Building Our Story

Friday, January 30, 2015

Celebrate Friendship - M&M's® Red Velvet White Chocolate Candies

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

Valentine's Day is usually all about THE one you love but this year I wanted to make sure the people that give me support, love and friendship some treats too.  Over the last couple of years it has become very clear to me that friends are family too.  One of my favorite quotes, I even had a tattoo of it, is "Friends by Chance.  Sisters by Choice."  Valentine's Day is a day all about celebrating love so lets remember those special friendships this year too.  I decided that I wanted to make some special homemade candies for my friends and coworkers and give them a little treat.  

Celebrate friendship on Valentine's Day with M&M's® Red Velvet.  Red Velvet White Chocolate Candies.  Homemade Valentine Candy.

M&M's® Red Velvet White Chocolate Candies 

Free printable recipe here. 

Celebrate friendship on Valentine's Day with M&M's® Red Velvet.  Red Velvet White Chocolate Candies.  Homemade Valentine Candy.

Ingredients:

Valentine colored sprinkles 
4 cups white chocolate wafers

Celebrate friendship on Valentine's Day with M&M's® Red Velvet.  Red Velvet White Chocolate Candies.  Homemade Valentine Candy.

Directions:

1.  Invest in a silicon mini heart mold.  Cover the bottom of each mini heart mold with sprinkles and a couple M&M's® Red Velvet.  

2.  In a microwave safe pour-able dish, I used a large glass measuring cup, melt the white chocolate.  Heat on defrost for 30 seconds and stir well, continue to heat in 15 second increments stir each time until completed melted.  

Celebrate friendship on Valentine's Day with M&M's® Red Velvet.  Red Velvet White Chocolate Candies.  Homemade Valentine Candy.

3.  Fill each mini heart mold with melted white chocolate.  

4.  Smooth out the chocolate using a rubber spatula.  

Celebrate friendship on Valentine's Day with M&M's® Red Velvet.  Red Velvet White Chocolate Candies.  Homemade Valentine Candy.

5.  Carefully move mold to the refrigerator.  Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.  

6.  Carefully remove each candy from the heart mold and you are ready to try the candies or gift the candies!  Yum!

Celebrate friendship on Valentine's Day with M&M's® Red Velvet.  Red Velvet White Chocolate Candies.  Homemade Valentine Candy.

Once my M&M's® Red Velvet White Chocolate Candies were ready I started to make the Valentine's Day Celebrate Friendship Treat Bags.  I put 4-5 homemade candies in each bag and for some Milk Chocolate goodness I decided to add some DOVE® Promises.  Now this treat bag will make any friend see the love!  The M&M's® Red Velvet totally adds a new twist on the traditional white chocolate candy.  

Celebrate friendship on Valentine's Day with M&M's® Red Velvet.  Red Velvet White Chocolate Candies.  Homemade Valentine Candy.

So pretty.  I also plan on making another batch of these goodies for my coworkers.  These will look perfect in our office.  Yum Yum!!!  

Celebrate friendship on Valentine's Day with M&M's® Red Velvet.  Red Velvet White Chocolate Candies.  Homemade Valentine Candy.

Cute right?  I love them and I cannot wait to celebrate friendship this Valentine's Day by handing these out to my best friends.  While these candies are so cute and yummy I want them to understand how much I appreciate their friendship.  With out my friends, who I consider my family, I would be lost.  

Celebrate friendship on Valentine's Day with M&M's® Red Velvet.  Red Velvet White Chocolate Candies.  Homemade Valentine Candy.

Make sure you head to Walmart to pick up these special Valentine's Day M&M's® Red Velvet for the perfect addition to any Valentine's Day treat or recipe.  You can find everything you need to make these Valentine's Day Celebrate Friendship Treat Bags at Walmart today. 

See more great M&M's® Red Velvet recipe and party ideas at myconfectioncorner.com/valentines-day where you can also download a coupon to save on your M&M's® purchase. 


For more M&M's® Red Velvet inspiration, be sure to visit the Red Velvet Love Recipes page. Join the #RedVelvetLove Pinterest Party taking place at http://www.pinterest.com/SoFabChats/ on Saturday, January 31 at 12:00pm ET for your chance at winning a $1000 Walmart gift card!


Who's Friendship will you be celebrating this Valentine's Day?

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Remember - I love to Read!

