Make and Takes for Kids

Make and Takes for Kids, written by Marie LeBaron, is a craft book for kids, with  a small twist. Being set up by months makes finding the right craft to make with your child easy. And if you happen to not prefer the craft choices of that month, there are lots of other great crafts that you can adjust to fit your needs.

What truly makes this book unique is the emphasis it places on child development. Each craft has a heading that lets you know just how it teaches your child, whether it be by developing hand-eye coordination, learning shapes, or even the power of giving someone a gift. It’s a perfect way to help your child with important life skills, spend quality time with them, and have fun all at the same time. What more could a parent ask for?

The crafts use items that are usually found around the house, and the items you don’t have on hand, are fairly cheap. This and the simplicity of the crafts means that any time can turn into craft time.

My favorite crafts were the Winter Wonderland Cereal Box Puzzle, Foam Heart Friendship Bracelet  and the Teacher’s Pet Rock Paperweight. Super cute!!

Make and Take for Kids is an excellent craft book for parents, grandparents or even if you just like to craft.  If you are looking for a great way to spend time with your kids and enjoy a little family time, I highly recommend this book.

Looking for a GREAT Christmas gift? Maybe a friend, exchange present for your play group or even a teacher’s gift…this book is perfect!!

Visit Marie on her blog…Make and Takes {you will LOVE it}! All book photography credited to Nicole Gerulat of A Little Sussy, collages are my own.

Disclosure: I received a Make and Takes for Kids book to review. As always, the opinions are all my own. There are affiliate links in this post.

Holiday Decorating Ideas

Main Tree

We are right in the middle of chaos in our home. It’s a time we all absolutely love…Holiday Decorating! Like I mentioned when I shared the first of twelve Christmas Trees, The Ladder Tree…I’m a little crazy about Christmas. My family teases me terribly and aren’t always too excited about carrying box after box down from the attic, but I KNOW they wouldn’t trade it for the world.

It’s tradition…it’s something that my boys have grown up with. Doug puts together the tree and adds the lights, I string on the beads and each of the boys waits their turn to put their ornaments on the tree. We were blessed to have Grandma buy ornaments for the boys each year, and Doug also has many ornaments from his childhood.

This is our Family Tree…

And the decorating from 2011 {so far…8 or 9 more trees to go}

Now I’d love to know, how do you spread real cheer with your holiday decorating? Please reply below and unwrap coupons and deals from Searsby seeking inspiration in the Cheer Tree. For all your holiday decorating needs and solutions, don’t forget to visit Sears and discover real deals, real cheer!

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

Christmas Cupcakes: Peppermint Bark


Welcome to Cupcake Tuesday! I’m so glad to have you! I have updated the Cupcake Heaven page, there are over 150 designs and recipes! Check it out!!

Are you ready for Christmas? Or at least some Christmas Cupcakes?

Two of my favorite treats; cupcakes and candy, come together in these fun Peppermint Bark Cupcakes. You could certainly use any type of candy, but Peppermint, in my opinion, is perfect for Christmas.

Peppermint Bark Cupcakes
Combine two favorite holiday treats - cupcakes and peppermints - in this Peppermint Bark Cupcake recipe from
Peppermint Bark
Peppermint Cupcakes
  • White cake mix plus ingredients {4 eggs, 1 cup buttermilk (1 tablespoon + milk), ⅓ cup oil}
  • 1 cup of Peppermint chips
  • Decorator Icing or your favorite Buttercream
  • Red and Green coloring
Peppermint Bark
  1. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper
  2. Melt almond bark in microwave, depending on the size, about 45 seconds
  3. Immediately add peppermint chips or candy
  4. Let set for about 10 minutes {you can place in fridge if you want} or until hard
  5. Break into small pieces.
Peppermint Cupcakes
  1. Spray a Wilton cupcake pan with non-stick cooking spray {I like the way the cupcakes look when they aren’t baked in liners}
  2. Prepare cake mix as usual, add peppermint chips
  3. Bake and cool cupcakes
  4. Fit a decorator bag with a Giant Round Tip , fill with red or green Decorator Icing and pipe onto cupcake
  5. Top with a piece of Peppermint Bark

Now it’s your turn…show off your cupcake creations! Be sure to link back so others can enjoy the cupcakes and check out the other cupcakes!

Straight Talk about Oral Health


Oral hygiene is a serious matter. Making sure your pearly whites stay white takes work, and it takes even more work if your teeth aren’t aligned right. Not taking good care of your teeth can lead to some serious issues, like gingivitis, but did you know some of these issues can spread into your overall health?

Having unaligned teeth can create pockets where bacteria rests. Your body produces white blood cells and proteins to fight the inflammation. These cells and proteins also get trapped with the bacteria, damaging the cells that line your coronary arteries. This causes plaque and hardening of the arteries. Having healthy teeth removes the bacteria that hides in the crevices, and the diseases that come with them.

This disease is called periodontal disease. Severe periodontal infection, if untreated, may increase the risk for atherosclerosis-induced conditions such as coronary heart disease and stroke, complications of diabetes, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and respiratory diseases.

And when your teeth look good you don’t stress out about them as much, improving your mental health along with the rest. So take care of  those pearly whites, and give yourself something to smile about.

Disclosure: I’m part of the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board and my son received free Invisalign treatment. As always, the opinions and experiences are my own.

#TysonGoodness Twitter Party


Join us Tuesday at 8 p.m. CST for the #TysonGoodness Twitter Party. There will be quick dinner ideas, snack recipes and PRIZES!!

RSVP over at and check out the great prizes too!

And don’t forget to grab a couple boxes of  Tyson Mini Chicken Sandwiches and receive a $5 Walmart Gift Card.

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. As always, the opinions are always my own. #CBias

Outdoor Christmas Decorations

Outdoor Decorations Christmas.featured1

We are so excited to share our Christmas Decorations for this season, every year we try to develop a different look for the front of our house. In years past we have tried to pull together unique looks and have used various accent colors but we have always kept the white lights, it just provides such a clean and classy look in my opinion.

I had a vision of what I wanted and enlisted Doug’s help to pull it all together. We started with the garland around the door as it is the focal piece of the front of the house.

The garland is made with fresh greenery, the base is White Pine and I filled in with Fraser Fir to make it a little fuller. Then came the lights, I really love how the old vintage light bulbs are coming back in style. The old white skates make a big statement, I just love them! Grouping sets of 3 ornaments makes them a little more dramatic. Then I finished it off with snowflakes, tucked in a little more ribbon and pine cones.

The window boxes were filled with more greenery, little white lights and an antique lantern. Very simple…but gorgeous!

Next was time to give the porch a vintage look, showing visitors a glimpse of what they will find in our home. We have been wanting to display the vintage lanterns outside for quite awhile, but not really sure the best way to show them off. Doug came up with the idea of adding the shepherd’s hooks on the corner of the railing and hanging the lanterns. Now if we could only get them open to add a tiny light.

Then the toboggan and antique sled were added. Doug added some fresh green and red berries, and I tied up a bow for them. Then I shopped the house for the old wooden box and toys. The truck is filled with wooden blocks and Lincoln logs.

Here are a few more close up shots, we just couldn’t help ourselves!

We are just thrilled with how the Christmas Decorations turned out! What do you think?

Stay tuned…we have LOTS more to share including about a dozen themed Christmas Trees!

Linking to…Christmas Craft Party, Songbird

UPS My Choice Service

UPS My Choice Logo 2

‘Tis the season…baking, decorating, shopping, and especially online shopping. Today is Cyber Monday, when you will find the best deals of the season online. With all the great deals and shopping comes the shipping, which sometimes can be difficult if you are busy and not home often.

UPS is committed to making the on line shopping experience better, not just for shippers, but for the consumers who receive packages at their home as well. That’s why UPS is transforming the package delivery experience with a first-of-its kind, customizable delivery service for residential receivers called UPS My Choice.

UPS My Choice provides a new level of convenience for people who lead a busy lifestyle, receive signature-required packages or shipments of high-value or temperature-sensitive nature. Delivery Alerts help consumers avoid the disappointment over missing a package they were eagerly awaiting. Consumers can now schedule package delivery around THEIR lives.

