Category Archives: Family

‘Tis the Season to Make Your Own Holiday Cards + Giveaway

Make your own holiday cards at Paperless Post and have then electronically delivered the same day! Enter to #win 1,000 coins to be used at Paperless Post and make your own holiday cards today! #giveaway

~Thank you to Nakturnal for providing a free sample for my review. This post contains affiliate links, in which I may receive compensation for your purchase.~

There’s no better season for family photos and using those photos to make your own holiday cards. Getting a decent family photo? Eh, we might be able to swing that. Designing your own holiday card? Well, that’s easy peasy with Paperless Post!

Each and every holiday season, I plan our family photo so that I can design my own holiday cards. Getting a family photo is a hassle around here, considering my other half would do anything to get out of taking a picture. But after pulling the “it’s important to me” card and eventually putting my foot down, demanding he get with the program, I get the family photo I long for. Most of the time.

Let’s face it, getting everyone to look at the camera and smile is a tedious effort at best. We typically have no less than 20 takes of the same location and pose, and even sometimes that isn’t enough to get the perfect family photo. Nonetheless, I do what I can to make it a great one, so that we look like we belong on the holiday card.

How do I do that? I make our outfits my main priority.

Make your own holiday cards at Paperless Post and have then electronically delivered the same day! Enter to #win 1,000 coins to be used at Paperless Post and make your own holiday cards today! #giveaway

Let’s start with mom because we all know mom holds the family together, right? eShakti is a great place to get a special look for mom. With sizes ranging from 0 to 36 and the ability to customize everything about a piece, mom will certainly be a highlight of the family photo.

The kids? My go-to is definitely Gymboree. With cute and affordable clothes that fit both my daughter and my son, it’s a one-stop shop to get their holiday styles handled.

And last, but certainly not least, dad. I say let Trendy Butler do the work. Just have dad fill out a style questionnaire, choose his preferences and measurements, and let Trendy Butler create the look and send it right to your door. It takes some of the hassle off of me, knowing dad’s outfit is taken care of with no effort.

‘Tis the season for family photos, fa la la la la, la la la la.

Join the family and smile pretty, fa la la la la, la la la la.

Don we now our gay apparel, fa la la, la la la, la la la.

Don’t blink when the camera flashes, fa la la la la, la la la la.

Hope you got the perfect take, fa la la la la, la la la la.

Now design and email holiday cards, fa la la la la, la la la la.

Once I’ve the perfect family photo, or something close to it, it’s time for the easy part – making my own holiday cards. From choosing the perfect card, to customization and even sending it out to family and friends, making my own holiday cards has never been easier than it is with Paperless Post.

Make your own holiday cards at Paperless Post and have then electronically delivered the same day! Enter to #win 1,000 coins to be used at Paperless Post and make your own holiday cards today! #giveaway

There are so many different holiday card designs to choose, many of which are straight from high end fashion designers like Kate Spade New York and Oscar De La Renta. After picking which card suits your taste the best, it’s just a matter of adding the family photo and tailoring the details.

What I like about Paperless Post is that there are multiple customization options for one single card. You and a friend could literally choose the same card and end up with totally different finished looks!

Here’s the card I chose to work with, in its original form.

Make your own holiday cards at Paperless Post and have then electronically delivered the same day! Enter to #win 1,000 coins to be used at Paperless Post and make your own holiday cards today! #giveaway

And this is how my holiday card turned out after making my own customizations.

Make your own holiday cards at Paperless Post and have then electronically delivered the same day! Enter to #win 1,000 coins to be used at Paperless Post and make your own holiday cards today! #giveaway

But that’s not even all of the customization! I was able to pick and choose details for the envelope too, right down to which stamp I wanted.

Paperless Post Customization Options:

  • Add a family photo.
  • Change the colors/design of the card itself.
  • Change typeface – actual font, font size, font color, wording.
  • Add a background (wooden background shown).
  • Choose from multiple envelope color/finish options.
  • Change the envelope’s interior liner print.
  • Select the stamp and postmark to be shown on the outside of the envelope.
  • Choose font shown on envelope for letter addressee.

I absolutely love how my finished family holiday card turned out, from the card itself, to the envelope and delivery. And I got to choose every single detail! Not to mention, I’ve gotten some great feedback from our family and friends about the card.

