the dino sandwiches.

3. Cut a celery stalk into little bites and fill the bottom of the container to act as foliage. 

4. Fill the mini round container with strawberry yogurt and swirl some red food coloring on top to look like lava.   Put the sealed container in the freezer so it will stay cold in the lunch cooler.

6. Put a napkin in a resealable bag and lay it over the dinosaur scene to keep the tortilla fresh and soft. This will also protect the napkin and wrap from the condensation as the juice thaws.

7. Lay the frozen juice pouch on top of the napkin and put the lid on the container. The juice will keep the meat and cheese cold and keep things from shifting around.

8. Put a spoon in the entree container.

9. Place everything in a lunch cooler and it will all be thawed just in time for lunch.



My little guys were so excited to chomp down their prehistoric lunch. One said it was the best lunch ever and kept telling me how it was so cool.


He loves it because it's cool, I love it because it is low fat and contains all four food groups. Win win.

How do you make school lunch more fun?

Everyone who shares a back to school recipe, tip, or idea before August 31st on the "Mom Made" promotion on Glad's Facebook pageis eligible for a chance to win a Lunch Kit for their kids' entire class! For more info, visit www.facebook.com/GLAD

I have partnered with The Glad Products Company through DailyBuzz Moms to help promote their Food Storage products. I have been compensated for my time commitment to review this product. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments. Thank you GLAD! 


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Letter of the Week C

It's time for another post in the Letter of the Week Series. This time the letter of the week is C. It was so fun to realize how many things around us start with C and how many different sounds it makes.


Letter of the Week C Activities:
  • Color game idea I saw on Toddler Approved. Lay out Colored Cardstock and have the kids Collect toys that match the Colors.
  • Coloring with Crayons.



  • Cars shaped Campbell's Chicken Noodle
  • Carrots & Celery
  • Play with Cars, even have a Crash derby
  • Watch Disney's Cars movie 
  • Snack on Caramel Corn, Crunchy Chips, Chocolate Chip Cookies, or Chewy Candy



  • Write all the C words with a Crayon Color beginning with C
  • Spin Circles in the office Chair
  • Pretend to be a Character like Captain America
  • Create a finger painting picture using Chocolate pudding
See more Letter of the Week ideas:



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Monday, August 20, 2012

Fresh Peach Dessert

I am a Brigham City girl and anyone from around there knows we know our peaches. I have long since moved to the valley, but brought a little touch of my hometown with me that stands in my backyard. My peach tree is on and boy are we loving them! There's nothing quite like a fresh peach dessert.

FRESH PEACH DESSERT


The true beauty of this fresh peach dessert recipe is THERE IS NO COOKING INVOLVED, thus the fresh! It keeps the fruit in it's original glorious form, which for me with peaches is a must. I am not a huge fan of cooked fruit. 

And it is ridiculously easy. If you can crush, cut, and mix you can make this recipe. Truly.


Adapted from this recipe found through Pinterest on the My Favorites blog. The original recipe prepares the dessert in a 13x9 pan, but if you want to be fancy like the pic above it is easy to separate it in to individual serving dishes. Just layer as normal.


And in case you were wondering it is kid tested, mother approved.


Fresh peach dessert is best within the first 24 hours so if you have a small family like us, brighten someones day and take them a little bit of heaven.

Now go. Get your hands on some local peaches and make it now. You can thank me later!


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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Painting a Table: a love story

It was love at first site with this little side table. I spotted her from across the room and walked over slowly as to not draw attention. The price was right, the size was perfect, and she had oh so much character. The only problem was the lovely brown wood grain finish. Nothing a little can of magic couldn't fix. She was coming home with me. This is my story of painting a table.


My table was one of those with awesome brassy knobs and a super shiny finish. I was not in the mood to try to sand those curvy legs down much so I used a good primer that is said to work even on laminate. What's not to love about  making things easier on ourselves.

SUPPLIES:
Drop Cloth
Ziinsser Cover Stain Primer
Paint Brush
Medium and fine sanding blocks
Spray Paint 

(I used Rust-oleum Winter Gray for the table and Metallic Brushed Nickel for the knobs)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Paint the table with two coats of primer following the directions on the can for dry and re-coat times. Once the primer is completely dry, sand off the brush strokes starting with the medium grit sandpaper and moving to the fine grit to get it completely smooth on the flat surfaces. Be patient and get it right. Your paint will look so much better if you start with a nice surface.


2. Spray paint the table and the hardware using multiple light coats (moving slowly across and going off the edge to change direction) until evenly painted. Be sure to spray from all directions to fully coat all the nooks. 


3. If it will be used in a high traffic area, I would recommend a protective finish like a poly or a spray on clear coat.


I love a good thrift find and this little lady was no exception. She has become one of my favorite pieces in my home. I guess you could say it was fate.