UPS My Choice provides convenient options that align with the way people work and live. There are  two levels of membership…

  • UPS My Choice members receive phone, e-mail or text alerts notifying them a day in advance of when packages will arrive and providing a four-hour approximate delivery time frame. They also have the option to electronically authorize release of packages that require a signature and, for a $5 transaction fee, to reroute a package to another delivery address or have it delivered to the nearest The UPS Store® location.
  • UPS My Choice Premium Membership, available for a $40 annual subscription, provides all the benefits of a regular UPS My Choice membership at no additional cost and in addition, members gain access to an online delivery calendar that shows the status of UPS home deliveries. Premium members also are offered a two-hour delivery window. A $5 transaction fee is charged only upon successful delivery of the package within the two-hour commitment.
  • As a Premium member, consumers can even provide their UPS driver with detailed instructions on where to leave a package. They  just select from a drop-down list of location options like…leave it at the Side Door…the Garage…on the Porch…in the Management Office of my apartment complex or the Shed out back!

To register for UPS My Choice or for more information, visit

Disclosure: I received compensation from UPS in the form of a gift card to participate in this campaign promoting the UPS My Choice delivery service. In addition, UPS provided the gift card I am using as the prize in my promotion.

Christmas Tree Tour: Ladder Tree


I have been looking forward to the Holiday Season for months now. I’m so excited to start sharing some Christmas decorating ideas with you. If you have been around here for a little while, you may remember my Holiday Home Tour from last year.

If you are new…welcome and hold on tight because I get a little crazy around this time of year. You see, I put up 12 Christmas Trees…yes 12! My family thinks I’m just a little crazy, but little do they know I’m extremely crazy…about Christmas, of course!

So today marks the beginning of the Christmas Tree Tour, we are going to start at the front door with this adorable Ladder Tree.

As you may have seen in the Splendidly Homemade Magazine {new online publication that I recently released}, Doug and I LOVE to come up with unusual Christmas Trees. This tree was actually given to us by my sister-in-law {thanks D we LOVE it}. We knew right away we had to share it with you.

The tree is created on a wooden ladder, then some artificial greenery, red berries, red jingle bells and rustic Christmas ornaments like stars and snowmen. Doug added the lights, they are a Micro Set. I love how they make the greenery twinkle. We placed the Ladder Tree in our front foyer, added some of my large snowmen and an antique sled.

And a little peek at the Themed Trees we created for Splendidly Homemade

How do you select a theme for your tree?

Think about what you enjoy…do you have a hobby, a collection, a decorating style or maybe a vacation you want to remember?

Stay tuned…we will be sharing some fun, creative ideas for you to Decorate your Christmas Tree!

psss…you may want to subscribe so you don’t miss a single tree!

Linking to…Saturday Night Special, Saturday Sevens, Sundae Scoop, Made by you Monday, Transformation Thursday, Show & Tell Friday

Tyson Mini Chicken Sandwiches: A Quick Snack


Looking for a quick snack on this busy Holiday weekend? Try the Tyson Mini Chicken Sandwiches!

They heat up in the microwave in less than 2 minutes. You could even heat them up, and head out the door to do some Black Friday shopping. Just wrap them in foil after heating in the microwave, toss them in a small cooler or your purse and you are ready to go.

Tyson has sweetened the deal by offering a $5 Walmart Gift Card when you buy 2 boxes, making them almost half price. Hurry though, because supplies are limited.

Head on over to #TysonGoodness Website for more information and to find a store near you.

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. As always, the opinions are always my own. #CBias

Ebates $100 Giveaway


Hey…it’s Black Friday! Let’s have a giveaway!

You could win a $100 to Ebates right here and for more cash…join us in the Ebates Savvy Living Community, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. EST. There will be PRIZES and great deals!



One lucky Hoosier Homemade winner will receive a $100 credit to Ebates

Entries only accepted on this page. Facebook and Twitter entries do not count.

This is different than the regular Giveaway! Giveaway will ONLY be open 24 hrs. until Saturday, November 26th. 2011 at 9 a.m. CST. Winner will be chosen at random, notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond.

ATTENTION! You must be a member of Ebates to win! It’s FREE! Join Ebates!

Ebates has over 1200 stores to choose from and they pay YOU cash back for shopping online.


  • What would you buy at Ebates if you won?

OPTIONAL ENTRIESPlease leave a separate comment for each entry

Disclosure: I did not receive an Ebates credit for posting, however I am a Savvy Living Community Leader. As always, the opinions are always my own.

Chex Party Mix Recipes and Giveaway


Chex Party Mix is a long time favorite in our family! My Mother-in-law used to make 5 gallon containers for the family to enjoy during the Holidays.

Chex Party Mix has now gone beyond the traditional Party Mix, there are some fun new flavors on Chex Party Mix Change; Hot Buttered Yum with Rum flavoring, Chex Caramel Chocolate Drizzles, and Peanut Butter and Chocolate Blast to name a few.

I had fun decorating the take-out boxes and creating some of the recipes, and also coming up with a couple of my own recipes.

Along with the original Chex flavors; Rice, Corn and Wheat, there are some new {to me} cereals, Honey Nut and Cinnamon. The Hot Buttered Yum combines those new flavors with brown sugar, spices, rum flavoring and mini marshmallows for a burst of the season.

The addition of red and green M&M’s gives the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Blast a festive touch and the melted vanilla chips adds a little chocolate.

While decorating the boxes, I created these fun Santa treat boxes and filled them with Hot Cocoa Chex Mix, a combination of vanilla and chocolate Chex cereal, mini marshmallows and crushed peppermint. Head on over to I {Heart} Naptime, where I shared the recipe.

And if you are interested in learning how I decorated the boxes or for the Original Chex Party Mix Recipe, passed down from my Mother-in-law, head on over to Pocket Change Gourmet. Oh and by the way, we are sharing Gifts from the Kitchen every Friday too!

And now…how about a little giveaway to get you started on these fun treats?



One lucky Hoosier Homemade winner will receive the following from Chex Party Mix Change and My Blog Spark…

  • 2 boxes of Chex cereal to create Chex Party Mix recipes
  • 5 featured Chex Party Mix recipes
  • 10 takeout containers so your guests can take their Chex Party Mix to-go
  • $20 gift card to purchase recipe ingredients and decorating supplies

Entries only accepted on this page. Facebook and Twitter entries do not count.

Giveaway will remain open until Friday, Dec 2nd. 2011 at 10 p.m. CST. Winner will be chosen at random, notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond.


  • What is your favorite Chex Mix Treat?

OPTIONAL ENTRIESPlease leave a separate comment for each entry

Disclosure: The Chex Party Mix-Change product, information, and giveaway have been provided by Chex through MyBlogSpark.

Cute Turkey Cupcakes for Thanksgiving


Welcome to Cupcake Tuesday! I’m so glad to have you! I have updated the Cupcake Heaven page, there are over 150 designs and recipes! Check it out!!

Well, here we are, only a couple days from Thanksgiving. Are you ready? I have one more cute Turkey Cupcake for you. They are super easy, and the kiddos will love to help create them too!

Aren’t they cute? I bet they would be “gobbled” up…haha! Sorry, just had to!

I had planned to use small twisted lollipops for the tail feathers, in fact I looked at three different candy stores for them. Since I didn’t find them, improvise, is what I did. Candy necklaces are cut apart and threaded onto a toothpick…easy…frugal and super cute!

Cute Turkey Cupcakes for Thanksgiving
These Cute Turkey Cupcakes for Thanksgiving from are super easy and kid-friendly!
  • Cupcakes
  • Decorator Icing or Buttercream plus a little cinnamon to make it textured
  • Chocolate Frosting {I just used canned}
  • Tail feathers – Candy Necklaces – found at Party City
  • Eyes – Large sprinkles
  • Beak & Waddle – Candy coated Sunflower Seeds
  • Toothpicks
  • Decorator bag fitted with a Giant Round Tip
  1. Bake and cool cupcakes
  2. Frost with Ivory colored icing
  3. Fit a decorator bag with a giant round tip , fill with chocolate frosting
  4. Pipe on head
  5. Add toothpicks for the tail feathers – I used 5 toothpicks, 3 in the back and then 2 a little closer and in between
  6. Cut a candy necklace apart and thread the candy onto the toothpick
  7. Add the sprinkles for the eyes, Sunflower Seeds for the beak and waddle
Turkey Tips:
  1. After piping on the head, smooth out the frosting by running your finger under hot water
  2. It’s easier to put the toothpicks into the cupcake then thread the candy
  3. Before you add the last candy, push the toothpick down a little, then add the candy, that way the toothpick won’t show
  4. Use tweezers to add the eyes, beak and waddle

In case you missed them, check out the Thanksgiving Cupcake Round-up I shared with a dozen fun ideas!

In other exciting news…Splendidly Homemade has reached OVER 19,000 views…if you happen to miss it, check it out! {click on the button}

AND, here’s are some recent Giveaway winners…

$50 Gift Card provided by Sun Bird – SnowflakeDay (Audra) says Hoosier Homemade email subscriber

$50 Gift Card provided by OshKosh B’Gosh – Breanne says I subscribe to cupcake chronicles and Hoosier Homemade by email

Linking to..Taste and Tell

Now it’s your turn…show off your cupcake creations! Be sure to link back so others can enjoy the cupcakes and check out the other cupcakes!

