Saturday, December 9, 2017

Dare to Share #291

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

Wow, it is almost the middle of December! How are your preparations going?  We still have a lot to do, but have also been able to complete a few annual traditions.. 

Last weekend when had our first celebrations when we had a Gingerbread House Decorating Party with a few of my daughter's friends.  

I also shared a quick and easy Gingerbread Craft that we had as a decoration at the party.. 

If you entered the Coobie Bra Giveaway, I will be contacting the two winners this weekend!! 

My co-host Kim from Everyday Parties is in the gingerbread mood this week too. Check out her Gingerbread Man Chocolate Graham Cracker Cookies  

It is now time for this week's party.. 

Link up and HAVE FUN!! 


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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Gingerbread House Party

Gingerbread Houses, Christmas Party, Christmas Treats

This past weekend, my daughter had a few friends over for a Gingerbread House Decorating Party.  Everyone had a lot of fun decorating gingerbread houses, and making gingerbread crafts.  Almost all of our Christmas Party Supplies came from the Oriental Trading. As a Brand Ambassador for the Oriental Trading, I was sent these supplies to use at our party, and share them with you. I truly love their products, and I have been a long time customer before I even started blogging. (check out some of my childrens' parties featured on the blog from years ago).  

To save money we used a mini village gingerbread kit instead of buying a large house for each guest.  The smaller houses were a perfect size, and not overwhelming to make. 

One of the favorite crafts at the party were these Gingerbread Boxes. Each box came with a page of foam stickers, and as you can see, had enough stickers that you can be very creative.  

I found this awesome gingerbread baking pan at my local Salvation Army earlier this year.  I decided to try it out for the first time with a gingerbread dough mix.  You will see how they turned out later in this post.  

Our kitchen table looked like a sweet shop explosion. At each table setting we had a small house, and the gingerbread crafts that we had already  put together. Since the kit only came with one bag of icing, I made a few small batches of Royal Icing and placed them in plastic baggies around the table. 

We had a lot of goodies to use on the houses. Some of the candy came from the dollar store.  The gingerbread marshmallows were found at Meijer.   Placing all of the goodies in cupcake pans kept them contained, and within arms reach to everyone. 

The gingerbread house goodie boxes were easy to put together,  and the perfect size for the guests to take home all of their goodies at the end of the night 

Here are just some of the crafts and goodies that the guests made and took home.  We used some of the leftover stickers from the Gingerbread Boxes and used them on foam gingerbread cut outs.  The paper mache gingerbread houses can be found on the Oriental Trading Site as DIY House Shaped Boxes.  We painted them brown and then decorated. These house shaped boxes can be used for many different crafts, not just gingerbread houses.  The guests were also given a candy cane, and a special gingerbread sucker from Oriental Trading 

Here are how the cookies turned out with the Gingerbread Baking Sheet.  I placed them on the table so they could also be decorated (and eaten!) They turned out perfectly.  I had more dough left over that can be used a later time. 

I think  these plates are so adorable.  There were also on the table to place the individual cookies on while decorating.  

I think this gingerbread cookie looks good enough to eat! 

We have a small dining area, but it was decorated in full theme for the party.  The gingerbread cut out ornaments came unpainted from Oriental Trading.  I had a lot of fun painting them, and bringing them to life.  ( you may see them in another post  later this week) 

Here is a close up of one of the ornaments. 

I adore this sweet Gingerbread Boy Pinata. We did not have the heart to break him.  I think we will use him as a decoration for awhile.  He is from Oriental Trading.

I painted the Gingerbread Face using a charger from the dollar store.  I have had the stuffed gingerbread man for years.  I think it might have even belonged to one of my kids when they were little. 

The gingerbread garland matched the decor perfectly. 

Here are the finished houses that the guests were able to take home.  To make them more portable, they were on small foiled covered cardboard, or plastic plates. 

In addition to all of the goodies show earlier in the post, each guest also got a gingerbread rubber duckie, and a gingerbread cookie in a cookie take home box.  

It was a great night, and a great party! 

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Monday, December 4, 2017

Dollar Store Gingerbread Charger

Gingerbread Party, Dollar Store Crafts, Gingerbread Decorations

This weekend we had a Gingerbread House Making Party (which you will see this week). The day before we put the houses together, we made several gingerbread crafts. One of my favorite gingerbread crafts, may have also been the easiest.  I just love my Dollar Store Gingerbread Charger.  

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to products used to make this craft. 

I found my charger plate at the dollar store.  It is a brownish gold color and looks like gingerbread.  

