Saturday, August 29, 2015

Dare to Share #178

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

Wow, there is a lot of changes happening here. We are finally finished at my old house. Tuesday we took several van loads of stuff to donate at a local church.  We packed up my car and a friend's van one more time, and moved our last load. We did not have room for a couple of things Kara really wanted, so we did sneak back on Wednesday morning for a couple of flower pots and a Hosta my grandma gave me 20 years ago. It has moved with me to every house. I am really hoping it survives this move.  My grandma died 10 years ago while I was living in my last house. I won't be able to get another one from her.  There is still a lot of organizing and going through things at our new place. It is very slowly coming together, but part of that is because I have not been home to work on it. I will have more time in the upcoming weeks.  

My kids are going through some changes this week as well  My younger two had their school registrations. My youngest is starting high school. I am not sure if either one of us is ready for that. I know she isn't looking forward to super early mornings.  She doesn't have any classes or lunch with her best friend, which means she will be meeting some new people this year.  She is going to stay in dance for another year, but cut back to only one class.  We just picked up her dance recital pics yesterday.  She is still having her headaches, and is not sure of her homework load so I left it up to her.. She might add in hip hop and ballet later if she is feeling up to it.   My oldest has decided that she is moving across the country to live with a friend's family.  I am not that excited about it, but she has graduated, and old enough to make some of her own decisions.  She will be leaving in a month! 

Remember when I shared about the Renaissance Festival a couple of weeks ago? Well unless something happens, we will be going to the Highland Fling this weekend.  We are pretty excited about it. I will be posting all about it next week.. You will be seeing lots of photos in men in kilts doing battle! 

I had been craving S'Mores this week, and chose the Nutella S'Mores Popcorn by Frugal Foodie Mama. I love the mix of sweet and salty.  I am also going to try something different this weekend.  I have chosen several other posts to feature this weekend on social media. I feel bad for not being able to keep up the last few months, and this will be one way for more eyes on your posts. There are so many great links each week, it is hard to choose. 

My co-host Kim from Kandy Kreations has a fun post this week.  Your kids would love to eat off a One Smart Cookie plate which you can make with one of her printables. Just be aware the sight of a cookie printable, may have them asking you for real cookies.. :) 

Now it is time for this week's party. You can 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 is also seen on Kandy Kreations for double the exposure  Kim also choose posts to feature on her blog and social media  

Sorry the party is a few minutes late tonight. My computer decided to freeze as I was posting!   

Link up and HAVE FUN! 

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Nutella Smores Popcorn - Feature of the Day

Just a really quick update as to why the week got away from me again! Our last official day at the house was Tuesday.  I also had two high school registrations and a dance open house this week.. It seems the closer we get to school the faster the days go, that is why it is Thursday I am just not getting to my first post of the week.   

I have been craving S'Mores this week!  A few days ago we bought a bag of S'Mores trail mix at Aldi. It was good, but it got Kara and I thinking about how we can make our own with different ingredients. Then on Dare to Share this week, I saw that Carrie from the Frugal Foodie Mama posted this recipe for her Nutella S'Mores popcorn. YUM!!  The mix of popcorn, chocolate, marshmallow and graham crackers looks crazy good. I think it would also be a great treat for parties.  I know I have some popcorn in the pantry, I may need to try this one ASAP.  Be sure to stop over to Frugal Foodie Mama to get the recipe.

Thank you so much Carrie for linking up your special popcorn to this week's Dare to Share. 
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Friday, August 21, 2015

Dare to Share #177

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

We are in the last few weeks before school starts back up.  This means registration days, hair cuts, school supplies etc.. Both my kids that are still in school are in high school now. This is the first time we have been in the same school since 2007, when Kara was in 1st grade! Time is really flying by too fast. 

I am still working on the endless move, but it will finally be done in the next few days.. I have mixed feelings about it all, and it is a bit bittersweet. This means though, I will finally be back on a blogging schedule again.   