Thanksgiving Desserts and Pumpkin Cheesecake Mini Trifle


Trifles, in my opinion, are the easiest most inexpensive dessert you can make….they can be made ahead, the ideas are endless and most importantly they look like you spent hours on them, when it really only takes you less than 15 minutes. These Pumpkin Cheesecake Mini Trifles are perfect for Thanksgiving,  but you could certainly make them for Christmas or even a special get-together.

I think using unusual containers adds to the creativeness of the Trifle. These Pumpkin Cheesecake Mini Trifles are served in glass votive candle holders that we found at Goodwill.

Now, because we can’t have just one dessert for Thanksgiving, I’ve put together a delicious round-up for you of Thanksgiving Desserts

Love baking with Pumpkin…and eating it!

Oh how we all love Thanksgiving Pies

It’s all about the Dessert on Thanksgiving…

Fun Thanksgiving Cupcakes with Turkeys, Pilgrim Hats, Cornucopias, Pumpkin Pie, and more!

5 from 1 reviews
Pumpkin Cheesecake Mini Trifle Recipe
Prep time
Total time
A super easy but very impressive dessert. Recipe from
  • 1 small box Cheesecake Pudding
  • 2 cups milks
  • ¼ cup pumpkin {not pumpkin pie filling}
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 cup Cool Whip Topping or Whipping Cream
  • 2 Cinnamon graham crackers, crushed finely
  1. Mix cheesecake pudding and milk with whisk
  2. Place in fridge until set, about 5 minutes
  3. Fold in pumpkin and spice, whisk until smooth
  4. Place in fridge another 5-10 minutes to set
  5. Layer pumpkin cheesecake, Cool Whip and crushed graham crackers
  6. Fit a decorator bag with a Giant Round Tip and pipe on a dollop of Cool Whip on top, sprinkle on graham cracker crumbs

Looking for some Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas, head on over to Pocket Change Gourmet…we have lots!

Linking to…Tip Me Tuesday, Works For Me Wednesday

Tips for Shopping Black Friday

Walmart Store Map

Raise your hand if you shop on Black Friday! I haven’t gone in years, but we are planning to go this year. Since our boys are all teenagers, they will be receiving one large item and a few smaller ones. Teenagers love electronics!

Stores like Walmart, have super deals for Black Friday! You can even view their Black Friday Ad online.

Prepare for Black Friday

  1. Make your list – I’m a HUGE list maker, especially for shopping.
  2. Gather the ads – most retailers will have their ads online or head to your local gas station and grab a newspaper
  3. Compare – looking for something specific? Compare prices AND remember about the Walmart Christmas Price Guarantee. If you buy it at Walmart and find it later somewhere else, Walmart will give you a gift card for the difference
  4. Set a budget – really important or you can find yourself buying lots of items you don’t need
  5. Grab your phone – Use a shopping app like Walmart has
  6. Set a strategy – make a list of the stores you want to visit and plan your trip
  7. Plan of attack – make a plan for each store and where you will need to go. Walmart has a cool Black Friday Store Map that shows you exactly where each item will be. View the Black Friday Ad for your store, you will find a link at the store, near the middle, in green, that says “Black Friday Store Map”, click on that button, it should look like this…

Black Friday Shopping

  1. Pack some water and snacks in a small cooler {you won’t want to stop to eat anywhere}
  2. Take cash – I like cash because then when it’s gone, it’s gone – your budget is spent
  3. Put on some comfy shoes and grab your coffee
  4. Make sure you have your plan and your list
  5. Keep an open mind – many stores will quickly sell out so you may need to adjust your list
  6. If all else fails – shop on Cyber Monday! There will be LOTS of online deals
  7. Have fun!!

And in you happen to NOT be shopping…join us in the Ebates Savvy Living Community, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. EST. There will be PRIZES and great deals!

Disclosure: This post is part of a campaign I am participating in with the Walmart Moms. Walmart has provided me with compensation  for this post. My participation is voluntary and opinions, as always are my own.

Thanksgiving Cupcakes Round-up


Thanksgiving is next week…wow, how did that happen? Have you planned what you are baking yet? I thought it would be fun to do a Thanksgiving Cupcakes Round-up for you.


Pumpkin Cupcakes

Turkey Cupcakes

Thanksgiving Cupcakes

Thanksgiving Printables

Thanksgiving Place Card Printables available FREE in the Cupcake Chronicles Newsletter

A special Thank You to Charlotte from The Paper Cupcake for designing the printables for us!

Fall Cupcakes

And in case you are looking for Fall Cupcakes, these would also be great on your Thanksgiving table. Both of these are from Cupcake Chronicles Newsletter and the Fall Cupcake Toppers are free with your subscription!

Which ones are your favorite?

Linking to…Weekend Wrap up Party, Saturday Night Special, 2 Maids a Milking, Saturday Sevens, Sundae Scoop, Tip Me Tuesday

Walmart Black Friday Ad Preview for 2011


Are you a Black Friday shopper?!

Walmart has released their Black Friday Ad early so you can get a jump on your shopping plans. You can find the ad on the Walmart website on the local ad page. There are great deals all day long with some starting as early as 10 p.m. Thanksgiving Day to give you an even earlier start to your shopping.

Reviewing the ad brings back memories of years past when the kids would spend hours looking over store ads and circling what they wanted for Christmas. After they were finished with the ads you could barely read them.

And don’t forget that Walmart is making your holiday shopping even more worry free this season with their Christmas Price Guarantee and Ad Matching Policy

There are deals and specials in nearly all the departments so don’t skip a single page!

Big News, Big News…

Walmart has announced that their Layaway desk will be open on Black Friday!!!

The Details…

The Layaway desk will now be open on Friday November 25 (Black Friday) starting at 8 a.m. in most stores.

  • Eligible toys & electronics can be put on layaway, including the special savings items at 8 a.m.
  • Items included in the limited time or “while supplies last” 10 p.m. and midnight events will not be eligible for layaway prior to 8 a.m.

Note: in NY, not all stores may be able to offer 8 a.m. items on layaway. Customers should check with their store management for more information.

In other Walmart news…

Walmart just updated their iPhone and iPad apps. Since I am the new, proud owner of an iPhone, I wanted to give the app a try.

Here are some of the details I thought you would enjoy…

  • Budgeting tools: Calculate total price in real-time as specific items are added to mobile shopping lists.
  • Manufacturer’s coupons: View applicable manufacturer coupons for products carried in local Walmart stores.
  • Sharing: Email shopping list to friends and family.

Walmart is also giving back this holiday season with the “12 Days of Giving,” a way for users on Facebook to nominate local nonprofits for funding and they have $1.5 million to give!!  They are looking for organizations that are fighting hunger and providing basic needs items like diapers, baby formula or cold weather clothing to those in-need. Head on over to the Walmart Facebook page and nominate until November 30th.

Disclosure: This post is part of a campaign I am participating in with the Walmart Moms. Walmart has provided me with compensation  for this post. My participation is voluntary and opinions, as always are my own.

Tyson Mini Chicken Sandwiches


With a house full of boys, we have plenty of sports, games and after school activities. Tyson has done it again with their quick and easy Mini Chicken Sandwiches.

Casey is in the 8th grade, and since there is only one gym at the middle school, all the teams have to share, which means that because they are the oldest, their practices are a little later. So he comes home after school, then has to go back at 5:30, making our dinner time a little later and his stomach pretty hungry.

The Tyson Mini Chicken Sandwiches make a perfect snack for that in between time, or even to grab as the kids head out the door. The sandwiches come in individual plastic bags and just heat them in the microwave for less than 2 minutes.

Casey loved them and said “they taste a lot like chicken nuggets in a biscuit.”

Tyson has sweetened the deal by offering a $5 Walmart Gift Card when you buy 2 boxes, making them almost half price. Hurry though, because supplies are limited.

Head on over to #TysonGoodness Website for more information and to find a store near you.

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. As always, the opinions are always my own. #CBias

Chai Tea Latte Cupcakes and Giveaway


I’m not a coffee drinker, but pretty much every morning {and sometimes in the evening} I have a Chai Tea Latte. While I love Starbucks, and grab it as a treat, it’s just too expensive. So I just make my own with Chai Tea Latte concentrate and milk. I was excited to see that International Delight has a new creamer in their Coffee House line, Chai Latte.