It's true, I love it.  I love opening a book or sitting down with my nook and frankly I lost that love.  No, I still love it have just forgot to do it.  That is changing.  January is almost over but I still want to add this to my 2015 Goals.  Reading.  I want to put a goal of 5 books read in 2015.  Look, I know that seems like a really low number but sometimes this blogging and sleep stuff gets in the way of opening book, so lets shoot for 5.


Last year I had a goal of 14 books and I only read 4!!  Goodness!!  Not okay, so I am hoping to get past that 4 and hit at least 5 and go from there.  


Here are some books I am really excited for:


 

Yes, I fell into the Fifty Shades of Grey craze.  Sure, isn't the best writing but since I finished the first 2 books I have to finish the 3rd and see how it all ends.  Again, this isn't great literature and I am sure some people are offended by these books but hey, its all fiction and all for fun.   I am currently reading Fifty Shades of Freed.  



It is no surprise if you have been reading my blog for anytime, I adore the Stephanie Plum novels!  I have read 9 of them and this one will be the next adventure I take with Stephanie Plum.  Janet Evanovich does it right, she created this character that I can relate to.  I read her novels so quickly because I literally laugh out loud to them.  If you are looking for a great book you MUST get introduced to Stephanie Plum.  Ten Big Ones will be one of my 2015 books.  


Well the cover of this book is enough for me to be excited.  My sister-in-law bought this book for me for my birthday.  This one is in hardcover and I will actually have to turn pages!  I am kind of excited for that!!  This is a #1 New York Times Bestseller and frankly looks like a book that will keep me up late!  Looks like it is a book with humor, suspense, great characters and a well written plot!  Sign me up!!  Big Little Lies will be book number 3 of the year!  


Well everyone is talking about the movie so I suppose I need to read the book so I can watch the movie next.  Gone Girl looks like a great suspenseful yet totally messed up novel!  I cannot wait!!  HA!  


Oh Chic Lit - you are what got me into reading.  Carefree and easy reads - Size 12 and Ready To Rock!  This is the 3rd installment of the Meg Cabot, Heather Wells series.  I read the first 2 books YEARS ago and loved them.  I recently found out that there are 2 additional books all about Heather Wells!  YAY!  


Well it is pretty clear what I like to read.  Suspense, humor and chic lit!  I promise to get back to my book reviews as well.  I have a couple that I could do from 2014 as well.  ;)  

Now it is time to get to that goal!!  


2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
Censie has read 0 books toward a goal of 5 books.
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What books are on your 2015 MUST read list?  

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Finding Balance in 2015

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



Find Balance.  Skinny Cow products.  Skinny Cow Latte.  Skinny Cow Candy.  Skinny Cow foods.

Hard to believe that the first month of 2015 is coming to a close, seems like it is going quickly already.  I feel like I have missed out on telling you all about my personal goals for 2015, maybe it is because I have not had time to actually focus on the goals I want to achieve this year.  When I started thinking about my goals I had one word that stuck in my mind. Balance.  Goodness friends, I need to get Back to Balance now!  My first clue - it is January 27th and I am just now thinking about my goals for the New Year!!  Yikes!  

2014 was a great year, Blessed pretty much describes it but that didn't mean I was being the best mom, wife or person and that needs to change.  Life is crazy busy but now I need to slow that crazy train down and focus on the things that matter in life.  Family, Health and Self Care.  

Find Balance.  Skinny Cow products.  Skinny Cow Latte.  Skinny Cow Candy.  Skinny Cow foods.

Back to Balance in 2015 - Goals


 At times I feel stretched to the max.  When I am feeling this way I also find myself making bad health choices and not being present with my family, not to mention I never feel like there is time for me.  Not a great way to feel.  This is why this year I want to focus on Balance.  This means making better choices, spending time with family, focusing on work and remembering to take time for myself.  

Find Balance.  Skinny Cow products.  Skinny Cow Latte.  Skinny Cow Candy.  Skinny Cow foods.

I have a couple of big vices.  Coffee and Candy.  Yikes.  Those two things are my biggest downfall.  Those yummy coffee drinks can totally weigh you down and allow you to consume way more calories in one cup of coffee than necessary for a whole day!  Thankfully SKINNY COW® has made this goal of being more mindful of my snacking and coffee intake super easy.  

Find Balance.  Skinny Cow products.  Skinny Cow Latte.  Skinny Cow Candy.  Skinny Cow foods.