I am also currently having a computer issue. Has anyone dealt with a problem with User Profile Service failure at log on?  This has been going on for hours.  I was able to log on an post the party but using my daughter's account.  I "think" I just found how to fix it, but did not have time to do it before I had to get the party posted.  Any suggestions in the comments will be appreciated if the tutorial I found does not work.  

This week while grocery shopping, my daughter and I found some really fun finds at Aldi.. Aldi is my favorite place to shop for groceries, and we save a ton of money.  You would be surprised at all the great goodies you can buy there for very little money.  

My co-host Kim from Kandy Kreations has several back to school ideas on her blog this week, like these Back to School Printable Notecards. My daughter is in the class of 2019 EEK!  

Now it is time for this week's party. You are welcome to link up anything that you would like to share. This party is also seen on Kandy Kreations for double the exposure.  If you are chosen as a Dare to Share Feature of the Day your post will be featured on the blog and social media.  Now that my move is over, there will be features again, I promise!  Kim also chooses features for her blog and social media so you can possibly be featured on both sites.  

Link up and HAVE FUN! 


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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Fun Finds at Aldi

As many of you may know, Aldi is one of my favorite places to buy groceries. I had heard about Aldi for years, but until one opened in my town two years ago, I had not shopped there.  Now I shop there for 90% of my groceries, and rarely shop in other stores.  I have been able to cut my families food expenses almost in half without cutting coupons. (though I still love coupons, I just used them mostly for other things)  For the last two years I have been feeding three teenagers for on average only $70 a week.  Today while doing our shopping, my daughter and I really looked at all of the items. There were some really cool products you would not expect to find, and it was very inexpensive. We even bought several of the items we saw to try out in future posts.  I was not asked by Aldi to write this post, I am doing this on my own because of how much I love shopping there.  

The specialty salsa was not a surprise to us, I have been buying it for awhile, but it might be a surprise to others. One of my good friends used to buy something similar at Costco and pay a lot more. There are several flavors to choose from.  My favorite is definitely the Mango Peach salsa, and it costs only $1.89.  

We did not buy these, but we were tempted!  The Chocoate Coated Butter Cookies looked really good and at only $1.69 almost too good to pass up.  

Movie theater popcorn was also not a surprise, but a box with 6 bags for only $1.69 was.  At that price each bag is only .28 way less than the $5+ bag at a the real movie theater.  This popcorn would be great to have for a movie night at home. We picked up a box, because we might add in some goodies for a some fun new flavors in a future post. 

Always be sure to check the wire racks on the endcaps.  There you will find really good bargains such as these Jif Peanut Butter and Chocolate Whips for only .99.  That is way cheaper than a regular store. We may have bought two so they last for awhile. 

You never know what you are going to find in the household section. Right now they have a huge selection of organizing products for the kids going off to college.  I am not sure how much the purple polka dot bean bag was, but it was really cute.  The over the door shoe rack that hold several pairs of shoes was on sale for only $9.99. I could probably use one, as I have a problem with shoes. I love them, and have too many. 

I am always looking for easy snacks or dinners on the go.  I was very excited to find a three pack of mini pizza crusts for only .99. We bought a couple, and are going to try them out very soon.  

I believe that the Journey to India line is new, as this was the first time I had seen it in the store  If you like Indian food, you will want to check this line out. Everything was only $1.69-$1.99.  

I do not use coconut water, but I know there are some people out there who do. It was very reasonably priced at about $3.00 

These flavored mayos caught our eye.  I bought the Mayo Sriracha for my son who loves to make sandwiches for only $1.69.  My daughter thought the Mayo BBQ sauce looked interesting. We are going to buy it on our next visit, if it is still there. 

You might not be able to tell in this picture, but the striped bow tie pasta was really cute. We are going to try the Basil and Tomato for only $1.89

I was very excited about this find.  The Churro and Tres Leches baking mixes sound really good, and at only .89 it will be okay if they do not turn out. I am really hoping they do though.

