Sunday, November 29, 2015

#Spread Cheer with Betty Crocker and a Giveaway

One thing that I love about this time of year is that there are so many fun ways to show your friends and family that you care about them.  I was quite excited to be asked to be part of the #SpreadCheer campaign.  My daughter and I knew the two people we wanted to surprise with a basket full of cookies. We chose two people, because it was just too hard to pick only one. We each have a good friend we wanted to share some extra cheer this holiday season. We also knew that part of the fun of the surprise was in the memories of  making of the cookie baskets  together, before we even gave them away.    We went to our local Kroger, and bought the Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip and Sugar Cookie mixes .  These mixes  are super simple to make, and great for adding extra ingredients to make our own creation. 

I love marshmallows, and thought it would be fun to make a cookie that tastes a little bit like a Smore.  I added about a cup of mini marshmallows to the  chocolate chip cookie mix.  I would have added nuts or graham cracker crumbs as well, but I could not get to the store when I was baking the cookies. (You will see why in a minute)  Even with just the marshmallow and chocolate chips, the cookies turned out great with melt in your mouth yummy, gooey, goodness. 

The basket was all ready to go, but we were going nowhere fast.  We ended up getting 17 inches  of snow,  and were snowed in for most of the day.

The original plan was to run to my friend Rhonda's house, and drop the basket  on her porch after school on Monday.  I found out that morning though, that her road was still very difficult to drive on, so it was time for Plan B.  She asked me if I would like to meet her for a bowl of soup at a nearby restaurant. I knew that would be the perfect time to surprise her.  When she stepped away from the table for a minute, I put the basket of cookies on the table where she had been sitting.  

When she got back to the table, she was quite surprised. The basket of cookies  really made her day.  We might not have been able to leave her basket on her doorstep because of the snow storm, but this way I got to see the cheer a surprise basket of cookies could bring. 

Kara decided she wanted to make Sprinkle Sugar Cookies for her best friend.  They have been best friends for four years, and probably years to come.  The sugar cookie dough was easy to make, and roll out on a baking mat. 

Since she was making this basket of cookies for her friend, she did all of the prep work.  She choose the cookie cutters, and cut out cookies in various Christmas shapes. We normally frost our sugar cookies and decorate them  for Santa, but she wanted to try something different this time. 

Instead of frosting, she had different types of sprinkles to the cookies before baking. 

They turned out really nice, and were not as messy as the frosted kind.  These were perfect for packing into a cookie basket.  

She placed them into baggies, and them put them in the basket.  She then chose a tag to use from the #SpreadCheer Printable Tags that are part of the Betty Crocker #SpreadCheer printable kit. 

The basket of Sprinkle Sugar Cookies ready to be delivered. Turns out we have a plan B for this delivery too. Her best friend took an unexpected trip out of town, so we need to wait until she comes home to make our surprise delivery. It won't be very cheerful for her to come home to frozen, or soggy cookies.  

Do you know someone you think might like some extra cheer this Christmas?  You are in luck, because  Betty Crocker, wants you to  help spread the cheer this year.  I will be giving away a $20 gift card to Target. It is one of my favorite stores, all over the country,  and you will find everything you need there to spread some cheer of your own. 

The giveaway rules 

  • Print off your coupon to save 50 cents on a package of Betty Crocker Cookie Mix

  • Make a cookie basket of your own, and post a photo on social media with the hash tag #SpreadCheer. Tag a few friends you think would like to join in on the fun. Use the printables to decorate your basket.

  • Leave a comment below on who you chose to #SpreadCheer and link back to your social media post 

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Dare to Share #191

It is Friday night, and you now what that means.. 
It is time to Dare to Share! 

Is anyone else having their schedules messed up with Thanksgiving?  I am not complaining at all, just that today has felt like Saturday all day long.  I almost forgot to post the party until just a minutes ago.  We also got to eat on of our family traditions today.. Leftover Turkey Pizza. We love it!  I really should make it more often using chicken. Waiting to have it only for leftovers is not often enough. 

Did anyone go out shopping for Black Friday? I did venture out with my daughter for a couple of hours last night.  I wanted a couple of in store only door busters at Kohls.  We knew the store opened at 6 p.m. We got into line about 5:40.  The first 100 guests at each store were given a voucher for two free movies tickets..  We lucked out and were #66 and #67. We saw our first free movie tonight, The Good Dinosaur. It was really good, but very intense. I am thinking about posting a review of it on the blog.  

This week I had planned on three posts, and was able to two of then posted.. A special cookie post will be up this weekend.  I have it about 90% done.  I did share a recipe that my  kids really enjoyed as part of the Celebrate the Holidays on a Budget series.  My kids love this recipe for Twice Baked Potatoes

I also shared how to make these Cardboard Tube Pilgrims.  They are fun craft for kids. 

Features will be posted this weekend. We also have a bonus day off on Monday, which will probably mess up my schedule in my mind even more.  

Do you have an Elf on the Shelf?  My co-host Kim  from Kandy Kreations has an Elf Kisses Printable to use with a sweet surprise for the kids. 