The NEW SKINNY COW® Creamy Iced Coffee Drink totally lets me get my yummy latte fill but in a sensible way.  The cold coffee beverage has rich, expertly roasted coffee and is folded into creamy velvety low fat milk.  For only 120 calories per bottle you will enjoy this coffeehouse inspired treat!  The NEW SKINNY COW® Creamy Iced Coffee is available in three amazing flavors: Mocha Latte, Vanilla Latte, and Creamy Cappuccino.   

I am using these in the morning.  Instead of stopping at my local coffeehouse I simply stock up on these Iced Coffee drinks and feel better about my choices.  The 120 calorie bottles are really easy to take with me to work too.   

Find Balance.  Skinny Cow products.  Skinny Cow Latte.  Skinny Cow Candy.  Skinny Cow foods.

These two, I adore them and frankly they are growing up way too fast.  I do not want another year to go by with out spending every moment I can with them.  I need to learn to unplug when the kids are awake and focus on them.  I do not want Jude and Teagan to grow up thinking that mommy has to have her phone on all the time.  Quality family time and fun is so important and I think having that balance will make me a happier and healthier person overall.  

Find Balance.  Skinny Cow products.  Skinny Cow Latte.  Skinny Cow Candy.  Skinny Cow foods.

I want candy!  So I have already talked about how the new NEW SKINNY COW® Creamy Iced Coffee Drink is helping me by cutting out those coffeehouse drinks every day and now it is time to introduce you all to my treat.  I have one treat a day.  ONE!  I need a limit people or I would eat candy all day!  The struggle is real!  Every day around my 3pm slump at work I open one of my favorite SKINNY COW® chocolatey candies and indulge.   The SKINNY COW® Dreamy Clusters Milk Chocolatey Candy and the SKINNY COW® Divine Caramel Filled Chocolatey Candy are my favorite!  I am able to get my candy fix and jump back into my focus of good health choices. 

Find Balance.  Skinny Cow products.  Skinny Cow Latte.  Skinny Cow Candy.  Skinny Cow foods.

Water, I have a really hard time drinking enough water and I know if I really focused on it, I would physically feel a lot better and healthier.  This goal is going to be hard for me but I am trying.  Every morning I start my day with a nice cold drink of water and then continue the water intake while at work.  Again, focusing on my health is a huge piece to my Back to Balance in 2015 goal.  I want to be healthier both physically and emotionally so that I can be the best mother and wife for my family.  

Find Balance.  Skinny Cow products.  Skinny Cow Latte.  Skinny Cow Candy.  Skinny Cow foods.

My last piece of making this goal the perfect goal of 2015 is Self-Care.  Sure, eating healthier, drinking more water and cutting back on the sugary coffee drinks is part of self care but I am talking about me time.  I love to read but have not read a book in over 3 months!  I want to read more and enjoy time away from the computer and work.  My goal is to read at least 5 books this year.  A goal that seems easy but as life gets busy, sometimes the books get left out.  


You can find these amazing SKINNY COW® products at Walmart.  Make sure you pick some up and start focusing on getting balanced in 2015!  


What is your tip for me to get Back to Balance this year?


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Orange Glazed Pecan Caramel Sweet Roll Monkey Bread #recipe

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

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day right?  I mean that is what "they" always say, not sure who they are but I believe them.  In fact all things breakfast happens to be my favorite food.  Oh breakfast foods I love you!!  But let's be real, who has time every morning to cook or bake their favorite breakfast foods?  Not me!!  This busy household needs easy breakfast ideas and boy do I have one for you today!  Oh, and it really isn't appropriate to lick the computer monitor at work, so please try to resist!!  

Cinnamon Rolls, Sweet Rolls or Easy Breakfast Ideas.  Easy Monkey Bread Recipe.  Orange Pecan Caramel Monkey Bread.  Pecan sweet rolls. 

Orange Glazed Pecan Caramel Sweet Roll Monkey Bread

Free printable recipe here. 


Cinnamon Rolls, Sweet Rolls or Easy Breakfast Ideas.  Easy Monkey Bread Recipe.  Orange Pecan Caramel Monkey Bread.  Pecan sweet rolls.

Oh goodness, the gooey sweet caramel filled goodness is almost too pretty to eat - okay, not really, it is a must eat.  The best part about this recipe is that it is one that I can do on a Saturday morning even after sleeping in and before it is time to his the rec center for our normal Saturday morning activities. Pepperidge Farm Sweet Rolls make this recipe different that the other Monkey Bread recipes I have tried before and this delicious breakfast twist was the perfect sweet treat to accompany our Saturday morning breakfast. 