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Sunday, August 12, 2012

August Visiting Teaching Message

The August Visiting Teaching Message is all about being good visiting teachers: being aware of each other's needs and supporting one another. There was one statement that really stood out to me. 

Visiting Teaching Message Handout




The sisters we visit should be able to say, “If I have problems, I know my visiting teachers will help without waiting to be asked.” That really hit home and is something I will be working on.


You are welcome to share the quote I chose for the August visiting teaching message with your sisters and use this handout if you like.

I made the handout using my memories suite software. (If you need scrapbooking software, use the coupon code:STMMMS97077 for $10 off, making it $29.97, and get a $10 code to spend in the MyMemories.com Design Shop!)


Please show a little love and leave a comment if you download and use the handout. Thanks!

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Garden Fresh Makes Summer the Best!

Tell me, what would summer be without beautiful garden fresh produce? I am by no means a green thumb, but summer just would not be summer for us without enjoying something we helped with our own two hands produce.


My kids love to pick our latest nicely ripened find and take it over to the patio to sort through, wash it at our outdoor sink station, and enjoy some of it right then and there. There is something special about eating things straight from the garden.

Then again there is also something said for throwing it on the grill or in to a delectable dessert. Like yesterday, when we discovered that some of our peaches had ripened. Oh, what a day! From tree to peaches and cream dessert all in a matter of hours.


We love sitting out on the deck and snacking on handfuls of peas or a bowl full of cherries usually followed by watching airplanes fly by or blowing bubbles. Summer is all about these simple happy moments of being together and enjoying the outdoors.


These are just some of my favorite activities that my family enjoys on our patio. What activities do you and your family enjoy on your patio? Answer the question below and one of my readers will win a $25 Sears gift card!

Need some help figuring out your style? Sears is making it easy with their interactive quiz that helps you select your perfect style.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sears. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Sweepstakes Rules.

Bullying

 
This post is sponsored by Chase -- a strong supporter of the Bully Project, a program committed to ending bullying and ultimately transforming society.  Learn more here.

Over 13 million American kids will be bullied this year, making it the most common form of harassment experienced by young people in the nation. 

160,000 kids in the US stay home every day because of bullying. source

The stories are heartbreaking. Kids being bullied not only by their peers, but some even by teachers.

So, what can we do? How can we help?

The good news is there are tons of great resources for ourselves, schools and communities to get involved for change.


Bullying Resources:

Community Strategies to stop bullying - Stopbullying.gov

New York Teacher Paper Object Lesson

Anonymous tip line for schools - Safetotalk.org

Kidpower.org:
  • tip sheets for caregivers and teachers
  • hotline for bullied kids
  • pledge to stomp out bullying
    

Help where you can. Use your voice. Be the good. 
Keep kids safe.


Monday, August 6, 2012

A is for Apple {Teacher Gift}

It was little man's first day of preschool today. He adores his teacher and wanted to take in a little gift. I wanted something simple and usable, but still cute for a teacher of little kiddos. It's the first day, so what better gift theme than the first letter of the alphabet?

A is for Apple


I just picked up some apple scented hand sanitizer, cut out the 3D apple tag with my silhouette, added "A is for" with a pen and tied it on with some garden twine.

Little man was so excited to give it to her. He hid it behind his back to surprise her with it. He told me afterwards that they all used his A is for Apple sanitizer today before snack time. Success!

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Dinner Not Art

This post is brought to you by gooey, creamy, delicious KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese. Start making digital macaroni art at DinnerNotArt.com today.

Today my four year old and I did a little art project. Remember doing macaroni art back in the day? Dye the noodles, glue them to the paper and create a little masterpiece. Well, what if you could save the noodles for dinner, avoid the messy dyes and still have all the fun! 

Kraft created this awesome site Dinner Not Art (ha ha, love it!) where you can make your own digital macaroni art. You pick the background, noodle shape, colors and go wild. 


This was my sons design with a little placement help from mom.

I may have spent a little too much time sans children playing on the site. It's pretty darn fun. Plus, for every noodle used in your art they donate 10 real noodles tFeeding America®! I was doing charity work you see. ;) And please, who can resist a little Mikeroni?



Or maybe Quatranoodle is more your style?


Ah, macaroni. What can you create?

As part of the DailyBuzz Moms Featured Publisher Program, I received a stipend from KRAFT in exchange for my participation in this program.

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Spruce up a Registry Gift

When I am going to a bridal shower/wedding I really like to shop from the registry so I know it is something they want/need. But, I also like my gifts to have a lot of personality so that pretty much come in with the wrapping/card. I call this one the RED HOT gift.


Recognize this bag? It is sure to make a bride blush at a family bridal shower.


Little does she know it contains this...


A pair of RED cutting boards and a set of casserole dishes to HEAT UP. Oh boy do I think I'm funny.

Visit my A Toast to the Happy Couple post for another fun card idea.



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