Make your own holiday cards at Paperless Post and have then electronically delivered the same day! Enter to #win 1,000 coins to be used at Paperless Post and make your own holiday cards today! #giveaway

Delivery was super easy. They were all sent electronically via email! No wait time for printing and delivery to my home, and then the process of mailing them out myself. Talk about a time saver! On top of that, I don’t have extra holiday cards sitting around. I can send and pay for only as many as I need to, without ordering a minimum or certain amount.

All I had to do was input my name and subject (I chose Merrry Christmas as the subject) and then added my recipients’ names and email addresses. My holiday cards were delivered right then and there! When the recipient opens the email, they’ll see an animation of the envelope opening and out pops our holiday card. It’s so fun!

Make your own holiday cards at Paperless Post and have then electronically delivered the same day! Enter to #win 1,000 coins to be used at Paperless Post and make your own holiday cards today! #giveaway

On my Paperless Post dashboard, I can even see who has opened their holiday cards and who hasn’t. And if I realize I forgot someone (which I definitely did), I can just go in and add more recipients and again, the holiday card is delivered right then.

So even if you wait until the very last minute to make your own holiday cards, they’ll still get delivered on time with the help of Paperless Post!

Do you make your own holiday cards?

Connect with paper-logo: Website / Facebook / Twitter


GIVEAWAY

paper-logo

Ready to make your own holiday cards at Paperless Post? I’ve got just the giveaway for you! Using the giveaway form below, enter to win 1,000 coins ($90 value) to use at Paperless Post! (Electronic holiday cards are purchased using coins.)

This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal. It is open to US Residents, ages 18+ and ends on December 21, 2016 at 11:59 pm est.  Random winner will be notified via email and must respond within 24 hours or prize will be forfeited. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.

 

 

 

*This post contains affiliate links, in which I may receive compensation for your purchase. My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Holiday Adventures with The Cat in the Hat + Giveaway #GiftIdea

"Here we go go go go, on an adventure! The Thinga-Ma-Jigger is up and away. Go go go go, on an adventure. We're flying with the Cat in the Hat today!" Enter today to #win two Cat in the Hat holiday features from NCircle Entertainment and enjoy some fun filled adventures with the ever classic Cat in the Hat! #giveaway #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

~Thank you to NCircle Entertainment for providing product for my review. Opinions are still 100% my own.~

One of my favorite things about the holidays are all of the Christmas themed movies. From the old school animated cartoons, to modern movies and even episodes of TV shows. I love them all! In fact, I’m no stranger to watching Home Alone during the summer.

This year, NCircle Entertainment is helping us expand our holiday movie collection by adding a few children’s favorites, including a handful of holiday adventures with The Cat in the Hat. How classic is that?

"Here we go go go go, on an adventure! The Thinga-Ma-Jigger is up and away. Go go go go, on an adventure. We're flying with the Cat in the Hat today!" Enter today to #win two Cat in the Hat holiday features from NCircle Entertainment and enjoy some fun filled adventures with the ever classic Cat in the Hat! #giveaway #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas! and The Cat in the Hat: Told from the Cold offer almost two hours of combined fun filled holiday entertainment. And of course, it wouldn’t be The Cat in the Hat without appearances from Fish, Sally and Nick, and Thing 1 and Thing 2. Oh, and don’t let me forget The Thinga-Ma-Jigger. We can’t go on any holiday adventures with The Cat in the Hat if we don’t have The Thinga-Ma-Jigger!

Here we go go go go,

on an adventure!

The Thinga-Ma-Jigger is up and away.

Go go go go,

on an adventure.

We’re flying with The Cat in the Hat today!

"Here we go go go go, on an adventure! The Thinga-Ma-Jigger is up and away. Go go go go, on an adventure. We're flying with the Cat in the Hat today!" Enter today to #win two Cat in the Hat holiday features from NCircle Entertainment and enjoy some fun filled adventures with the ever classic Cat in the Hat! #giveaway #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

Yesterday the kids and I sat down to enjoy our new holiday features and then took a break for some coloring. Not only does NCircle Entertainment provide DVDs, but they also offer tons of educational activities, including coloring pages, mazes, word puzzles, matching and spot the difference activities and even fun online games. It’s all-around “Entertainment that Educates!”

"Here we go go go go, on an adventure! The Thinga-Ma-Jigger is up and away. Go go go go, on an adventure. We're flying with the Cat in the Hat today!" Enter today to #win two Cat in the Hat holiday features from NCircle Entertainment and enjoy some fun filled adventures with the ever classic Cat in the Hat! #giveaway #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

"Here we go go go go, on an adventure! The Thinga-Ma-Jigger is up and away. Go go go go, on an adventure. We're flying with the Cat in the Hat today!" Enter today to #win two Cat in the Hat holiday features from NCircle Entertainment and enjoy some fun filled adventures with the ever classic Cat in the Hat! #giveaway #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

Since we’d been watching some holiday adventures with The Cat in the Hat, I thought it was only fitting that we each work on a coloring page that featured The Thinga-Ma-Jigger and all of our favorite characters. It was very easy to print the coloring pages right from NCircle Entertainment’s website and we all had a great time expressing our creative side.