It is not time for this week's party. You are welcome to link up anything that you would like to share.  If you are chosen as a Dare to Share feature of the Day, your post will be featured on the blog, and my social media.  This party will also be seen on Kandy Kreations, for double the exposure.  Kim also chooses posts to feature on her blog and social media.  

Now link up and HAVE FUN!! 


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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Holidays on a Budget -Cardboard Tube Pilgrim Craft

I know this is kind of last minute for this Thanksgiving, but this is a craft the kids ca do while they are waiting to eat.   All you need is some cardboard tubes, construction paper or cardstock, and either glue or tape.  

You will need black, white, a flesh color, and a hair color. For the boy pilgrim we chose yellow hair, and the girl pilgrim an orangish red. 

Depending on the size tube you use, you will be blocks of black and the flesh color that are long enough to fit around the tube. It is okay if they are big enough that they overlap a bit. 

Wrap the flesh colored paper around the tube first. Secure in the back with either glue or tape.  Wrap the black paper around the tube and secure with glue and tape as well. You may cover part of the flesh paper.  You want the flesh color to be smaller than the black because Pilgrims have smaller heads than their bodies. Overlapping also looks neater than sizing to fit, and trying to match the lines. 

Add a face with either crayons, markers or colored pencils.  I used colored pencils. Add a collar for the boy pilgrim with a piece of white paper with a small triangle notch cut out.  

Add a face to the girl pilgrim.  Add some pieces of paper for her hair.  It does not have to be this detailed, this is just how my daughter decided to make hers.  Add a collar similar to the boy pilgrim but you can round the edges if you like.  

The hats are probably the most difficult part of the pilgrim. To make the boy hat, roll a piece of black paper and glue it to a flat circle on top of the boys head. Add a top circle to the hat. I found it to get it to hold together, glue works the best in this step. Add a hat band with a small strip of paper.  The best paper to use for the girls hat is printer paper because it is thinner and much easier to mold than heavier papers.  I cut a square that was about 5 inches by 5 inches. I folded it in half and then fit it to the girls head.  I secure it with scotch tape in the back of her head to hold it in place. 

As it is now after midnight, I can officially say... 

I hope you have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! 

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Holidays on a Budget - Easy Twice Baked Potatoes

Cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes with Bacon Bits

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I would be sharing posts in my series Celebrating the Holidays on a Budget.  Today I am sharing a recipe that is not only easy to make, but very inexpensive.  You can make it ahead of time for your holiday dinner or get togethers, or just eat it for a family dinner. 

This time  of year is the perfect time to make Easy Twice Baked Potatoes.  Last week Aldi had a 10 lb bag of Russet pototoes for only $1.29.  We will be able to make several meals from that bag which makes me very happy. You should be able to find some great deals on potatoes right now.  

You will need one to two potatoes per person, depending on the size.  

Bake for about an hour at 400 degrees 

Once the potatoes are done, take them out of oven.  I allowed mine to cool for a few minutes before moving on to the next step. They will be very hot to the touch without cooling.  Cut the potatoes in half. To get the potato halves to stand up, cut a small slice from the bottom to make a flat bottom.  Carefully scoop out the potato flesh and place it in a small bowl.  

This next step is the fun part.  Add whatever extras you want in your twice baked potato based on your preferences. I did not measure, I just eyeballed until I felt we had the right amount of ingredients.  I used 2 Tablespoons of Sour Cream, and about 4 thick slices of Velvetta.  You can use any cheese prefer, Velvetta is what I had on hand.  It makes a great grilled cheese, and it is creamy when it melts. You could also add broccoli or even bacon to the filling.  Mix well so the ingredients are distributed throughout the potato. 

Refill the potato skins with the potato mixture.  Place them back in the oven, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 mins more.  

We sprinkled on some bacon bits,  and a little bit of salt. (I did not have a chance to take a picture before the potatoes started disappearing)   They were really good, and were gone very quickly.  My kids loved them, and want me to make the again, and again. 

If you liked the Twice Baked Potato recipe, you might also like these recipes

Another potato recipe my family loves is Easy Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes. We served these at Thanksgiving last year.  Because they are made in the slow cooker they can be out of the way while you prepare the rest of the meal.  

BBQ Sausage and Cheesy Bacon Potatoes made a great winter meal 

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Dare to Share #190

Was it just me, or did this week seem just a little bit crazier than normal. Maybe it is the anticipation of Thanksgiving, and official start of Christmas season starting next week.  Maybe it is the weather. This week I was sick two days, my daughter appointments with her dentist and neurologist,  and we went from being 60 degrees yesterday to getting 4 inches of snow tomorrow. I had a lot of plans to get things done, but that just did not happen. Maybe I will finally get some of it done tomorrow, since I do not plan on going out  in that 4 inches of snow! I just can't quite get my head about the fact that it is almost weather. It truly feels like summer was just a few weeks ago.  

