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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Stock Up and Avoid the Oops

This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Walmart. All opinions are mine.

Last weekend we celebrated Jude's 6th birthday. We had family in town and over 20 kids invited for the big Ninja Turtle backyard pool party - so much fun but so much planning.  Even though I am a list maker, obsessive list maker at that, every time I go to the store I forget something!  So frustrating, especially when that something is a necessity and the party is starting soon!  I have a new way of taking care of these essential household cleaning products and health care items from P&G.  It is time to celebrate the #AvoidTheOops movement at Walmart!


One way to easily keep the essentials stocked is by shopping from www.avoidtheoops.com.  Simply log on and use the easy to browse categories to do your every day stock up shopping.  The categories really help me stay on top of those items I need to add to my shopping cart - Kitchen, Laundry, Cleaning, Baby, and Bathroom.  



There are so many products that we use every day available at www.avoidtheoops.com.  It was the easiest way for me to get necessities to the house with out feeling like I was completely overwhelmed with lists at the store.  The more you add to the cart the more discounts you see - like free shipping!!  Hey Hey!!  A few days after ordering those essentials were at the house and we were stocked up for the many visitors and party messes!  The best part was that I wasn't having to run to the store minutes before the party started to pick up any of these items!  


Make sure you start changing the way you stock up on every day essentials from P&G by simply shopping at
www.avoidtheoops.com!  Happy shopping!!

Follow Walmart on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for new promotional information. 


What is an “Oops” moment you’ve experienced?

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Family Road Trip: Snack Kit for Kids

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


Hard to believe that the summer is nearly half over, how in the world are we just days away from July?  With summer break ticking away we have a few fun family road trips scheduled here in our beautiful state of Colorado.  The kids are excited and so are the parent!  ha!  I didn't road trip much as a child but I am loving it with my kids.


Why do I love it?  Because of pictures and moments like this.  One of our best family road trip memory from last year included going to a local YMCA.  Looking back and seeing how much fun we had as a family makes me want to start planning more and more road trips.  

In a few weeks we are heading back to this same YMCA and we also have a few trips planned to go to our family cabin in the mountains!  Ahhh...mountain air, you are so good for the body and mind!  

As you know, I am all about honesty here so here goes my Road Trip confession...the constant questions from the back seat are taxing!  "Are we there yet?"  "He won't share the book!"  "Why is it taking so long to get there?" "When is lunch?"  "When can we get out of the car?" "When is dinner?" If you have done a road trip with young kids you know those questions well.  

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I am a planner so planing a family road trip is certainly something that I plan out perfectly before hitting the road.  I plan the gas stops, the sight seeing stops, food stops, bathroom stops and lodging.  In doing this I have found a way to not only cut down on the food stops but also the ongoing questions surrounding food! 

The Snack Kit for Kids is perfect and super easy to create and travel with.  I showed the kids what I created for them for our upcoming trips and they were so excited to test them out.  


To make packing easier and your trips more fun, make sure you enter this #GetPackinSweepstakes. Enter the Mondel─ôz Summer Road Trip Sweeps to win road trip weekly prizes and a grand prize! Sweepstakes is from 6/27 to 7/24.



Family Road Trip:  Snack Kit for Kids


Materials needed:


  • Floss organizer - find in the sewing department
  • Small bite sized snacks your kids love; I picked up RITZ Bacon & Cheese Cracker Sandwiches, SWEDISH FISH Soft & Chewy Candy, HONEY MAID Dippers Chocolate Graham Snacks, OREO Mini Cookies, Mini CHIPS AHOY! Cookies and HONEY MAID TEDDY GRAHAMS Graham Snacks
  • Small trinket toy surprises 


Directions:

1.  Wash Floss organizer well and let dry.  


2.  Unwrap all packaged items and create small servings of each snack and place them in the floss organizer. 


3.  Fill the empty spaces with the small trinket toys.


4.  Place a few napkins on top of the snacks and seal the organizer.  

5.  Pack in car for a special surprise after you hear that dreaded "I'm HUNGRY!" from the back seat of the car!


Now that the kids have seen these fun kits I know they are going to ask for them once we back out of the driveway.  That really defeats the purpose because these snacks would be gone well before the end of the car drive.  I decided that we will play a little road trip game for each "space" in the Snack Kit.  I will ask the kids to play a game of "I Spy" and when they spy what I spy they will get to eat a snack. This not only helps with the hungry issue but lets us have some fun as a family while we explore our beautiful state! 