My kids and I had quite the day with The Cat in the Hat and your family can too! NCircle Entertainment is giving 1 lucky Making Time reader their very own copies of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas! and The Cat in the Hat: Told from the Cold! Simply enter using the giveaway form below. And don’t forget to check out all the fun little extra activities and games NCircle Entertainment has to offer!

Making Time 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

Buy The Cat in the Hat now!

When I was a kid I could always count on my mom (or Santa) to fill my stocking to the brim with all kinds of treats and goodies, and DVDs make perfect stocking stuffers! If you want to ensure your child gets to enjoy these holiday adventures with The Cat in the Hat, or browse some other holiday titles, simply visit NCircle Entertainment.

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas! – $8.99

The Cat in the Hat: Told in the Cold – $5.99

"Here we go go go go, on an adventure! The Thinga-Ma-Jigger is up and away. Go go go go, on an adventure. We're flying with the Cat in the Hat today!" Enter today to #win two Cat in the Hat holiday features from NCircle Entertainment and enjoy some fun filled adventures with the ever classic Cat in the Hat! #giveaway #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

Does your family enjoy taking adventures with The Cat in the Hat?

Connect with In this new DVD, Autumn Journey: Guess How Much I Love You, your children will follow Little Nutbrown Hare and his friends on 6 autumn adventures. Enter now for a chance to win your very own copy! #giveawayWebsite / Facebook / Twitter

This giveaway is open to US Residents, ages 18+ and ends on December 21, 2016 at 11:59 pm est.  Random winner will be notified via email and must respond within 24 hours or prize will be forfeited. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.

 

*I received samples free of charge from NCircle Entertainment as part of their Brand Ambassadorship.  My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Ecocentric Mom – a Gift That Keeps on Giving #GiftIdea

Ecocentric Mom is a gift that keeps on giving! Choose from 3 motherhood stages (Pregnancy, Mom & Baby, or Mom) and give a mom or mom-to-be the gift of a non-toxic, all natural, healthier lifestyle. #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

~Thank you to Ecocentric Mom for providing product for my review. This post contains affiliate links, in which I may receive compensation for your purchase. Opinions are still 100% my own.~

It’s that time of the month again – my December Ecocentric Mom subscription box came! The last time I talked to you about Ecocentric Mom I was showing you my Mom & Baby Box. But this time I’m doing something a little different and showing what’s inside the December Mom Box.

I still qualify for the Mom & Baby Box which is suitable for moms with children up to age 18 months, but with Christmas right around the corner, little Sadee is going to get her fair share of goodies. So this month, I switched to the Mom Box so I could get a little extra love myself.

Let’s jump right in and take a look at what’s inside the December Mom Box!

Juggling travel, shopping, family and fun around the holidays can be tough. Your box this month includes items to make this time a little more festive and a little less stressful.

 

This month’s box came with 6 products, some of which are full sized and some that are large sample sized. No matter which subscription stage you choose (Pregnancy, Mom & Baby, or Mom), every month the box comes filled with 5-9 products to try.

Ecocentric Mom is a gift that keeps on giving! Choose from 3 motherhood stages (Pregnancy, Mom & Baby, or Mom) and give a mom or mom-to-be the gift of a non-toxic, all natural, healthier lifestyle. #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

What do they all have in common? Promoting a non-toxic, all natural, eco-friendly and healthier lifestyle. The products range in nature from health and beauty, to personal care, baby care, home essentials and even food and drink. Regardless of anything else, there will always be something in there to give mom a little pampering and that’s just what mom needs!

Making Time 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

Buy Ecocentric Mom now!

Ecocentric Mom is the perfect gift for moms and moms-to-be this holiday season. Choose between a month-to-month subscription or sign up ahead of time for a 3 month, 6 month, or 12 month subscription. It really is a gift that keeps on giving!

Did I mention that right now you can even get 40% off the first box of a month-to-month subscription? You totally can! Just use promo code ECOHOLIDAY at checkout!

Which item would you like to try from the December Mom Box?