I thought about hand painting it, but then thought I would try and use paint pens instead.  I used black, red, and white because I like the a traditional looking gingerbread man. I started with the white paint pen, and drew on the lines around the face that represent the frosting/icing. 

I then used the black, and red pens to draw on the rest of the face.  Once the black and red was dry, I used a little more white for highlights  I also added some red dots on the white lines to look like cinnamon candy pieces. 

I loved how he turned out.  I plan on using him as a decoration in my kitchen, using the plate for food.  Depending on the paint that you use, you might need to seal the paint to prevent chipping.  I haven't so far, but still might before the end of the season.  

Watch for my Gingerbread in my party post! 

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Saturday, December 2, 2017

Dare to Share #290

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

Wow, it's already December 1st, and  the busiest time of the year.  Today was the last day of the trimester for my daughter.  She liked to cut things close with her classes, just like my oldest daughter used to do.  There are only a little over 2 week left of school before Christmas vacation. I know I will be working at least some of them.   Stores are already packed with Christmas shoppers, and we only have a few weeks to get all of our holiday prep done. I don't know about you, but I am already tired thinking about it.  

It was a busy week here on the blog too.  

I had two US Family Guide Posts this week.  

I shared my Watch Ya' Mouth Throwdown Review in case you are thinking of buying one for Christmas this year.  I have a discount coupon for you on that post  

Late last night, I shared my Coobie Bra Review.  They are my favorite bras ever!  There is a 30% off your order coupon on that post AND I am giving TWO BRAS AWAY in a GIVEAWAY.  Be sure to stop over and enter.  

I also shared a fun post with Gift Ideas for the Unicorn Lover in your life.  As you may know I love unicorns too.  My birthday present this year was my new friend Fluffy, who inspired the post.  

This weekend, my daughter and I will be putting together a Gingerbread House party, so be watching for that post very soon!  

Now it is time for this week's party..  Link up and HAVE FUN!! 


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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Coobie Bra Review and Giveaway

A few weeks I ago I shared how to get 30% off your Coobie order. In that post I said to watch for my new upcoming review.  I recently received a new Coobie bra to try out, and the exciting thing is, I am having a GIVEAWAY where you can win one of your own too. 

I really do love these bras! I got my first one in April of 2014. I currently have them in several different colors, and wear them almost exclusively.  There are many reasons why they are my favorite got to bra.  They are seamless, and very comfortable, and I am all about comfort. Because they fit like a sports bra, I feel supported no matter what I am doing.  When it is time to clean them, they have removable pads for easy washing.  They come is two sizes, so you do not have to worry about choosing the just the  right size.  One size fits 32A-36D.  This is the size I own, which you can see in the picture above.  I tend to vary on size a little bit depending on my weight, and it has always fit.  Full size fits 32A-42DD. There is a FAQ page on the Coobie website, if you have any specific questions about the bra, that I do not answer in this post.

The 30% off deal on Coobie Seamless bra is still available! Go to  Use code: USFG to get the discount! 

Now for the GIVEAWAY.. I have been given TWO bras to giveaway so there will be TWO WINNERS.  The winners will have a choice between the Scoopneck, V Neck with Lace, Nursing Bra, Comfort Bra, and Classic Lace Bralette.  The colors will be selected by random by Cobbie  (I have multiple colors and I love them all)  

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Unicorn Lovers Gift Guide

Meet Fluffy.  She is the inspiration for this post.  I adopted her earlier this month, when I found her on sale a few weeks before Thanksgiving.   If you follow me on Facebook, or Instagram, you probably already know I really like unicorns.  I frequently share unicorn themed recipes, and crafts, and I was recently even a unicorn for Halloween. 

With the popularity of all things unicorn in the stores and on social media, I know I am not alone with my love of unicorns.   If you have someone in your life who also loves unicorn here are some of my favorite things I have found online, and would personally love under my own Christmas tree. 
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Monday, November 27, 2017

Watch Ya' Mouth Throwdown Game Review

game reviews, family games, party games

Disclosure: I am an US Family Guide Blogger.  I received this game to review for my readers.  All opinions are 100% mine.  

This past week I received the game Watch Ya' Mouth Throwdown Edition to play with my family.  We knew the perfect time to try it out was over Thanksgiving when we would be eating dinner with friends.   I played the game with my friend who is a nurse, and three apprehensive, grumpy teenagers.  

We had all seen the first version of the game on TV,  but none of us have played it before.  When I opened the game we found a lot of colorful game pieces.  