Cinnamon Rolls, Sweet Rolls or Easy Breakfast Ideas.  Easy Monkey Bread Recipe.  Orange Pecan Caramel Monkey Bread.  Pecan sweet rolls.

Ingredients:

For the Orange Glaze

1 of the 2 caramel packets included in the sweet roll container
3 TBSP butter, melted
1/3 cup 100% Florida Orange Juice 
Pecans, included in the sweet roll container

For the Monkey Bread

2 containers of Pepperidge Farm Pecan Caramel Sweet Rolls
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 TBSP cinnamon

Cinnamon Rolls, Sweet Rolls or Easy Breakfast Ideas.  Easy Monkey Bread Recipe.  Orange Pecan Caramel Monkey Bread.  Pecan sweet rolls.


Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray bundt pan with cooking spray.  

2.  Take sweet rolls out of containers.  Unroll sweet rolls and cut into 1 inch pieces.  


Cinnamon Rolls, Sweet Rolls or Easy Breakfast Ideas.  Easy Monkey Bread Recipe.  Orange Pecan Caramel Monkey Bread.  Pecan sweet rolls.

3.  Combine sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl.  

4.  Put the 1 inch pieces of sweet rolls into the sugar mixture.  Make sure each piece is nicely coated in sugar.  

5.  Spread the sweet roll nuggets out evenly in the bundt pan.  Layer until each piece is in the pan.  

Cinnamon Rolls, Sweet Rolls or Easy Breakfast Ideas.  Easy Monkey Bread Recipe.  Orange Pecan Caramel Monkey Bread.  Pecan sweet rolls.

6.  Now it is time to add the delicious orange glaze to the monkey bread.  In a medium mixing bowl combine the butter, orange juice and packet of caramel from the sweet roll container.  Mix well, the glaze will be dark and gooey. 

Cinnamon Rolls, Sweet Rolls or Easy Breakfast Ideas.  Easy Monkey Bread Recipe.  Orange Pecan Caramel Monkey Bread.  Pecan sweet rolls.

7.  Pour orange glaze over the sweet rolls evenly.  

8.  Bake for 35 minutes or until the crust is a deep brown.  

9. Remove from oven and let set for 30 minutes.  Once cooled, remove from bundt pan and top with Pecans.  Serve like a cake, cut in slices.  Enjoy!

Cinnamon Rolls, Sweet Rolls or Easy Breakfast Ideas.  Easy Monkey Bread Recipe.  Orange Pecan Caramel Monkey Bread.  Pecan sweet rolls.

Oh yum, the house smells just as amazing as this looks and tastes.  Talk about a sweet way to wake the family up for a big weekend of fun.  This recipe makes a good amount of monkey bread so you can have leftovers for the next morning, hey I told you I like easy recipes, having left overs makes it even easier!  

Cinnamon Rolls, Sweet Rolls or Easy Breakfast Ideas.  Easy Monkey Bread Recipe.  Orange Pecan Caramel Monkey Bread.  Pecan sweet rolls.

We love pairing our Monkey Bread treat with some pure 100% Florida Orange Juice as well.  Our family isn't a big juice drinking family but when we do, we do it right.  100% right.  Also, the addition of the orange juice in the glaze makes this Monkey Bread that much better.  Just a hint of orange, perfect Saturday morning.  

Cinnamon Rolls, Sweet Rolls or Easy Breakfast Ideas.  Easy Monkey Bread Recipe.  Orange Pecan Caramel Monkey Bread.  Pecan sweet rolls.

You can find everything you need to make this amazing Orange Glazed Pecan Caramel Sweet Roll Monkey Bread at Walmart.  Surprise your family next weekend and warm up your day with a sweet twist on the sweet roll!  

Cinnamon Rolls, Sweet Rolls or Easy Breakfast Ideas.  Easy Monkey Bread Recipe.  Orange Pecan Caramel Monkey Bread.  Pecan sweet rolls.



What are your favorite Easy Breakfast Ideas?



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Monday, January 26, 2015

Goldfish crackers Butterfly Snack Bags

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

Goldfish crackers, snacking, Walmart, Recipes with Goldfish crackers, Goldfish snacks, Goldfish Butterfly Snack Bags, Goldfish snack bags.