With another summer almost over, I am reminded how fast the kids are growing and how we need to really focus on the present and moments like dancing in the mountain meadows at sunset! 


As you make your family road trip check list make sure you add Walmart to your list so you can pick up all of the snacking items you will need. Currently, you can find a coupon booklet that will give you some great ideas for your road trip snacks and help you save a little money on RITZ Cracker Sandwiches, BELVITA Sandwich Breakfast Biscuits, SWEDISH FISH Soft & Chewy Candy 1.9 lb. bags & TRIDENT Unwrapped Gum.  Perfect items for your own Snack Kits for Kids or even a Snack Kit for the parents!  Believe me...before we hit the road I will be making one of these kits for the front seat!  


Need more Road Trip Ideas to make your road trip a success?  Find even more ideas, Games, printables and tutorials here!  Have fun packing, planning and snacking!



What family road trips do you have planned for the rest of the summer?



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Friday, June 24, 2016

Tomorrow...Jude is 6!!

Well not today exactly but tomorrow, June 25th, we will have a SIX year old in our house!!!!!   We have a busy weekend full of birthday fun for this special guy.  Grandma and Grandpa from Arizona are in town and tomorrow we are having a Ninja Turtle Birthday Party.  So much fun! 


We are so blessed with Jude.  He is such a smart boy with a soft and caring heart.  We are so proud of him and the kind boy he is.  We often call him our gentle giant because while he is pretty tall for his age he has such a gentle spirit. 


Six years ago this little boy changed our lives completely but it was the best day!!  I honestly cannot imagine a day with out being called mommy.  I will never forget the moments after having Jude.  He was such a great cuddler - still is!  


Jude and mommy all snuggled up.  I miss those baby cuddles; like they say, it goes so fast!  Before we knew it, this little baby is a big boy all ready for Kindergarten!  Not possible!!!!



Happy Birthday Turtle!!  We love you so much and have fun with you every day!  



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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ways To Becoming A Better Mom

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


Motherhood is a gift, a blessing that most mothers embrace and completely embody.  But the reality is that Motherhood is also one of the hardest jobs on the planet.  To be fair - parenthood is one of the hardest jobs on the planet; let's not forget those fathers.  So the question is "How do I become a better Mom?"



Ways To Becoming A Better Mom


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Take time for you.
This could mean a lot of things for different personalities and hobbies.  For me this includes some "me time" at the nail salon every few weeks or a BFF date.  But one other thing that I have had to keep on this "me time" list is finding time to enjoy a nice lunch every day.  



Even though I am at work for lunch every day, I have to really remind myself to pack a wholesome meal.  So why is this an important item on our better mom list?  We have all heard of hangry, well moms who are well fed are happy moms!  HA! 



Work mornings are a struggle so I had to find an easy way to combat those days that I didn't have time to make a lunch.  Those days are over thanks to LEAN CUISINE® MARKETPLACE. Lean Cuisine has four new limited time varieties that are a must try.  The whole line of LEAN CUISINE® MARKETPLACE meals are full of flavor, have organic ingredient options, have protein packed options and contain no GMOs! And lets not forget, a super easy way to get some amazing meals.  Us moms deserve these delicious options too!  

 


Let your kids be kids. 