We followed the directions, and washed the mouthpieces we had chosen to use.  My friend the nurse made sure we kept things sanitary.  She had just gotten over a cold, and joked that if we did not prepare the game properly, we would have to call it "How to Catch a Cold" game.  They are top rack dishwasher safe, which seems like a great way to clean them before and after playing.  

 I have a very small mouth.  As hard as I tried I could not get the mouthpiece in my mouth, that is when I realized that there were TWO sizes, large and small.  I had been trying to use the large adult size, but luckily the smaller child size fit. 

I have to admit when you are wearing the mouthpieces you look pretty ridiculous. (though that that is part of the fun of it)  My daughter would not let me take a picture  of her wearing it, and my son hid behind the box.   My friend's son was  brave and allowed me to use him as the model in my photos.  

In the game you go around the table, and roll a die with arrows on it.  Depending on how it lands, it will show you who you are challenging   You the pick up a Throwdown card, and follow the directions it tells you to do.  The instructions say you can not pass on a Throwdown.  Some of the challenges are very difficult, so I made the executive decision to allow passing, so my players would stay in the game.  

We noticed that this game is for ages 8 and up.  Some of the cards may be too hard for younger players. On one of the cards you had to sing a song with the mouthpiece in.  The teens we played with were ages 16, 17 and 18, and not one of them knew who Frank Sinatra, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, and Neil Diamond on the were.  I even sang the songs associated with them without the guard, still clueless. They did redeem themselves with knowing PRINCE, and Elvis Presley though.. (I'm a 80's kid, who loves Prince)   

You use different props (and add some of your own)  Here Noah shows demonstrates one of the games with the straw. 

If you find the challenges are too hard, you can still  play the original version by using the phrases deck.  

If you are not a fan of looking silly, and trying new things this may not be the game for you.  However, if you were a fan of the first game, you will probably love this one too.   It is a great game for parties and large groups.  

Want a game of your own, you can find it here--->
Use the code  15WYM  to get 15% off.  (good through Dec 31, 2017) 

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Saturday, November 25, 2017

Dare to Share #289

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

Have you been having a good Thanksgiving week? I have been spending the last few days with family, and doing special things with my daughter. This week we have been Black Friday shopping, seen the movie Coco (which was awesome btw!) and went to our town's holiday parade.  This weekend we will decorate the tree and maybe do a little bit of baking, and crafting.  What fun things have you been doing?  

Link up and HAVE FUN!! 


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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Dare to Share #288

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

This week I shared my recipe for Quick and Easy Pepperoni Pizza Squash

I also shared how you can save 30% on Coobie Bras.  They are my favorite bras, and soon there will be a review and a giveaway.. 

This week my co-host Kim from Everyday Parties has a great Justice League Party printable this week, and other fun ideas.  

Now it is time for this week's party.  

Link up and HAVE FUN!! 


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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Quick and Easy Pepperoni Pizza Spaghetti Squash

 I love this time of year when you can often find squash on sale at the grocery store.  One of our favorites to eat is spaghetti squash. I recently wanted to try something new when making squash for my family.  I had spaghetti sauce, pepperoni, and a few kinds of cheese on hand, so I I decided to try my own version of Pepperoni Pizza Spaghetti Squash. 

I don't know about you, but I think the worse part of making squash is cutting it. It always takes a lot of effort.  In the end though, once it is finally done, I am glad that powered through it.  When the squash was cut in half lengthwise, I cleaned out the seeds.  

There are a couple of different ways you can bake squash. You can cook it in the oven, but I find it works just as well in the microwave.  When I cook it in the microwave, I only do one half at a time.  First I rubbed  a little bit of butter on the squash, and turned it face down in a microwave safe pan. I then set the microwave for 8 minutes.  It's okay it if sits a minute or two when done, because it will be very HOT. 

Using two forks, I shred the squash until it looked like spaghetti.  I then added the other ingredients.  I don't have exact measurements of what I used, I just added what looked good to me.  I sprinkled in a decent amount of Parmesan cheese, and some garlic salt.  I then mixed it all together, and added a little bit more Parm.  

On top of the squash and cheese mixture, I poured a layer of spaghetti sauce.  The cheese on top can be any type of cheese you prefer.  On the day I made this, I used cheddar, because it is one of our favorite cheeses, and what I had in the refrigerator.  

Before putting it back in the microwave, I added slices of pepperoni on top.  I then put the squash back in for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes to heat up the sauce and melt the cheese.  When it was done, I sprinkled a little bit more Parmesan. (We love our cheese!) 

This was a pretty big squash so it was big enough to feed 2 to 3 people.  It was a tasty meal, and one we will eat again!  

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