Connect with ecomom-logo: Shop / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram /Pinterest

*This post contains affiliate links, in which I may receive compensation for your purchase.  I also received a sample free of charge.  My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

8 Tips for Managing a Sick Kid

When the kids get sick, don't run for the hills. Use these 8 tips that help me manage and care for my kids when they get sick. #DrMom #DrDad #sickkid
~This post contains affiliate links in which I may receive compensation for your purchase.~

If there’s one thing that comes along with cooler weather that doesn’t put me in the holiday spirit, it’s a runny nose and sniffles. More so when it’s the kids that have them and right now both of my kids are sick. The past two days I’ve been in full on Dr. Mom mode and have been making time to send all these sick germs packing. Hopefully they kick the bucket soon (the germs, not my kids).

Here are eight tips that I use for managing a sick kid. I’m certainly no medical professional, but I’ve found these tips to work well for me when one or more of my kids get the common cold.

Medicine

Giving your child medicine probably seems like a no brainer, but not all medicines actually heal the sickness. Rather, they help to make cold symptoms easier to withstand, while the cold runs its course. Pay attention to what symptoms manifest themselves (fever, runny nose, cough, sore throat, etc.) and choose a medicine that corresponds with those symptoms. Most kids don’t like taking medicine, including mine, so don’t make it worse for them by forcing a medicine that really isn’t going to help.

Are you a breastfeeding mom? When your child’s sick, continue to breastfeed because your body will help produce the antibodies needed to get over the cold. There’s nothing like homemade organic mommy medicine!

When the kids get sick, don't run for the hills. Use these 8 tips that help me manage and care for my kids when they get sick. #DrMom #DrDad #sickkid

Rest

Just like when we get sick, kids need a lot of rest. Let them sleep whenever they want – morning, afternoon, evening, night. Besides, I’m sure you could use a nice break from all the ruckus they make on a daily basis. When sick, I let my kids sleep in and I don’t limit their rest at all. You want to sleep in the chair? Go right ahead and sleep in the chair.

Hydrate

Staying hydrated is typically hard for anyone who’s sick. I know all I want to do is sleep and that leaves no time for food or hydration. Still, I try my best to keep my kids hydrated when they’re under the weather. If I can’t get them to drink water or juice, I give them Pediasure and they’ll usually take a few sips here and there. I’ll take a few sips over none at all.

Warm Bath

There’s nothing like taking a nice warm bath and washing away all those icky sick germs. When your child has a runny nose, chances are they’ve wiped their hand across their nose and then spread all the ickiness across their face, hair, hands, arms and clothes. Yuck!

Run a nice warm bath, clean them up and put them in some clean jammies. It may only be a little while before the germs are all over again, but a bath still helps kids feel better and gives you peace of mind that the sick germs have at least been washed away for the moment. Plus, the warm water will help clear up some congestion.

When the kids get sick, don't run for the hills. Use these 8 tips that help me manage and care for my kids when they get sick. #DrMom #DrDad #sickkid

Clean Air 

Keeping the germs at bay and giving your kids good, clean air to breathe is very important. How do I do this? With my Ozazzy “I Am Air” Cool Mist Humidifier. This thing has been running nonstop the past two days and is definitely helping. It releases cool, moist air, so if either of my kids happen to play in the mist (which they have been doing relentlessly) it isn’t going to burn their hands. I’ve had my Ozazzy at its highest setting so it’s pumping out a lot of great moisture to help clear up these little runny noses.

I also like to add some essential oils like eucalyptus and tree tea oil to the humidifier’s water. Just like using Vick’s in a vaporizer, the eucalyptus oil helps clear up my kids’ congestion and the tea tree oil helps disinfect the air. It’s nothing but easy breathing around here!

And if all else fails, get out of the house. This is a little harder considering most of the time you’re cooped up in the house when someone is sick, but getting some fresh air outdoors works wonders. Even opening the window will help.

Sanitize

Sanitizing kind of goes along with clean air. I use Lysol spray to sanitize my home and rid it of germs whenever anyone gets sick. Each night I spray around the house after the kids have gone to bed and I’ll admit, there have definitely been a few times I’ve had to open a window or two because I went a little Lysol crazy. But hey, the germs have got to go!

When the kids get sick, don't run for the hills. Use these 8 tips that help me manage and care for my kids when they get sick. #DrMom #DrDad #sickkid

Love

I can’t stress this one enough. No one likes to be sick and even though as adults we typically just want to be left alone, kids need all the love they can get. They don’t understand what’s going on with their body and some things may seem scary, especially if they’re vomiting. So just hold and cuddle your kids. It won’t last forever, so you might as well get it in while you can anyways. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever cuddled and loved on my kids as much as I have these past two days. Cuddles are comforting to them and you’ll enjoy it too.