If you like fancy restaurant salads, but not the price I found this bag of salad toppers for only $1.99.  In it was sweetened cranberries, glazed pecans, walnuts and almonds. I put them on a bag salad that was only .99 with a little blue cheese crumbles at dinner tonight.   It tasted like it was the much higher priced salad at one of my favorite restaurants.  

The S'Mores and Cinnamon Pecan pancake mixes were also in the bargain bin. At $2.49, I am not sure if they were marked down, but they sure did look good.  The box of S'Mores mix came home with us to be used in a future post. 

If you ever have a party, and want expensive looking cheeses without the expensive price, check out their cheese section.  There are also some really good cheese for about $3 a package.  

I am also not a green smoothie drinker, but Aldi does have some flavored specialty drinks that are working checking into. This smoothie was on sale this week for $1.99, which is probably away cheaper than if you bought the ingredients and made it yourself. 

Love making your own cookies?  We found these fun flavors for only $2.49 a package.  We would have bought some, but we found them toward the end of our trip when we had a pretty full cart. We will be keeping an eye on them for a future purchase though! 

One do have one  tip about buying food at Aldi.  Their stock changes frequently. If you find something you really like, stock up, because it may not be there for long.  Some products like their Salsa and their Guacamole Chips do come back in stock often.  The broccoli and cheese stuffed shells that my family LOVED,  we have not seen in months.  

Do you have a favorite product that you like to buy at Aldi?  

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Friday, August 14, 2015

Dare to Share #176

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

We thought we are finally going to have a break this week.. The endless move, while not finished, is slowing down.  The kids had their annual check ups this week, and Kara had one of her very last Ortho appointments. (her braces might come off in September)  While at one of the doctor's  appointments, we got some surprising news.  I can't really share what it is yet out of privacy for the child involved, but it there will be more appointments involved in the near future.  Hopefully though, now that we know what we are dealing with, my child will be able to be 100% healthy again. 

Right before we got the unexpected health news, I posted about the Michigan Renaissance Festival that will be happening soon.  If you live in the midwest and would like to know more, see how you can get a discount on tickets.  This looks like a really fun event. 

Since I did not have a chance to write another post this week, here are  my Chocolate Chip Rice Pudding Bites that I made for the #SummerofPudding in case you missed them last week. 

My co-host Kim has party idea that I think you will love, especially if you are a fan of vintage arcade games.. She shares her ideas for a 80s Arcade Video Game Dinner Party to have with your friends and family.  Be sure to check it out.  

Now it is 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 social media. This party is also seen on Kandy Kreations for double the exposure.  Kim also chooses features to share on her blog and social media. 

Link up and HAVE FUN! 


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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

37th Annual Michigan Renaissance Festival

Today's post is little different than most. As you know from time to time, I like to share fun family activities on the blog. I have shared about  Halloweekend at Cedar PointOur Visit to Six Flags Great America, and LEGO Kidsfest.  This fall there is another fun event, and if you live in the midwest you might want to check it out.  I have not gone before, but my family and and I are really excited to attend this year.  Every weekend from August 22nd- October 4th (including Labor day and a special Friday Festival night Oct 2)  the 37th Michigan Renaissance Festival will be open in Holly, Michigan.   

The more I read about it, the more exciting it sounds. At the festival you will travel back in time to the 16th century.  Inside the gates of a 17 acre village you will see taverns, Renaissance shops and even a castle.  There will be continuous entertainment in the streets such as comedy, music, juggling and more.  There will even be full armored jousting.  Each weekend of the festival there will be a different theme.  I can't decide which one I want to attend more.  It starts with a pet festival on Aug 22-23, and ends with a "sweet" weekend with chocolate and cupcakes on Oct 3-4.  Other weekends will include the Highland Fling, High Seas Adventures (think pirates!), Wonders of the World, Shamrocks and Shenanigans, and a Harvest Huzzah. Everyone single weekend sounds like a great time.  If that is not enough, there will also be fabulous food and 300 artisans displaying their works.  

If this sounds like something you will like to attend, you are in luck! 