Not only could I use some in my Chai Tea Latte, but I could try the Chai Tea Latte Cupcakes that I have been wanting to make for over a year.

With the Holidays approaching, and colder weather, come nights snuggled by the fire with a cup of Chai Tea Latte or Hot Cocoa. Besides the classic flavors, International Delight has some more amazing flavors. In their Coffee House Inspiration Flavors, how about Vanilla Caramel Cream or White Chocolate Mocha? And they have Seasonal Flavors too…Pumpkin Pie Spice, Vanilla Spiced Rum or even Peppermint Mocha to mention a few.

To easily change the flavor of your cake or cupcake, simply substitute the International Delight Creamer for the milk or water, and you have a wonderful treat!

4 from 1 reviews
Chai Tea Latte Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A delicious cupcake to enjoy with your coffee. Recipe from
  • 1 French Vanilla cake mix {I used Betty Crocker}
  • 1 cup International Delight Chai Latte Creamer
  • 4 eggs
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1-2 teaspoons nutmeg
Chai Tea Latte Whipping Cream
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons International Delight Chai Latte Creamer
  • 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon plus a little on top
  • 2-4 tablespoons powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined
  3. Divide batter into cupcake pans or tea cups for a fun presentation
  4. Bake cupcakes for about 15 - 18 minutes
  5. Tea Cups will bake longer depending on the size of the cup, test with a toothpick
Whipping Cream
  1. Beat heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form
  2. Add Chai Latte creamer and continue beating
  3. Gradually add powdered sugar and cinnamon
  4. Beat at high speed until stiff peaks form
  5. Top cupcakes and add a sprinkle of cinnamon

Wanna win a $200 Walmart Gift Card? Sure you do!

Tell International Delight what your favorite holiday treat is for a chance to win a $200 Walmart gift card.

Capture the flavors of the holidays in every cup of coffee with International Delight Creamers. Available in a variety of flavors, such as, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Vanilla Spiced Rum and White Chocolate Raspberry.

TellTeTeTell International Delight what your favorite holiday treat is for a chance to win a $200 Walmart Gift Card.
Capture the flavors of the holiday’s in every cup of coffee with International Delight creamers. Available in a variety of flavors, such as Cinnabon, Almond Joy and Pumpkin Spice, International Delight can make everyday feel like a holiday.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight.  The opinions expressed by me do not necessarily reflect the view of the International Delight Brand.

Easy Thanksgiving Centerpiece


Last week I shared our Thanksgiving Leftover Party with lots of yummy food and decorating. Today I’d like to show you how easy it is to create the Thanksgiving Centerpiece for your table or even serving buffet.

Let’s start with the Pilgrim Hats…

Pilgrim Hat Centerpiece Supplies:

  • Small clay pots
  • Electrical tape
  • Washer – size will depend on the size of the pot, we used 1 1/2 inch washer on a 4 inch pot
  • Gold spray paint
  • Glitter


  1. Paint the washers with gold spray paint and immediately add some glitter. You can certainly leave the glitter off, but I like how it made the buckle look shiny.
  2. Wrap electrical tape around the clay pot. We tried using black paper, but found that the electrical tape was much easier because it stretches a bit.
  3. After the washer is dry, glue it onto the pot with hot glue

I filled one pot with floral foam and added some flowers. And the other pots were filled with a little dried moss and a pumpkin, and a gourd garland in the last pot.

After the Pilgrim Hats were done, I simply shopped my house for items to fill the tray. I had Doug cut wood into three pieces for the center. It was my intention to have him drill out a hole for a candle, but his drill wasn’t cooperating with us that day.

Then I added in the Pilgrim Hats and filled in with some Indian Corn and silk leaves. The gourd garland, that I used last year on the Hoosier cabinet, made it’s way to the table, placed in one of the Pilgrim Hats and simply wrapped around the wood loosely.

Do you decorate your table for Thanksgiving?

Join us in the Savvy Living Community on Thursday, November 17th at 7 p.m. EST as we chat all about Thanksgiving!

Linking to…Transformation Thursday, Show & Tell Friday,Weekend Wrap up Party, Saturday Night Special, Sundae Scoop

Baking for the Holidays


Every week, Tiffany from Eat at Home and I are sharing tips for Prep & Planning: Steps to a Peaceful Holiday. Today, it’s all about baking…my favorite!

With everything you need to get done during the Holidays, wouldn’t be nice to have some of the baking done ahead? Join us tomorrow {Wed} for a Virtual Baking Party on Facebook, as we share recipes and ideas to help us prepare for the Holidays.

And don’t forget to print out your FREE Holiday Planner over at Eat at Home!

Here are some recipes to get you started…

Quick Breads:



Like I have mentioned before, I’m not the best rolled, cut out cookie baker. I’m hoping it’s because I don’t make them very much. But if you are looking for Decorated Cookie ideas, then Sweet Sugar Belle is the place you want to go. And she just shared her tips on Baking the Perfect Sugar Cookie!  Amazing!! See what I mean…


Although you may not think of preparing your cupcakes ahead, they actually freeze really well. You can freeze the batter as well as the cupcakes after you bake them.

Freezing Cupcakes:

  • Place cake batter in a resealable container and plastic resealable bag and seal tightly
  • Place cupcake liners in pan, fill with batter, wrap in plastic and flash freeze {2-3 hours} remove from freezer and place cupcakes in a resealable bag. Place back in freezer
  • Place cake batter in disposable cupcake pans to freeze. Remove from freezer, let thaw and bake in pan.
  • Batter can be frozen up to 3 months if wrapped tightly
  • For more information on Freezing Cupcakes, visit The Kitchn

For over 150 cupcake recipes and ideas, visit Cupcake Heaven!

Join Tiffany and I every week as we share Prep & Planning: Steps to a Peaceful Holiday

Week #1: Homemade Holiday Gifts

Week #2: Freezing Party Foods

And don’t forget…the Virtual Baking Party is tomorrow, starting around 9 a.m.!

Come share what you have been baking lately in the Coffee Talk Community!

Linking to…Transformation Thursday

Splendidly Homemade Online Magazine


I am SUPER excited to share with you Splendidly Homemade!! I have been working for months with my good friend and blogging buddy, Gina from The Shabby Creek Cottage, to put together the Premier Issue.

We couldn’t have done it without our amazing group of contributors; Tiffany from Eat at Home, Amy from MomAdvice, Barbara from Barbara Bakes, Holly from iGoBoGo, Kellie from Nest of Posies, Laura from Real Mom Kitchen, Jessica from Kohler Created and Ashley from Ashley who helped us pull it all together for Kindle!

Isn’t she GORGEOUS??? I’m so proud and thrilled, I could cry…but I won’t!

So what’s this Online Magazine all about and how does it work?

First of all…it’s FREE! Yes, just click on the button below or head on over to Splendidly Homemade. When you arrive, you just need to click on the “Click to Read” button in the middle of the picture, and enjoy!!

You can also grab it on Kindle if you would like, for only $.99 cents! And be sure to “like” Splendidly Homemade on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

And here’s a little sneak peek of my contribution…

Doug and I had such a blast creating this Bird Tree! The unique patina of the garden trellises, the bird houses, homemade suet and the cute little wreath on top make it a show stopper in our front yard!

Giving a gift from your kitchen is always such fun and budget friendly too! I filled this basket with Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bread, Apple Butter and Pumpkin Butter. {recipes in the magazine}

By using antique kitchen tools and a dried fruit garland, this Kitchen Christmas Tree is a great way to show off a collection and add a little whimsy to your kitchen or dining room during the holidays.

Won’t you join us?? Visit Splendidly Homemade to view the Premier Issue and find more wonderful ideas for the holidays!

Linking to…Made by you Monday, Works for me Wednesday, Transformation Thursday, Show & Tell Friday, Weekend Wrap up Party.Saturday Night Special, Sundae Scoop

Apple Cake: Secret Recipe Club


It’s that time again…time for Secret Recipe Club! This month has just flown by, seems like I was just baking the Pumpkin Icebox Pie from last month’s secret blogger. Today my secret blogger is Julie from Little Bit of Everything, and she is from the Midwest, just like me! I enjoyed browsing around Julie’s blog, checking out her new home, traveling adventures and oh yes…she bakes cupcakes!

But when I happened upon this Apple Cake, I knew right away I wanted to bake it. Mostly because it sounded delicious, but also I remembered an Apple Cake that my Mom used to make years ago.

It was a perfect addition to the Thanksgiving Leftover Party. Guests are usually tired of Pumpkin Dessert after Thanksgiving, but the Apple Cake still has the Fall flavors that we all love around the holidays.