Clean Sweep

When all is said and done, and the sniffles and runny noses are gone, it’s time for a clean sweep. Wash any and all blankets/bedding that were used while the kids were sick, and do a bleach/water soak of any plastic toys they played with. I also do a final sweep of the home with the Lysol spray, just to make sure I’m covering all my bases. Sick germs be gone!

How do you manage a sick kid?

~Please note that I am not a medical professional and these are simply tips I use when my kids get sick. If you have an emergency or feel like your child needs to see a doctor, by all means, please take them. If after a few days my tactics aren’t working and my children’s colds seem to be getting worse, we visit the pediatrician or a pediatric urgent care/after hours clinic.~
*This post contains affiliate links in which I may receive compensation for your purchase. Opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Singing Our Way to the Top with a Family Holiday Tradition

We're getting ready for this year's family movie night holiday tradition by belting out some high notes into our Holiday Honeycomb Micro"cones." Why? Because this year's family movie night feature is the December 21st release of SING©! #PostfortheHolidays #SINGMovieSweeps #PostSave$4 #ad
 

The holiday season is among us and flying by, might I add. We’re accomplishing and marking off one family holiday tradition right after another. But one that doesn’t take place until Christmas Eve, is our tradition of family movie night.

Every Christmas Eve, right before the kids go to bed and Santa gets to do his thing, we gather in front of the TV as a family and choose a movie to watch. This year, we’re taking that tradition to the next level and instead of watching a movie at home, we’re heading to the theaters.

Why the change, you ask? Because we are just way too excited to see the new movie, SING© which hits theaters on December 21st. Since it’s a new release, we won’t be able to watch it at home so movie theaters, here we come!

We’re a family who loves singing and dancing, and music in general. That’s what makes the SING© movie the perfect choice for this particular family holiday tradition of ours.

We're getting ready for this year's family movie night holiday tradition by belting out some high notes into our Holiday Honeycomb Micro"cones." Why? Because this year's family movie night feature is the December 21st release of SING©! #PostfortheHolidays #SINGMovieSweeps #PostSave$4 #ad

We're getting ready for this year's family movie night holiday tradition by belting out some high notes into our Holiday Honeycomb Micro"cones." Why? Because this year's family movie night feature is the December 21st release of SING©! #PostfortheHolidays #SINGMovieSweeps #PostSave$4 #ad

To prepare ourselves for the movie, we’re enjoying some family fun time beforehand by belting out some high notes into our Holiday Honeycomb® Micro”cones.” You see, the SING© movie is about 5 animals with different backgrounds and in different stages of their lives, entering a singing competition. And every singer needs a microphone, right? Well, in our case, a micro”cone.”

We're getting ready for this year's family movie night holiday tradition by belting out some high notes into our Holiday Honeycomb Micro"cones." Why? Because this year's family movie night feature is the December 21st release of SING©! #PostfortheHolidays #SINGMovieSweeps #PostSave$4 #ad

Before we could make our Holiday Honeycomb® Micro”cones,” we had to go to Target to get everything we’d need, including the key ingredient, Honeycombs®. My son spotted the bright yellow box almost immediately, as it was easily accessible to him on the bottom shelf and surrounded by other Post Cereal brands.

As soon as we got home, we got to work!

We're getting ready for this year's family movie night holiday tradition by belting out some high notes into our Holiday Honeycomb Micro"cones." Why? Because this year's family movie night feature is the December 21st release of SING©! #PostfortheHolidays #SINGMovieSweeps #PostSave$4 #ad

We're getting ready for this year's family movie night holiday tradition by belting out some high notes into our Holiday Honeycomb Micro"cones." Why? Because this year's family movie night feature is the December 21st release of SING©! #PostfortheHolidays #SINGMovieSweeps #PostSave$4 #ad

We're getting ready for this year's family movie night holiday tradition by belting out some high notes into our Holiday Honeycomb Micro"cones." Why? Because this year's family movie night feature is the December 21st release of SING©! #PostfortheHolidays #SINGMovieSweeps #PostSave$4 #ad

We're getting ready for this year's family movie night holiday tradition by belting out some high notes into our Holiday Honeycomb Micro"cones." Why? Because this year's family movie night feature is the December 21st release of SING©! #PostfortheHolidays #SINGMovieSweeps #PostSave$4 #ad

