Monthly Archives

November 2011

Make and Takes for Kids

By | Kid Friendly/Special Events, Reviews/Giveaways | 2 Comments

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

By | Decorating, Holidays

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

By | Christmas Cupcakes, Cupcakes, Holidays | 6 Comments

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), 1/3 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.
  6. %

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
  6. %

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!

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Straight Talk about Oral Health

By | Featured Posts | No Comments

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

By | Featured Posts | No Comments

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

By | Christmas, Decorating, Holidays | 19 Comments

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

Quick Recipes

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