A lot of the time society thinks kids are just mini versions of us but they really aren't.  They are individuals learning how to navigate through this world.  Every moment is a learning moment so let them learn.  Enjoy the crazy messy times - they are learning.  Childhood is so special but goes so fast.  Let them be kids!   I often have to remind myself to choose my battles.  This is why.  Kids are going to challenge the world during these teachable moments.  



Stop comparing yourself and your kids to others. 

You and your kids are not perfect and either are the neighbors and their kids.  Our world is full of judgement right now, especially of parents.  Your kids need you.  You are the mom and they love you (even if they say they hate you).  You are a qualified parent so do your job in your home with your children.  You are not here to make everyone else happy.  

Mom - you are doing great, even on the hard parenting days.  Keep it up!



Celebrate.

This could be wrapped up into the "Me time" tip but I thought it was important to single it out.  Celebrate your relationships.  Take time to celebrate with your significant other by going on dates.  Take time to celebrate your child's accomplishments by having an ice cream treat.  Take time to celebrate life moments by having some family time.  Simply put - celebrate moments in life.  Find happiness and joy in the midst of all of the chaos.  



Trust your gut.

Trying to get it all right can be exhausting when it comes to parenting. But you must remember that you know your child better than anyone else. Ask for help but also remember that you are the parent. Having this confidence in yourself removes the stress that might be adding up in your life.


As you start to practice these simple ways to becoming a better mom make sure you stop by Walmart and pick up a few of the limited edition Lean Cuisine meals to get into the habit of taking time to enjoy a nice lunch every day. The limited edition options are: LEAN CUISINE® MARKETPLACE Cheese & Fire-Roasted Chile Tamale, LEAN CUISINE® MARKETPLACE Thai – Style Ginger Beef, LEAN CUISINE® MARKETPLACE Chicken Tikka Masala, and LEAN CUISINE® MARKETPLACE Southwest – Style Potato Bake.  I wish I could tell you which one is my favorite but I can't - they are all so good!  




What tips would you add to this list?  How do you make sure you are the best mom you can be for your children?


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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Top 5 Red, White & Blue Desserts

Disclosure:  Thank you to Kraft for sponsoring this post of yummy ideas!

Hard to believe that 4th of July is just weeks away.  I love this holiday because it is always filled with family, friends, fun food and fireworks!  This year I want to get creative with our desserts and I have found some great recipes for my inspiration.  

Top 5 Red, White & Blue Desserts


Ready for fireworks? I’m not talking Roman candles, either—I’m talking the oohs and ahhs that will commence when you set down a tray of brightly colored goodies in front of your July 4th guests. And honestly, who can blame them? Desserts too often hide in shades of brown and white (not that I’m knockin’ chocolate, mind you…). But just in time for Independence Day, treats take a turn toward the bright and beautiful—a trend spurred on by the abundance of ripe red and blue berries. So in honor of our nation’s birthday, here are a few of my favorite patriotic treats, including berry-topped mini cheesecakes, a stunning ice cream cake and that grand ol’ showstopper, an American flag cake.
Prepare to pledge your allegiance.