5.0 from 2 reviews
Holiday Honeycomb® Micro"cones"
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
These Holiday Honeycomb® Micro"cones" will surely get your family belting out some high notes.
Ingredients
  • 12 ice cream cones
  • ½ box Honeycomb® cereal
  • ½ bag salted pretzels
  • ½ package holiday M&Ms
  • 1 package white chocolate chips
  • 1 package small marshmallows
  • Red and green food coloring
Instructions
  1. Crush a handful of pretzels in a ziploc bag and a handful of Honeycombs® in another.
  2. Place a handful of marshmallows and handful of white chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 20-30 seconds (just enough to slightly melt them).
  3. Mix a few drops of food coloring into the melted marshmallows and white chocolate chips.
  4. Add the crushed pretzels and Honeycombs® to the mixture.
  5. Spoon the mixture into an ice cream cone, forming a ball-like shape.
  6. Let cool/harden for a few minutes in the refrigerator.
  7. Grab a Holiday Honeycomb® Micro"cone" and let those notes out! After your performance, enjoy your eatable microphone.

 

We're getting ready for this year's family movie night holiday tradition by belting out some high notes into our Holiday Honeycomb Micro"cones." Why? Because this year's family movie night feature is the December 21st release of SING©! #PostfortheHolidays #SINGMovieSweeps #PostSave$4 #ad

Here’s a little glimpse into the fun we’ve been having singing into our Holiday Honeycomb® Micro”cones.” My kids might look at me like I’m a little crazy, but it’s all in fun and something they’ll remember for years to come. And when they’re older, hopefully they’ll continue this family holiday tradition and maybe even enjoy the movie, SING© with their family.

As if this weren’t enough fun and excitement, you have the chance to see the SING© movie for free! By purchasing participating Post Brand Cereals and entering the SING© Movie Sweepstakes*, you can instantly win prizes like movie tickets (which you can use to see SING©, of course), speakers and so much more. And did I mention there’s a grand prize worth $100,000?!

What are some of your family holiday traditions?

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Promotion starts 11/1/16 at 12:00 PM (noon) ET and ends 3/31/2017 at 11:59:59 PM ET. Open only to legal residents of the 50 US/DC, 18 years of age or older. See Official Rules for instructions on how to enter, how to obtain codes without purchase, prize details, restrictions, odds of winning, etc. Void where prohibited by law. Sponsor: Post Consumer Brands, LLC.
~Thank you to Post Consumer Brands for sponsoring today’s post and keeping a family holiday tradition alive. This is a sponsored post in which I will receive compensation.  My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Keep the Kids Entertained this Holiday with Surprise Ride #GiftIdea

Surprise Ride is a great way to keep the kids entertained during family gatherings this holiday season! With each Ride consisting of 2 fun and creative activities, along with snacks and fun little extras all related to a single theme, there's tons of fun for them enjoy! #HolidayGiftGuide #giftidea
~ This post contains affiliate links, in which I may receive compensation for your purchase. ~

In my family, holiday get together’s are a time when the adults sit, chat and catch up with each other, while the kids run wild, pretty much destroying whomever’s home we’re celebrating the holiday at. This year that’s going to change! Well, at least the part where the kids destroy the home.

This year, Surprise Ride will be making an appearance at our holiday gatherings. Perfect for ages 5+, Surprise Ride is a monthly subscription box that offers 2 fun and creative activities for kids, along with snacks and fun little extras, all related to a single theme.

One of the things I like about Surprise Ride is that I don’t even have to have a subscription to get their boxes, but can order a single Ride. And this means I can order as many Surprise Ride boxes as I want to keep the kids entertained during our holiday gatherings. With so many different Ride themes to choose from, the kids will get to enjoy different fun activities throughout the day.

Surprise Ride is a great way to keep the kids entertained during family gatherings this holiday season! With each Ride consisting of 2 fun and creative activities, along with snacks and fun little extras all related to a single theme, there's tons of fun for them enjoy! #HolidayGiftGuide #giftidea

My son recently got his first Surprise Ride box and it couldn’t have been more perfect for him. It was pirate themed! It was this first Ride that inspired me to get a few for the whole family and keep the kids entertained during the holidays.

The pirate themed ride contained the usual 2 activities, fun extras like stickers, a book and a bracelet, and even a Pirate’s Booty snack (told you everything was based around the theme). My son couldn’t wait to get started!