I changed the recipe a bit and had enough batter to bake the cake a couple different ways, in these cute little individual bundt pans and also in a regular size bundt pan, both gave it a beautiful shape, plus it was easy to cut and serve.

The larger cake was definitely a show stopper on the Thanksgiving Buffet! I served the larger cake with Cinnamon Whip Cream and glazed the smaller Apple Cakes with Brown Sugar Glaze. Both were delicious, and actually were better the second day, making this a great make-ahead cake as well.

4 from 1 reviews
Apple Cake Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A delicious cake with apples and nuts.
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1½ cups oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 3 cups diced apple
Cinnamon Whip Topping
  • 1-2 cups Cool Whip Whipped Topping or fresh whipping cream
  • 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
Brown Sugar Glaze
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray pan with non-stick cooking spray and dust with flour
  2. Cream together eggs, sugars, oil and vanilla until well combined
  3. Sift together dry ingredients
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients just until combined
  5. Fold in nuts and apples
  6. Fill baking pan {Bundt, Layer, Loaf, or even cupcakes} about ¾ full
Baking times
  1. Regular Size Bundt: 45 - 60 min
  2. Individual Size Bundt: 20 - 30 min
  3. Layer: 30 - 45 min
  4. Loaf: 45 - 60 min
  5. Cupcakes: 18-20 min
  6. Test all with a toothpick, times may vary a bit
Cinnamon Whip Topping
  1. Combine whipped topping and cinnamon
  2. Serve on top of cake or on the side
Brown Sugar Glaze
  1. In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients
  2. Cook until slightly thick, about 4 minutes
  3. Brush on warm cake

I think my favorites were the little ones…they are so cute, and kind of remind me of a cupcake.

I’ve been involved with  Secret Recipe Club for 6 months now, here are my other assignments…

AND…don’t miss our Premier Issue of Splendidly Homemade! It’s full of awesome ideas for the Holidays!

Linking to…Mouthwatering Mondays, 2 Maids a MilkingIngredient Spotlight, Gooseberry Patch

Secret Recipe Club

Walmart offers 0% Financing


Walmart is at it again…saving you even more this holiday season! We have talked about their new layaway program, Christmas price guarantee and the Black Friday deals, and now…0% Financing on the Walmart Credit Card!

Here are the details…

  • No interest for 6 months on all Walmart purchases made in November and December
  • Available on all your purchases, in-store and at
  • Interest will be charged to your account from the purchase date if the promotional balance is not paid in full within 6 months
  • Minimum monthly payments required and may pay off purchase(s) before end of promo period
  • Certificate required in store for first purchase only
  • Gas purchases excluded

The fine print…

Legal disclaimer: No interest if paid in full within 6 months on every purchase, every day in November and December 2011 in store or on with your Walmart credit card.*  Interest will be charged to your account from the purchase date if the promotional balance is not paid in full within 6 months.  Minimum monthly payments required and may pay off purchase(s) before end of promo period. Certificate required instore for first purchase only. Gas purchases excluded.

Disclosure: Offer certificate must be scanned at register at time of initial purchase to receive this offer. Offer subject to credit approval and cannot be combined with any other offer. Applies to any Walmart purchase made during the promotional period using either a consumer Walmart® Discover® card or consumer Walmart® Credit Card in a Walmart store or online at (excluding cash advances, money orders, purchases at Sam’s Club and gas purchases). Minimum monthly payments are required during the promotional period. Some or all of the minimum payment based on the promotional balance may be applied to other account balances. No interest will be assessed on the promotional purchase if you pay the following (the “promotional balance”) in full within 6 months: 1) the promotional purchase amount, and 2) any related optional credit insurance/debt cancellation charges. If you do not, interest will be assessed on the promotional balance from the date of the purchase. Regular credit terms apply to non-promotional purchases and after promotion ends to promotional purchases. For new accounts: Variable purchase APR is 16.90%, 19.90% or 22.90%. Minimum interest charge is $1.00.  All APRs are accurate as of 9/1/2011 and will vary with the market based on the Prime rate (as defined in your credit card agreement). Existing cardholders should see their credit card agreement for their applicable terms.

You can also read the details on

Disclosure: This post is part of a campaign I am participating in with the Walmart Moms. Walmart has provided me with compensation  for this post. My participation is voluntary and opinions, as always are my own.

Thanksgiving Leftover Party: Food and Decorating


While we all love Thanksgiving, and the traditional turkey with all the extras, we often wonder…what are we going to do with all those leftovers? Well…host a Thanksgiving Leftover Party, of course!

Hellmann’s is hosting a Turkey Challenge, just like the Chicken Challenge, they are kicking things up a notch and have transformed your favorite Turkey dishes with Hellmann’s mayonnaise.

Who knew Thanksgiving leftovers could be so good?!?

Over the next week or so, I will be sharing all the recipes, table settings and decorations from our Thanksgiving Leftover Party. The sweet treats and the decorating will be here on Hoosier Homemade and all the other recipes will be on Pocket Change Gourmet.

Here is what you can look forward to…

  1. Deep Fried Stuffing…oh yes I did!!
  2. Apples & Cranberries baked in a Pumpkin
  3. Apple Cake
  4. Turkey Bacon Ranch Sandwiches with Hellmann’s Ranch Spread
  5. Turkey Cupcakes from Cupcake Tuesday and Stenciled Turkey Cupcakes from Cupcake Chronicles Newsletter
  6. Set a  Kiddie Table
  7. Sweet Potato Fries and Marshmallow Dip
  8. Thanksgiving Food Tags
  9. Turkey Cheese Ball
  10. Pilgrim Hat container with flowers
  11. Pumpkin Cheesecake Mini Trifle
  12. Thanksgiving Centerpiece
  13. Turkey Casserole from Bobby Flay with Hellmann’s

Because I couldn’t leave without sharing at least one of these amazing recipes with you, I thought we should start with the star of the party…Turkey Casserole.

You see…like I mentioned earlier, there is a little challenge going on, Bobby Flay created Stuffing Crusted Turkey Cutlets, Hellmann’s created Savory Turkey Loaf and this Turkey Casserole.

Now, although we haven’t tried the Turkey Cutlets or the Loaf yet, if they are anything like the Turkey Casserole, they are sure to be a hit in our home! The kids loved the Turkey Casserole, which kind of surprised me because they really aren’t much for their food all mixed together. Now me on the other hand, I love casseroles of any kind. Especially because they are so easy to prepare, make-ahead and also freeze really well.

5 from 1 reviews
Turkey Casserole
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A delicious way to use up leftover turkey.
  • 4 cups leftover prepared stuffing, divided
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped leftover cooked turkey (about 1 lb.) {We used turkey that we cooked on the grill}
  • ¾ cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise, divided
  • ¼ cup whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (about 6 oz.)
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Spray 8-inch baking dish with no-stick cooking spray. Spoon in 2 cups stuffing, then top with turkey.
  2. Combine ¼ cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise with cranberry sauce; evenly spread over turkey.
  3. Combine remaining ½ cup Mayonnaise, potatoes and cheese in large bowl, evenly spread on turkey, then top with remaining 2 cups stuffing.
  4. Bake 40 minutes or until heated through. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. If desired, garnish with dried cranberries.

Let’s take a peek at the other Turkey Challenge recipes…

  • Savory Turkey Loaf…mix this up ahead to make a quick meal and at only $.73 cents per serving, it’s a great budget friendly meal too

Each week during the Hellmann’s Turkey Challenge two recipes will challenge the spotlighted turkey recipe for your vote.  Join myself and the other Hellmann’s Real Foodies as we take on the Turkey Challenge!

And remember…stay tuned for all the other yummy recipes, decorating ideas and a fun kiddie table too!


Disclosure: I was provided some of the ingredients to make the chicken. I am on the Hellmann’s Real Foodie Team.  As always, the opinions are all my own.

Linking to…Weekend Wrap up Party, Saturday Night Special, Sundae Scoop, Mouthwatering Mondays, Made by you Monday, Works for me Wednesday, What’s On Your Plate?, Gooseberry Patch, Transformation Thursday, Show & Tell Friday, Saturday Sevens

Thanksgiving Homemade Gifts 2011


Well the house is decorated for the big party with only two weeks to go ’til Thanksgiving. We are we are on our way to making this a special holiday to remember, but wait what can we give to our guest to show how thankful we are that they are in our lives.

Every Friday we celebrate with a holiday inspired party, today you can share your ideas for homemade gifts for the season.


Follow us on facebook and twitter so you won’t be missing out on our daily highlights during the party.

Thanks again for sharing and I would appreciate a link back so we can highlight you.