Still have your star-shape Christmas cookie cutters hanging out in a drawer? Time to pull ‘em out. These super-cute pops are more method than recipe: Just stamp star shapes from a batch of RICE KRISPIES TREATS, skewer ‘em with a pop stick and go to town with the sprinkles and decorating gels.
American Flag No-Bake-Mini-Cheesecakes
JELL-O No-Bake Mini Cheesecakes: Guests will have no clue these tiny treats require just four ingredients: margarine, sugar, milk and a no-bake cheesecake dessert kit. (Bonus: No-bake equals no hot kitchen…and that never sounds more appealing than in July.) Dress up these adorable minis with star-spangled cupcake liners and ripe berries to end your Independence Day feast with a bang.
American flag Ice Cream Layer Cake
Red, White & Blue Ice Cream Cake: Three words spell out the secret to this low-maintenance ice cream cake’s gorgeously even layers: ice cream sandwiches. The two tinted layers (a combo of cream cheese, whipped topping and pudding mix) don’t take much time to create, either—the entire cake preps in just 15 minutes. Embarrassingly easy and stunning? That’s my kind of dessert!
American Flag Cake
Flag Cake: It’s a July 4th classic! And this four-ingredient no-bake beauty is probably the easiest version you’ll find, courtesy of frozen prepared pound cake. Just thaw the cake and snug slices into a 13×9-inch pan, then scatter blueberries and sliced strawberries over the top. A quick application of whipped topping forms a pearly white background; arrange a final layer of fruit for the iconic stars and stripes.
American Flag Pie
JELL-O Easy Patriotic Pie: Sure, you could crown gelatin with a dollop of whipped topping…but isn’t it prettier when sandwiched in the middle? This easy pie practically makes itself, too. Just a little mixing, chilling and spreading, and 20 minutes later, you’re sliding the finished pie into the fridge. Serve with berries for additional blue and red oomph.
Need more inspiration for your July 4th dessert? You’ve got it!
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Creative Summer Frozen Fruit Bar Treats

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


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Summertime is always filled with cool treats to help beat that summer heat.  Last weekend for Father's Day we had a small family and friends BBQ in the backyard.  It was such a fun afternoon but man it was HOT!  Colorado does not usually see 100 degree weather until the middle of July but we have already had a number of VERY hot days this summer.  The kids love it because we get the pool, sprinklers, water balloons or water table out for them to cool off in and have some fun but us adults are sitting on the deck sweating.  

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I knew it was going to be a hot weekend so I decided to pick up some Outshine Fruit Bars and Outshine Yogurt Bars for a little cool down while the kids played in the water. These fruit and yogurt bars are so good and the best part is that they are made with real fruit and 100% yogurt. Outshine has a wide variety of flavors to choose from but all of them are delicious bright flavors of real fruit, real juice, real veggies and real yogurt. There's now even more fruit or fruit juice in most of Outshine's fruit bars than any other ingredient. 
Creative Summer Frozen Fruit Bar Treats, Tropical Mango Yogurt Bar, Chocolate Covered Strawberry Fruit Bar , fruit bars, summer desserts, outshine bars

While these yummy Strawberry Fruit Bars are great with out any added creativity I took it a step further.  It was Father's Day after all, a great day for something special!  I decided to create 2 unique recipes with these Outshine bars. 

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Fruit Bar 


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Ingredients:

Outshine Strawberry Fruit Bars
Dark Chocolate - melted
White Chocolate - melted

Creative Summer Frozen Fruit Bar Treats, Tropical Mango Yogurt Bar, Chocolate Covered Strawberry Fruit Bar , fruit bars, summer desserts, outshine bars

Directions:

1.  In order to keep the fruit bars from melting while drizzling the chocolate I kept the bars in the deep freeze right up until I was ready to serve them. 

2.  Unwrap the bars and place on a chilled plate. 

3.  Drizzle dark and white chocolate over the chilled fruit bars.  

4.  Let chocolate set. Enjoy immediately! 

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This sweet treat was a hit.  Not only do you get to enjoy the flavorful strawberry Outshine Fruit Bar but the addition of the dark and white chocolate makes it seem like you are biting into a chocolate covered strawberry!  So good!  

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For the Mango Yogurt Bar I decided to go a little tropical, perfect for those 100 degree days!  

Tropical Mango Yogurt Bar


Ingredients:

Outshine Simply Yogurt Bars Mango
White Chocolate - melted
Coconut flakes
Macadamia nuts, crushed 

Directions:

1.  In order to keep the yogurt bars from melting while drizzling the chocolate I kept the bars in the deep freeze right up until I was ready to serve them. 

2.  Unwrap the bars and place on a chilled plate. 

3.  Drizzle white chocolate over the chilled bars.  

4. Quickly sprinkle coconut flakes and macadamia nuts over the chocolate. 

5.  Drizzle white chocolate once more over the bars. 

6.  Let chocolate set. Enjoy immediately! 



Such an easy dessert that had my guests wondering how I pulled this off in just a few minutes!  Both of these recipes are really delicious too, hard to pick a favorite. 