Finding the perfect snack for a nut-free preschool class can be difficult.  Honestly, I never really thought about the nut allergy issue until Jude started school and let me tell you, it was eye opening for so many reasons.  First, it is really hard to find "safe" foods and second the seriousness of nut allergies.  It is serious people, not just a fad or trend, so please be considerate if you are also in a nut-free school.  One of Jude's very favorite cracker for snacking is the delicious Goldfish crackers that we all know and love and guess what - NUT FREE!!  Hooray!!  Well, I do not want to be that mom that always takes the easy road and send a 30 oz carton of Goldfish crackers Made with Whole Grain to school every time Jude is up for snack so I had to get creative.  By the way, right now you can totally stock up on these cartons on Rollback at Walmart.    

Goldfish crackers, snacking, Walmart, Recipes with Goldfish crackers, Goldfish snacks, Goldfish Butterfly Snack Bags, Goldfish snack bags.

After some creative thinking I came up with the cutest child involved nut-free preschool snack that will brighten the kids' day.  I combined String Cheese, Goldfish crackers, and grapes and made a Goldfish crackers Butterfly Snack bag for each classmate of Jude's.  

Goldfish crackers Butterfly Snack Bags


Goldfish crackers, snacking, Walmart, Recipes with Goldfish crackers, Goldfish snacks, Goldfish Butterfly Snack Bags, Goldfish snack bags.

What you will need to make these perfect snacking bags:

Grapes
String Cheese
Clothes Pins
Glue
Snack size baggies 
Googly Eyes
Pipe Cleaners
Markers

Goldfish crackers, snacking, Walmart, Recipes with Goldfish crackers, Goldfish snacks, Goldfish Butterfly Snack Bags, Goldfish snack bags.

Directions:

1.  Have your child assist you with their snack by coloring and decorating the clothes pins.  I had Jude color with markers on each clothes pin.  

Goldfish crackers, snacking, Walmart, Recipes with Goldfish crackers, Goldfish snacks, Goldfish Butterfly Snack Bags, Goldfish snack bags.

2.  Have your child help you count 20-25 Goldfish crackers and set aside. 

3.  Have your child help you count out 10 grapes and set aside.  

Goldfish crackers, snacking, Walmart, Recipes with Goldfish crackers, Goldfish snacks, Goldfish Butterfly Snack Bags, Goldfish snack bags.

4.  Parents, this might be hard so once the snacks have been counted out, place all the Goldfish crackers into one side of the snack size baggie and then add the grapes into the other side.  There is no true science to this but basically you will need to keep the grapes and crackers separated.  

Goldfish crackers, snacking, Walmart, Recipes with Goldfish crackers, Goldfish snacks, Goldfish Butterfly Snack Bags, Goldfish snack bags.

5.  Clip clothes pin onto the outside of the baggie in between the grapes and crackers.  Bunch the baggie in the middle to make the butterfly wings appear.  

Goldfish crackers, snacking, Walmart, Recipes with Goldfish crackers, Goldfish snacks, Goldfish Butterfly Snack Bags, Goldfish snack bags.

6.   Next you will need to glue the string cheese to the back of the butterfly (clothes pin).  

Goldfish crackers, snacking, Walmart, Recipes with Goldfish crackers, Goldfish snacks, Goldfish Butterfly Snack Bags, Goldfish snack bags.

7.  Turn butterfly over and add eyes and antennas to the butterfly.  Let glue dry.  

8.  Once the glue is dry the butterfly is ready!  Keep refrigerated until ready to eat. 

Goldfish crackers, snacking, Walmart, Recipes with Goldfish crackers, Goldfish snacks, Goldfish Butterfly Snack Bags, Goldfish snack bags.

Aren't they the cutest?  Not only are these snack bags the perfect size for preschoolers but they are packed full of protein, fruits and whole grains.  Mom for the win!!  I know Jude had a great time decorating his butterflies and he could not wait to hand them out to his friends and I had a great time doing this craft/activity with Jude.  Seeing him count out the Goldfish crackers and the grapes was great, they grow up so fast!  The combinations of this snacking idea is endless and these would also be great for any birthday party treats.


You can find all of the items needed for these Goldfish crackers Butterfly Snack Bags at Walmart and like I said before if your family loves adding Goldfish crackers to meals, recipes and snacks like we do you really should take advantage of the Rollback savings on the 30 oz cartons.  


Make sure you keep up with Goldfish crackers on Facebook and Twitter. 


Now that I have shared our Nut-Free preschool snacking idea I want to hear yours!  


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