Easy Fall Centerpiece


Sometimes during the hustle and bustle of preparing the Turkey, fixin’ the sides and baking yummy Pumpkin Bread, we run out of  time for the rest of our home. This Fall Centerpiece took me, literally, less than 5 minutes.

I bet you have most of these supplies around your house too.

Fall Centerpiece Supplies:

  • Wreath with silk leaves
  • Glass container
  • Candle
  • Acorns gathered from the yard


  1. Place wreath on table
  2. Add glass container and candle
  3. Add the acorns

Note: You may need to bake the acorns to get the critters out. Just place them on a cookie sheet and bake for about an hour on very low heat, 250 degrees.

You could also change the centerpiece for the seasons, maybe an evergreen wreath and the jar filled with Christmas ornaments or a white wreath with blue tinsel and white snowflakes…the ideas are endless!

This Fall Centerpiece is on our coffee table but you could also use it for a Thanksgiving Table Centerpiece.

Are you hosting Thanksgiving Dinner? Share what you are serving with us in the Coffee Talk Community!

Linking to…Show & Tell Friday, Frugal Friday, Weekend Wrap up Party, Saturday Night Special, Sundae Scoop, Made by you Monday

$50 Gift Card Giveaway to Carter’s/OshKosh B’Gosh


Last week I filled you in on the awesome Holiday Doorbusters at Carter’s and OshKosh B’Gosh. Today we have a chance for you to win a$50 Gift Card!

OshKosh is also giving this Holiday Season! Each week, OshKosh B’Gosh is giving away $4,000 in gift cards on Facebook. Enter and be one of 12 lucky fans to win a $50 or $100 gift card!! “Like” OshKosh B’gosh on Facebook and enter from October 24 through November 20. Tell your friends and start a Friend-zy!



One lucky Hoosier Homemade winner will receive a $50 Gift Card to Carter’s

Entries only accepted on this page. Facebook and Twitter entries do not count.

Giveaway will remain open until Friday, November 18th. 2011 at 10 p.m. CST. Winner will be chosen at random, notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond.


  • Do you buy special outfits for your children for the holidays?

OPTIONAL ENTRIESPlease leave a separate comment for each entry

Disclosure: OshKosh B’Gosh partnered with bloggers such as me to help promote their holiday dealsand gift shops.  As part of the program, I received compensation.  They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products I used. OshKosh B’Gosh and their parent company Carter’s believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. OshKosh B’Gosh policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

Pumpkin Bread Recipe


Pumpkin…’tis the season…Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Cake, Pumpkin Muffins, Pumpkin Cupcakes…and Pumpkin Bread!

I’m one of those strange people that don’t like Pumpkin Pie, but I love all the other baked goods, oh and Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte! This Pumpkin Bread is an absolutely favorite of mine and I look forward to it every Fall.

I’m not sure if you noticed, or saw me chatting about my new camera on Facebook, but I was able to purchase my first Canon DSLR a couple months ago. Doug and I have been learning the new settings and what works best. Sometimes when we take photos to share, we struggle with getting a few good ones, and other times, like the Pumpkin Bread, almost every photo was good. So bear with me…I have a few to share.

We love this Pumpkin Bread filled with nuts, but you can certainly leave them out too.

Wrap the Pumpkin Bread, or any bread, in a coffee filter and tie with a pretty ribbon for a very thoughtful and of course, budget friendly gift.

YUM! Now I need to go bake some more bread, because this is making me crave Pumpkin Bread!

5 from 1 reviews
Pumpkin Bread Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A delicious quick bread that is perfect for the Fall and Holiday season! Recipe from
Serves: 1 large loaf or 4 small loaves
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 (15-16 oz) can solid pack pumpkin (be sure it’s not pie filling)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg {or make your own Pumpkin Pie Spice blend}
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Spray bread pans {1 large or 4 small} with non-stick cooking spray
  3. Beat sugar and oil in large bowl
  4. Mix in eggs and pumpkin
  5. Sift dry ingredients in another bowl
  6. Add dry mixture to pumpkin mixture in 2 additions
  7. Fold in walnuts
  8. Divide batter into greased pans.
  9. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 40 – 45 minutes for mini loaves, and 1 hour 10 minutes for large pan.

What is your favorite way to enjoy Pumpkin Bread?

Linking to...Ingredient SpotlightGooseberry Patch

Turkey Cupcakes for Thanksgiving


Welcome to Cupcake Tuesday! I’m so glad to have you! I have updated the Cupcake Heaven page, there are over 150 designs and recipes! Check it out!!

Can you believe Thanksgiving is only a couple weeks away? I seriously don’t know where the time goes. How about you?

We have some fun Thanksgiving Cupcakes planned to share with you, and these fun Turkey Cupcakes are just the one’s to kick off the holiday. With their simple design they won’t take long to make and are perfect for the kids and can be enjoyed by all.

These cupcakes would be a great addition to the kids table at this year’s Thanksgiving celebration, you can even use them as a nice edible centerpiece if you can keep everyone away from them…including the adults!

4 from 1 reviews
Turkey Cupcakes for Thanksgiving
Fun and whimsical Turkey cupcakes for the kids from
  • Pumpkin Cupcakes or your favorite flavor
  • Brown Frosting
  • Chocolate Hershey's Kisses
  • Wilton Candy Melts – Red, Orange and Yellow
  • Chocolate Sprinkles
  • Plastic squeeze bottle
  • Wax paper
  1. Bake and cool cupcakes
  2. While the cupcakes are cooling, create the feathers
  3. Line a cookie sheet or tray with wax paper
  4. Place 15 or 20 candy wafers in a microwave safe bowl and melt for about 20 seconds, stir with a little oil to thin if necessary
  5. Spoon melted chocolate into a plastic squeeze bottle. I’ve tried many different ways to use melted chocolate and this is by far the easiest
  6. Create feathers by squeezing chocolate into small loops, repeat for each color {Be sure to make extra, they will break}
  7. Place in freezer for a few minutes to set up
  8. Frost cupcake with brown frosting
  9. Roll the edge in the chocolate sprinkles
  10. Add chocolate kiss for head
  11. Carefully add feathers


Thanksgiving Cupcakes


Planning for the Holidays: Cheese Ball Recipe


Last week, Tiffany and I kicked off our series, Prep & Planning: Steps to a Peaceful Holiday, with Homemade Holiday Gifts. I shared Hot Cocoa and Tea Jars with fun printables and Tiffany shared yummy Snack Mixes and a printable for Hollywood Mix.

This week our focus is, preparing party food ahead, freezing it and having it ready when you have a party to attend or a last minute call from the neighbors to drop by for a little get together. Visit Tiffany from Eat at Home tomorrow for more great ideas on preparing party food ahead.

I’ve been making this Cheese Ball for many, many years. It’s always a favorite in our house and anytime I take it to a party or potluck. With only 5 ingredients {plus nuts if you like them}, the Cheese Ball goes together in a flash and also makes a great gift!

To prepare them ahead for the freezer, follow the recipe below and simply wrap them in plastic or use your FoodSaver System to vacuum seal them. The day of the party, just take them out of the freezer in the morning or the night before and place them in the fridge. Serve with your favorite crackers for a super easy treat.

5 from 1 reviews
Cheese Ball Recipe
Prep time
Total time
Delicious Cheese Ball for the Holidays. Recipe from
Serves: 1 large Cheese Ball or 2 smaller
  • 2 packages (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 packages of thinly sliced meat, pastrami or beef works best (I buy them at Aldi’s or Walmart, for less than .60 cents)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Accent Salt (or regular salt) Accent has MSG in it, so if you don’t want to use that, regular salt is okay, but use a little less
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped finely
  1. Place cream cheese in a large bowl and gently stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until slightly creamy
  2. Cut meat and green onion into small pieces
  3. Add to cream cheese
  4. Add salt and Worcestershire Sauce
  5. Mix well
  6. Place plastic wrap on counter
  7. Add cheese ball mixture and form one large ball or divide in half for two smaller cheese balls
  8. You can also roll in chopped nuts if you want
  9. Wrap tightly and either place in a resealable freezer bag, wrap in another piece of plastic wrap or seal with FoodSaver System
  10. To serve, remove from freezer the morning or the night before you want to serve, place in fridge
  11. Serve with crackers of your choice

Join Tiffany and I every week as we share Prep & Planning: Steps to a Peaceful Holiday

Week #1: Homemade Holiday Gifts

Mark your calendars!! November 12th is the Virtual Freezer Cooking Party with Tiffany and November 16th. is the Virtual Baking Party!

Linking to..Mouthwatering Mondays, Saturday Night Special, Show & Tell Friday

Bionaire Air Purifier Product Review


Allergies and asthma sufferers are on the rise. And a lot of people stay indoors because they think their allergies will be worse outside. But did you know that according to the EPA, indoor air can be up to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air?