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As you prepare for those super hot days this summer make sure you stop in the freezer section at Walmart to see all of the great flavors Outshine has to enjoy. And if you go on the weekend of July 14th you can get a little taste test at a Walmart Store Demo!

Plus you can enter to win a great prize for the Outshine Sweepstakes! Get ready for your chance to win a $5,000 backyard refresh from Outshine® plus hundreds of daily summertime prizes you could win instantly. Text “Snack Brighter” to 30364, or enter here.  Have fun and good luck!!


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What toppings would you add to any of the Outshine Bars?




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Monday, June 20, 2016

How I Expanded My Summer Bucket List #TriedImpressa

This conversation is brought to you by Acorn and Poise Impressa® Bladder Supports. All opinions are my own.


I love this time of the year but I also feel like it goes so fast, before we know it, we will be planning the kids' first day of school outfits and taking those fun pictures.  All this means is that we must enjoy every moment we have during the summer.  One way I have found to get the most out of summertime is to make a Summer Bucket List.  Now that the kids are getting older, those bucket list items are way more active and full of laughter.  I love it but the "curse" of childbirth can often lead me into some very uncomfortable situations with activity and laughter.  


It is one of those unfortunate things that a lot of women do not tell us when we are thinking about the beauty of pregnancy. Did you know that 1 in 3 women experience Light Bladder Leakage (LBL)? Way more than you would think - you are not alone.  After years of trying to deal with those annoying LBL while out with my family and friends I have found a new confidence thanks to Poise Impressa.

What is Poise Impressa?


Impressa Bladder Supports are a non-absorbent, removable product that helps stop bladder leaks before they happen. Yes - BEFORE! Hello confidence.  Impressa Bladder Supports are inserted just like a tampon to gently lift and give support to the urethra. This added support to the urethra helps prevent urine from leaking.  Brilliant!  


With this little lady we are always on the go, especially outside.  She wants to be on her bike, swinging on the swings or just running around the yard.  Girl has spunk and ready to be on the go all the time.  I am so blessed that this summer we have added many park trips so far because of her love for the swings and sunshine.  One of my bucket list items is family bike rides to the park.  As the kids are both getting better on their bikes I know that soon we will be riding our bikes to catch up with them rather than gingerly walking behind them.  I cannot wait!  


Adding Poise Impressa to my daily routine has allowed me to step out and not have that worry in the back of my head.  I am ready to not let an ornery bladder cause so much anxiety in my summertime fun!


And then there's this boy.  While he claims he is an "indoor kid" he sure does love to get outside and ride bikes and play baseball in the front yard.  But guess what?  That isn't why I need some LBL support when I am with him - he makes me laugh.  He is so smart and some of the phrases that come out of his mouth literally have me laughing so hard my stomach hurts.  Not to mention, he really does have a great sense of humor.  Love him and I love that I can laugh as hard as I want and not worry about those little leaks.  Summertime activities are always more memorable with some laughs involved.  

See some of our Summer Bucket List activities since I found my confidence with Impressa!


You can find Poise Impressa on rollback at Walmart right now to get started on your journey of confidence and no more embarrassing moments. If you are new to Impressa, start with the Impressa Sizing kit to help you decide which size you need for your summer bucket list of activities. A simple process to get you on the right track.  

Time to go get ready for my girls night - dinner and drinks on a grill patio under the Colorado setting sun!  I am set and ready to enjoy the moments every mom deserve. 


The days are ticking, time for you to get in on the endless opportunities while using Poise Impressa.  Confidence isn't just in your waist size, new hair cut or fun new clothes - find it by preventing those embarrassing LBL that no one wants to admit or talk about.  


What summer bucket list item would you add to your list if you found your LBL confidence with Poise Impressa?

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