Surprise Ride is a great way to keep the kids entertained during family gatherings this holiday season! With each Ride consisting of 2 fun and creative activities, along with snacks and fun little extras all related to a single theme, there's tons of fun for them enjoy! #HolidayGiftGuide #giftidea

The first activity was decorating his very own treasure chest and everything he needed to do this was included. In fact, he even had his own apron to wear to prevent getting paint on his clothes. Unfortunately, he was being his typical self and refused to wear it. Kids (insert eye roll, haha). But we ended up using it under his treasure chest while he painted so that he didn’t get any pain on the table.

Surprise Ride is a great way to keep the kids entertained during family gatherings this holiday season! With each Ride consisting of 2 fun and creative activities, along with snacks and fun little extras all related to a single theme, there's tons of fun for them enjoy! #HolidayGiftGuide #giftidea

Surprise Ride is a great way to keep the kids entertained during family gatherings this holiday season! With each Ride consisting of 2 fun and creative activities, along with snacks and fun little extras all related to a single theme, there's tons of fun for them enjoy! #HolidayGiftGuide #giftidea

Once the paint dried he added some jewels and gems to the outside, because what’s a treasure chest if it doesn’t look as good as the treasure it holds?

The only problem now was that he didn’t have any treasure to put in his treasure chest. The next activity in the Ride was going to fix this problem. It was time for a treasure hunt!

Surprise Ride is a great way to keep the kids entertained during family gatherings this holiday season! With each Ride consisting of 2 fun and creative activities, along with snacks and fun little extras all related to a single theme, there's tons of fun for them enjoy! #HolidayGiftGuide #giftidea

He didn’t know it, but while he was decorating his treasure chest, I took a few minutes to hide the treasure and then created a map for him to follow. Again, all of the tools I needed to complete this were included in the ride, right down to the actual treasure.

Surprise Ride is a great way to keep the kids entertained during family gatherings this holiday season! With each Ride consisting of 2 fun and creative activities, along with snacks and fun little extras all related to a single theme, there's tons of fun for them enjoy! #HolidayGiftGuide #giftidea

His map read to start at the dining room table, walk between the living room recliners, tiptoe to the couch and then skip to the TV/entertainment center where X marks the spot!

Surprise Ride is a great way to keep the kids entertained during family gatherings this holiday season! With each Ride consisting of 2 fun and creative activities, along with snacks and fun little extras all related to a single theme, there's tons of fun for them enjoy! #HolidayGiftGuide #giftidea

I did something fairly simple and although my drawing skills aren’t that great, he found the treasure using his treasure map. Now he had something to put in his treasure chest and boy was it sparkly!

Surprise Ride is a great way to keep the kids entertained during family gatherings this holiday season! With each Ride consisting of 2 fun and creative activities, along with snacks and fun little extras all related to a single theme, there's tons of fun for them enjoy! #HolidayGiftGuide #giftidea

I also want to note that the treasure map itself is double sided, so I made a map for him to follow and later he can hide the treasure and make a map on the other side for me or his friends to follow. How fun is that and how perfect would that be for a holiday get together?!

Making Time 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

Buy Surprise Ride now!

Single Ride – Want to purchase a few single Rides to keep the kids entertained this holiday? Choose from themes like this pirate one to polar bears, scientist course, Mars, superheroes and so much more! Each single Ride is just $30 and provides tons of fun, learning and entertainment!

Subscription – Interested in giving the gift of Surprise Ride for months to come? A subscription is perfect! Choose from a month-to-month subscription at $24/mth (pay as you go), a 6 month subscription at $20/mth, or a 1 year subscription at $19/mth!

And right now you can use promo code SHARK5 for $5 off  the month-to-month subscription option OR SHARK15 for $15 off a 6 month subscription! Gift giving AND great savings all in one!

Which Surprise Ride(s) will you get to entertain the kids this holiday?

*This is not a sponsored post, nor did I receive product in exchange for a review. The pirate themed Surprise Ride box was purchased independently by me. This post does, however, contain an affiliate link in which I may receive compensation for your purchase. My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Easy 4 Ingredient BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

This 4 Ingredient BBQ Chicken Quesadilla #recipe is perfect for using up leftover chicken AND it's a quick and easy dish my whole family enjoys.

Have leftover chicken, but don’t know what to do with it? I have the perfect recipe for you!

I don’t know about your family, but mine eats a lot of chicken. Quite frankly, it’s an affordable protein, and there are many different ways it can be cooked and a countless amount of flavors it can be enjoyed with.