Our family suffers from allergies, mostly seasonal, but they are definitely bothersome. So when Bionaire offered to send us an Air Purifier to try, we were excited. I love having plants inside, especially fresh green at Christmas, but with the allergies we just aren’t able. I’m not sure the Air Purifier will help with that, but we are hoping.

Winters are pretty cold here in Indiana, our furnace has been on for over a month already, which means a stuffy house and plenty of allergies.

We received the Bionaire HEPA-Type Tower Air Purifier with Remote Control and the Allergen Remover Replacement Filter. Stay tuned…we will be back in a few weeks to let you know how it’s working.

In the meantime, if you would like to purchase an Air Purifier, you can save up to $20 on your next aer1 ready air purifier.

Disclosure: We received a Bionaire Air Purifier for our review. As always, the opinions are always my own.

Nostalgic Birthday Cupcakes

Retro Cupcakes.featured

In celebration of my birthday today, I created some fun Nostalgic Cupcakes for Cupcake Chronicles Newsletter yesterday. I just had to share them with you…

I used some old fashioned candy that I remember having as a child and one of my favorite frostings on top of a chocolate cupcake.

If you are interested in the Birthday Cupcake Toppers, they are in the Cupcake Chronicles Newsletter, which has exclusive recipes, ideas and printables. Please subscribe, I’m happy to send them to you…it’s FREE!

Linking to…Made by You Monday, Mouthwatering Mondays, Sundae Scoop, Ultimate Recipe Swap

Online Coupons at

coupon2 has a pretty cool new feature that I think you will love…online coupons. I created a short video to show you how easy it is to use…

A few more tips…

  • In the upper left corner you can also click on and read the Walmart coupon policy
  • There are also categories that you can click on if you are looking for something specific
  • And it keeps track of your savings for you

Head on over to and print out some coupons before your next shopping trip!

Disclosure: This post is part of a campaign I am participating in with the Walmart Moms. Walmart has provided me with compensation  for this post. My participation is voluntary and opinions, as always are my own.

How to plant Spring Flowering Bulbs


Planting bulbs is one of the easiest and cost effective ways to add color to your homes’ landscape. It’s not too late to plant those tulip and daffodil bulbs that you’ve been putting off getting in the ground. In a few easy steps you’ll be enjoying your efforts in the spring.

Planting Spring flowering bulbs in the Fall can be done up until the ground freezes, as a matter of fact you really don’t want to plant your bulbs too early in the fall. The ideal time to plant is from the end of September thru November. You can buy your bulbs early and store them in a cool dry place out of sunlight until you are ready to put them in the ground. I’ve even planted them when there has been a couple of inches of snow on the ground.

Doug put together a video to show you just how easy it is…

So here’s a recap of what you need to do…

  • Prepare your soil by tilling up with a spade, add a multi-purpose fertilizer such as 12-12-12 at this time if your soil is lacking nutrients. You can add some bone meal to the bottom of the hole to give an extra boost in the Spring.

  • Cover the bulbs with soil and pat down until firm

That’s all it takes to add some color to your Spring landscape! Have you planted Spring bulbs? Which are your favorites?

Linking to…Saturday Night Special

OshKosh B’Gosh Holiday Promotions: Gift Shops and Doorbusters

OKBG_friendzy (1)

I just love OshKosh B’Gosh and Carters! I know what you are thinking…her boys are all teens. But I still love them! Their clothes are super cute and really durable. Plus…I know many of my readers have little ones, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share the Holiday Promotions with you!

OshKosh B’Gosh has picture perfect outfits for your playful kids!  Even better, get 50% off all OshKosh B’Gosh holiday favorites online and in stores. Do you love shopping online? Shop OshKosh B’Gosh until 11/20, receive free shipping on all OshKosh B’Gosh orders of $75 or more, no coupon required.

OshKosh is also giving this Holiday Season! Each week, OshKosh B’Gosh is giving away $4,000 in gift cards on Facebook. Enter and be one of 12 lucky fans to win a $50 or $100 gift card!! “Like” OshKosh B’gosh on Facebook and enter from October 24 through November 20. Tell your friends and start a Friend-zy!

And in case you are looking for some great gifts…check out the largest selection of little extras in the Accessory Shop for a head to toe-tally awesome outfit or warm up with items in the Cold Weather Shop, including the amazing 4-in-1 System Jacket {why didn’t they have those when my boys were young?}

Don’t forget! Head on over to OshKosh B’Gosh Facebook page and enter to win!!

Disclosure: OshKosh B’Gosh partnered with bloggers such as me to help promote their holiday deals and gift shops.  As part of the program, I received compensation.  They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products I used. OshKosh B’Gosh and their parent company Carter’s believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. OshKosh B’Gosh policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

Walmart’s Christmas Price Guarantee

Christmas Price Guarantee

I hate waiting to the last minute to purchase Christmas gifts, but I can’t tell you how many times I bought a gift, and then a few weeks later it went on sale for a lower price. I’ve even been known to take the item back to the store, get a refund and then buy the sale item, but what a hassle.

Walmart has solved that problem for us with their Christmas Price Guarantee…

Some details you should know…

  • What items are eligible for the Christmas Price Guarantee?  All items, EXCEPT food and grocery
  • How do you take advantage of the Christmas Price Guarantee? Bring your original Walmart receipt and proof of the competitor’s ad to the Customer Service Desk
  • What qualifies as proof of the competitor’s lower advertised price? Current printed ads
  • The item must be identical to the one in the competitor’s ad. What does “identical” mean? The item must be available at a local retailer’s store with the same brand, color, size, quantity, grade and model number as the item in the Walmart Store.
  • What about online prices? The online prices are excluded from the Christmas Price Guarantee.
  • Does Walmart match limited quantity offers by local competitors? No, it does not apply
  • Can you use the Christmas Price Guarantee on Black Friday {Nov. 25th}? No the Christmas Price Guarantee does not cover Black Friday Sales from other competitors.
  • Does the Ad Match Program still work? Yes, the Ad Match Program is in effect for Black Friday Sales as well as Christmas Price Guarantee.

Visit for more details on Christmas Price Guarantee

Super Saturday Event:

And if you are ready to start your shopping this weekend…be sure to plan to go to the Super Saturday event…

Disclosure: This post is part of a campaign I am participating in with the Walmart Moms. Walmart has provided me with compensation  for this post. My participation is voluntary and opinions, as always are my own.

Cerra – Down to Earth

Cerra post

With a good portion of my life being eaten up by my blogging, and another big chunk of my time spent on chores and errands, the Cerra intention that I find myself  working on the most is staying grounded. At the end of each day I find myself exhausted, so it’s always important to unwind with some television or a good book.

Relaxation is key to living a balanced life. After all, all work and no play makes Jill a dull girl. Whether it’s going out with my girlfriends, or having a fun night at home with my family, I find any way I can to relieve stress.  I love my work, but it’s also nice to take a break from it all.

Cerra also provides the tools to help me keep down to earth.  My favorite of them is the Mood Shift Kit. When my hands are cramped from too much typing, their lotions help alleviate the stress in my fingers. Their fragrance cards provide me with both a nice relaxing scent and a mantra to meditate to.  And Cerra’s teas are good and good for me.

By using Cerra’s intention of keeping grounded, it has helped me balance my life, and thus has made me a better person. Without the occasional times set out for relaxation and self  reflection, I’d lose myself in my work and stress, making me a boring and generally disagreeable person. So thanks Cerra, for reminding me to return to earth.

I’m curious to know: What has inspired you to grow as a person?

By replying you will be entered to win one of two prizes! First Prize: $150 to a Local Spa, plus $50 Gift Certificate to the Cerra Boutique. Second Prize: One of Five $100 Gift Certificate to the Cerra Boutique.

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

Oh Boy! Oberto Jerky


My boys were excited to receive the Oberto Jerky a try…so I put Andrew to work and had him share his thoughts with you…

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of beef jerky. I love its taste, and the fact it’s actual meat just preserved means it’s less of a junk food and more of a real food. It’s a perfect snack for when you’re at home relaxing or out watching a game. Needless to say, when I was given some of  Oh Boy! Oberto’s Jerky, I let out an “oh boy!” of my own.

We received four different kinds of their jerky to try: original beef, peppered beef, bbq pork, and teriyaki turkey. These flavors were delicious and each are very different from the usual jerky fare. Another good thing about Oberto’s Jerky is that it’s all natural, no preservatives or artificial ingredients added. Made from premium ingredients and nearly no fat (only three percent), it’s the healthiest jerky around.