My readers save $3 Off Gate Admission with this coupon. You can save $3 off an Adult Admission or a FREE child ticket with the purchase of an Adult ticket.  It is not valid with any other offers. Aug 22nd through October 4th, 10 am-7pm, Rain or Shine! FREE parking. 

You can read more about everything that will be at the Michigan Renaissance Festival, and get directions at

Which weekend would you want to attend the most? 

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Friday, August 7, 2015

Dare to Share #175

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

Another week has flown by. Are you busy getting ready for back to school yet?  I have to admit, I have not done anything at all. We still have another month to go, and my kids are now in high school.  Back to school time is not as fun as it used to be. 

This week I did my third post for #KozyShack and the #SummerofPudding.  I tried something, I never tried before and was very happy with the results.  Stop over and check out my Chocolate Chip Rice Pudding Bites with Cookie Crust

Pretty soon it will be time for Halloween. This week I featured this adorable DIY Ariel Costume by A Bountiful Love.  I love costumes that are easy to make, and the kids love. 

If you are going back to school soon, you will want to check out my co-host Kim's Back to School Teacher Gift Printables over on her blog Kandy Kreations

Now it is 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 social media. This part 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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Chocolate Chip Rice Pudding Bites with Cookie Crust #SummerofPudding

This month I had the opportunity to try #KozyShack® Rice Pudding .  I have to admit, I don't think I have had rice pudding before this week. I eat a lot of pudding, but I usually eat the more common kinds like chocolate, or tapioca. I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised. These rice pudding bites, turned out to be quite yummy, and I see eating more rice pudding in my future.  It is a good thing too, because National Rice Pudding Day is August 9th. 

Just like the other of Kozy Shacks® pudding products, their rice pudding is made simple wholesome,  ingredients, gluten free, and a great source of calcium.  It is something that I feel good feeding to my family. 

Because I wanted my children to try the rice pudding as well, I asked my daughter what we should add to this recipe.  Her top choices were chocolate, and cookies.  Instead of just adding a cookie, we decided to smash it crumbs and make a crust of out it.  To make our cookie crust, we smashed Nilla Wafers and then added some melted butter.  It really was that simple, and that is all you need.  To make the treats bite size, we used a mini muffin pan.  I spooned in a small amount of the crumb and butter mixture in each cup, and then pushed it down to form the crust. Once I filled all of the cups, I placed the tin in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes so the cookie crust would harden.   Once the crust was ready, I added some chocolate chips to the pudding. (I didn't measure, just threw in what I thought looked good) and then added the pudding in each of the cups of the muffin tin. I then placed it back in the refrigerator so the pudding would set with the cookie crust a bit. When it was ready, I just used a spoon, and the treats came right out of the pan. I love easy no bake desserts in the summer. 

It is kind of hard to see the yummy cookie crust in the chocolate picture, so here is another one. If you are not much of a chocolate person, these bites also taste really good plain.  My daughter also found out after I took most of  the pictures, that if you are craving a little bit of fruit, a slice of strawberry on top is amazing. The mix of pudding, strawberry, pudding, chocolate chip and cookie.. So good! 

You can learn more about Kozy Shack® and their delicious puddings on their Facebook page, and Instagram. There they have more delicious pudding ideas and recipes for your to enjoy. 

What has been your favorite recipe during this #SummerofPudding? 
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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

DIY Ariel Costume - Feature of the Day

Long time readers may know that I have made homemade costumes for years.  (you can see some of them on my About Me page).  At the end of every summer, my kids would start to think about what they wanted to be for Halloween.  While my own kids are on the older side for Trick or Treating now, we still might come up with new costumes this year.  When I see tutorials for costumes that can be easily made at home I get excited, which is why I am featuring this DIY Arial Costume by A Bountiful Love.  It is quite adorable, and easier to put together than you might think.  (I think my oldest was also Ariel many years ago when she was in her princess phase.)   Be sure to stop over to A Bountiful Love  for full instructions, and few more a super cute costumes..  
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