This week I shared a deal with you for my favorite bra. You can get 30% off a Coobie Seamless Bra and a Violet Love Headband for a limited time.  You read more about this deal HERE

My co-host Kim from Kandy Kreations has shared several posts for Thanksgiving, including this one with her Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Now it is time for this week's party.  You are able to link anything that you would like to share. If you are chosen as a Dare to Share Feature of the Day, your post will be featured on the blog and my social media. This party is also seen on Kandy Kreations for double the exposure.  Kim also chooses posts to feature on her blog and social media.  

Link up and HAVE FUN! 


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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Gift Idea- Save 30% on Coobie Bras and Violet Love Headbands

I don't know about you, but as we get into these very busy holiday weeks, I am all about comfort. There are days that are non stop with the shopping, wrapping, baking,  parties, etc.. that I want to wear clothes that I feel good in.  I got one of these Coobie bras a couple of years ago, and I love it! When they claim to be the most comfortable bra ever, they really mean it. On days when I wear a regular bra, I can really tell a difference. I would much rather wear my Coobie bra

One reason why Coobie bras are so ultra comfortable is because they are seamless. You also do not need your exact bra size. They come in one size that fits 32A through 36D comfortably, and a full size that fits 38-42D.  They come in more than 10 different styles and over 50 colors and patterns.  There is sure to be something for everyone. 

While I have not tried a Violet Love Headband yet, I will be trying one soon.  This no-slip no-headache headband is perfect for yoga, pilates, or just because.  They are made from Premium quality fabric and are super soft and comfy.  

Right now you can save 30% on any Coobie Seamless Bras or Violet Love Headbands at ad   Use promotion code USFG30

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Friday, November 13, 2015

Dare to Share #189

It is Friday night, and you know what that means.. 
It is time to Dare to Share!! 

I had big plans this week.  I had planned on working on a craft, cleaning my house, and sharing a feature post. This week I worked at the elementary school in a kindergarten classroom. It was a lot of fun, and I met some really great kids.. Those awesome little kids wore me out. For the last two days, i closed my eyes for a second and both times ended up taking unexpected naps. I definitely have a new appreciation for teachers who teacher little ones on a daily basis! 

Due to the popularity of my Snow Owl Ornaments , I shared a post with several my Crafts to Make with Cardboard Tubes

Since I did not have a separate Dare to Share Features post, I am sharing them tonight at the party.. 

I love Cheesy Broccoli Soup, but have yet to try and make it at home. I might give this recipe from Clean and Scentsible a try. 

I love this Sugar Cone Cornucopia by Growing Up Gabel. You might still have some of the candy you need leftover from Halloween. 

This Pumpkin Cheesecake by Bombshell Bling would be a perfect dessert for Thanksgiving. 

Apples are still in season, and this Caramel Apple Bread by Serendipity and Spice looks like great recipe to use them in. 

Have any leftover Snickers? I do, only because I recently bought another bag. You can use them to try these Snickers Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats by Frugal Foodie Mama

I remember making something like this Pumpkin Roll  with my grandma when I was a kid. I would like try to make this recipe by :Life Anchored   with my own kids. 

,My co-host Kim from Kandy Kreations has been sharing a lot of Thanksgiving posts.  This week you can learn more about her family Thankgiving  Giving Tree

It is now time for this week's party. You are welcome to share anything that you would like to share.  If you are chosen as a Dare to Share Feature of the Day, your post will be featured on the blog and my social media.  This party is also seen on Kandy Kreations for double the exposure.  Kim also chooses features for her blog and social media. 

Link up and HAVE FUN! 


    An InLinkz Link-up

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Crafts to Make with Cardboard Tubes

With the popularity of my Snow Owl Ornaments this week, I thought I would  re-share some of my other cardboard tube crafts that I have posted over the years. 

Another project that I really enjoyed making was my Turkey Napkin Rings. The entire set was made from one paper towel tube.  I have another Thanksgiving tube craft that I made  a few years ago, but I can not find on the blog. I would tell you what it is, but I think I am going to remake it, and share in the next few weeks. 

One of my most popular cardboard tube crafts was  How to Make Despicable Me Minions  They are still one of my all time favorite crafts. 

Another favorite cardboard tube craft was made by my daughter.  She make her Hanging Rainbow Flower for a school project.  She ended up making three of them, and selling them all.  I think I will have to her make another one for me, because I still love it. 

In a throwback post, my daughter also made me these Cardboard Tube Flowers. I loved them then, and I still love them now. I still have them!  She looks so young in this picture. 

This year I used cardboard tubes to make Leprechaun Treat Boxes. I thought they turned out pretty cute. 

Easter was not left out. Last year I made these Spring Animal Boxes. I could not decide which ones were my favorite. 

For the 4th of July I made this Quick and Easy Fireworks Craft. I added the fireworks to long skewers, which made a perfect way to add to my red, white and blue flower pot. 

And of course, the craft that inspired this post.. my Snow Owl Ornaments

Until I started writing this post, I had kind of forgotten how many cardboard tubecrafts I had actually made. I will be adding to that list real soon!  

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