Casey added “I loved all the different flavors. It was a great after school snack.”

Disclosure: We received Oberto Jerky to review, as always the opinions are all our own.

Black Friday at Walmart


The biggest shopping day of the season is quickly approaching…Black Friday. Do you scan the papers? Plan your trip? Get up at the wee hours in the morning to grab the best deals?

If so, you are going to love this! Walmart has announced that the Black Friday Deals will be shared early, but ONLY if you sign up for email at by Nov 7 or “Like” Walmart on Facebook.

So get ready to SAVE…with the new Layaway Program, Christmas Price Guarantee, Ad Match, Coupons and more, Walmart is THE place to shop this holiday season!

Disclosure: This post is part of a campaign I am participating in with the Walmart Moms. Walmart has provided me with compensation  for this post. My participation is voluntary and opinions, as always are my own.

Easy Homemade Holiday Gift Ideas


The holidays are right around the corner and will be here before we know it. Do you enjoy making gifts for friends and family? I do, but often with everything else going on, my time is limited.

I’m super excited to be starting a new series today with Tiffany from Eat at Home, Prep & Planning: Steps to a Peaceful Holiday. Now through the first week of December we will be sharing with you party food, make-ahead meals for the freezer, baking tips and a special Virtual Baking Day on Facebook on Wednesday, November 16th. You can bake along in your own kitchen, share recipes, tips and secrets with other bakers. Sounds fun!!

Tiffany and I will wrap it all up with a Cookie Swap that you are invited to also! We will be putting the whole series in a nice little eBook for you to print out and have on hand throughout the holidays.

Since it’s never too early to start thinking about gift giving, we are kicking off the series with Easy Holiday Gift Giving, specifically…Gifts in a Jar.

When I spotted these adorable printables on Positively Splendid last week, I knew right away what I wanted to share for a Gift Giving idea. Kiki Creates designed the gift tag printables…aren’t they just the cutest? Kiki also has an Etsy Shop full of fun and colorful printables. With just a few simple ingredients, you can make these special jars for friends, neighbors, teachers, hair dresser and more, the ideas are endless.

Cocoa Jar Supplies:

  • Glass mason jar {available in the housewares department at Walmart}
  • Hot Cocoa Mix {recipe below}
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Crushed peppermint candy
  • Chocolate dipped spoon {Chocolate Almond Bark and sprinkles}
  • Gift tags, ribbon, twine


  1. Spoon hot cocoa mix into jar
  2. In a resealable bag, crush peppermint candy {I used candy canes}
  3. In a cellophane treat bag, place a handful of mini marshmallows and add the crushed peppermint candy. Shake to coat. If the peppermint won’t stick to the marshmallows, VERY lightly dampen the marshmallows with a little water, then add the candy and shake.
  4. Cut off excess on the bag, place the end in the jar and add the top and ring, seal it tightly.
  5. Melt almond bark, dip spoon and add sprinkles. Let dry for about 5 minutes. Then tie onto jar with twine
  6. Add the ribbon and gift tag.

The Tea Jar is absolutely no fuss, but perfect for your favorite tea drinker.

Tea Jar Supplies:

  • Glass mason jar {available in the housewares department at Walmart}
  • Tea bags
  • Fabric
  • Gift tags, ribbon, twine


  1. Place tea bag in jar
  2. Cut a circle from fabric, add to the lid and seal
  3. Add ribbon, and tags

I was inspired by the way Kiki added the wire for the steam, so I added some to my tea cup. Simply bend a piece of wire and then tape it to the back of the cup, then tie on the snowflakes and hearts with twine.

Tiffany shared some brilliant ideas for Snack Mixes in a Jar. LOVE this Hollywood Mix with a printable tag, pair it with a DVD or maybe some movie tickets and you have a great gift for any age!

4 from 1 reviews
Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe
Prep time
Total time
Enjoy a mug of cocoa by the fire
  • 4 C instant dry milk powder
  • 1½ C to 2 sugar
  • 1 C powdered non dairy creamer
  • ⅔ C cocoa, unsweetened
  • 1 small box instant instant chocolate or vanilla pudding (optional)
  1. Whisk all ingredients together until well combined
  2. Store in an airtight container
To Serve
  1. Add ⅓ Mix to a mug and fill with boiling water

A very special Thank You to Kiki for the adorable gift tags!

Mark your calendars!! November 12th is the Virtual Freezer Cooking Party with Tiffany and November 16th. is the Virtual Baking Party!

And join us each week as we share our tips to a Peaceful Holiday!!

Linking to…Show & Tell Friday, Weekend Wrap Up Party, Saturday Night Special, Made by You Monday, Transformation Thursday, Frugal Friday, Sundae Scoop

Leftover Halloween Candy Cupcakes


Welcome to Cupcake Tuesday! I’m so glad to have you! I have updated the Cupcake Heaven page, there are over 150 designs and recipes! Check it out!!

Well, Halloween is over…what are you going to do with all the candy? Did your kiddos hit the jackpot while trick-or-treating? Or maybe you bought way too much candy to pass out and have leftovers. Either way…what’s better than Halloween Candy?

Halloween Candy Cupcakes of course!

I don’t have a new cupcake for you today, mostly because I spent most of my weekend and yesterday decorating Christmas Trees. Yep…only in Blogland is it cool to decorate a Christmas Tree on Halloween! Gina and I are finishing up the online magazine, Splendidly Homemade, that will launch in a couple weeks. I’m so excited to be joining an incredible group of bloggers, it will be amazing {and FREE}, so stay tuned…you won’t want to miss it!

Even though I was decorating trees instead of baking cupcakes, I still have some awesome Candy Cupcakes from the archives and a couple I couldn’t resist sharing when I spotted them on Pinterest, to share with you.

How about some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes? I could eat this frosting by the spoonful…yum!

Or maybe the Mini version…I LOVE these Mini Peanut Butter Cups…I am seriously in trouble when I open a bag of these!

These Butterfinger Cupcakes are one of  my most requested cupcakes when we head to a potluck.

Oh my! Don’t these Snickers Cupcakes from Sweet Peas Kitchen look incredible?

And these 100 Grand Cupcakes from The Novice Chef are amazing!

Now it’s your turn…show off your cupcake creations! Be sure to link back so others can enjoy the cupcakes and check out the other cupcakes!

Frito Chili Pie


Chili is a favorite in our house, and with the weather getting colder, it’s great to have something to warm us up. We love the Chili recipe that we have been using for many years, but it’s always nice to change things up a bit.

Like most families, trying to get dinner on the table quickly between practice, activities and work schedules is sometimes difficult. So when Bush’s Beans and Kitchen Play asked me to share a recipe to help get dinner on the table in a snap, I decided to head to the Bush’s Bean’s Facebook page where they have taste tempting pictures and yummy recipes.

While we love soups and casseroles this time of year, I wanted to share something a little different. The Fiesta Rice and Bean Burritos looked great, and I was sure the Crescent Mexican Pizza would be a hit.

But at last, I kept coming back to Frito Chili Pie. It has the great flavor of Chili with the addition of a few different ingredients and Fritos. I thought it would be a hit in our house. And I was right!

Now of course, throwing everything in the Slow Cooker is great this time of year, but I think these would be perfect to take on a picnic too. You could use small bags of Fritos, and keep the Chili in a thermos. Just add a little Chili to the bag of Fritos, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese and the kiddos have a fun meal they can carry around with them.

4 from 1 reviews
Frito Chili Pie Recipe
Prep time
Total time
A new twist on a traditional dish. Recipe from adapted from Eat Cake for Dinner
Serves: Serves 4 with leftovers
  • 2 pounds ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped finely {I left this out}
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced {depending on size}
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can tomatoes with green chilies, mild
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1-2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 can Bush's Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can Bush's Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 cup warm water
  • Fritos
  • Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • Sour Cream
  1. In a large skillet, cook ground beef until almost done
  2. Continue cooking and add the garlic, onion and green pepper and cook until tender.
  3. Drain the ground beef mixture
  4. Add to the Slow Cooker
  5. Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, salt, oregano, cumin and chili powder
  6. Stir in the rinsed beans
  7. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours or high for 1-2 hours {Slow Cookers vary in times}
  8. You want the chili hot but you don't want the beans mushy
  9. About 10 minutes before serving, mix the water and cornmeal together and stir into the Chili
  10. Cook 10-15 minutes
  11. Serve with Fritos, cheese and sour cream

We have used beans in lots of recipes, but as the boys get older, I’m using them more and more. They definitely stretch the budget when you are feeding three teenage boys.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post by Bush Beans. All the opinions and photos are my own.