But sometimes we have leftover chicken and really don’t want the same thing two nights in a row. That’s when I turn to my easy 4 Ingredient BBQ Chicken Quesadilla recipe. While these can be enjoyed as a first meal, it’s a big time saver for me when I make it using leftover chicken and it helps me minimize how much food we waste.

So today, rather than telling you what I’m making time for, I’m going to share my 4 Ingredient BBQ Chicken Quesadilla recipe. It’s something that saves me time and allows me to fit other important things into my busy day.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5-2 leftover cooked chicken breasts
  • 16-20 small wheat tortillas (1, 16 oz. pack)
  • 2 cups honey BBQ sauce
  • 8-10 slices of cheese

Directions:

  1. In a blender, chop the leftover chicken breasts.
  2. Heat a skillet on medium-high heat, add a little olive oil and heat the chopped chicken.This 4 Ingredient BBQ Chicken Quesadilla #recipe is perfect for using up leftover chicken AND it's a quick and easy dish my whole family enjoys.
  3. Transfer the warmed chicken to a bowl and mix in 1 cup of BBQ sauce. If you like a lot of BBQ sauce, feel free to add more.
  4. Taking 2 wheat tortillas, spoon some of the remaining BBQ sauce onto each and spread it around.This 4 Ingredient BBQ Chicken Quesadilla #recipe is perfect for using up leftover chicken AND it's a quick and easy dish my whole family enjoys.
  5. Spoon some of the BBQ chicken mixture onto one of the tortillas. Don’t spread the chicken out to the edges because once the quesadilla is all cooked, when you cut it it will spread the interior ingredients towards the outer edge.This 4 Ingredient BBQ Chicken Quesadilla #recipe is perfect for using up leftover chicken AND it's a quick and easy dish my whole family enjoys.
  6. Place 1 slice of cheese on top of the BBQ chicken. You can also use shredded cheese if you prefer. My family is pretty basic and would rather have good ‘ol American sliced cheese.This 4 Ingredient BBQ Chicken Quesadilla #recipe is perfect for using up leftover chicken AND it's a quick and easy dish my whole family enjoys.
  7. Place the second tortilla on top of the cheese.
  8. Spray the skillet with non-stick spray (I like to use olive oil spray) and heat on medium-high.
  9. Cook the quesadilla on both sides until golden brown.
  10. Let cool, cut into fours (I use a pizza cutter) and enjoy.
*Note: You can also use the large tortillas. I have used them before and rather than using 2 tortillas to make a quesadilla, I simply fold the large tortilla in half. Just spread the BBQ sauce over the whole tortilla and then place the BBQ chicken mixture and cheese on only half of it. Then fold the other half over and cook. 

This 4 Ingredient BBQ Chicken Quesadilla #recipe is perfect for using up leftover chicken AND it's a quick and easy dish my whole family enjoys.

This recipe yields 8-10 quesadillas, all depending on how much filling you use. And as a finishing touch, I love to dip my BBQ Chicken Quesadillas in ranch dressing or even sour cream. Yum!

Would you dip your BBQ Chicken Quesadillas?

Crockpot Salisbury Steak Recipe

This Crockpot Salisbury Steak #recipe is one of my favorites in the fall. It's really easy to make and the whole family loves it.

It’s fall ya’ll! That means my crockpot is going to be working hard over the next few months. In fact, I broke it out last week to make some Beef Stew and today I’m making Salisbury Steak. I ALWAYS make time for crockpot meals! Besides, they save me a lot of valuable time in the day so I can do other things.

I won’t say everything I’ve ever made in the crockpot was tasty and worth making again, but this Salisbury Steak is on point! So why not share the recipe with you? It’s actually pretty easy to make and one of my favorite crockpot dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 2-2.5 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 pack of onion soup mix
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 3/4 cup of bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1 pack of brown gravy mix OR mushroom gravy mix
  • 1 can of french onion soup
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can of mushrooms (or 2 small ones)

Directions:

  1. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a skillet, just above medium heat.
  2. In a bowl, mix the ground beef, onion soup mix, milk, bread crumbs and eggs.
  3. Form the mixture into patties.
  4. Cover the patties with flour and place in the heated skillet. Do not completely cook the patties, but just get a nice brown on the outside.This Crockpot Salisbury Steak #recipe is one of my favorites in the fall. It's really easy to make and the whole family loves it.
  5. Place the patties directly into the crockpot. You’ll have to stack them.
  6. In a bowl, mix the brown gravy mix, french onion soup, cream of mushroom soup and mushrooms (drained).
  7. Pour the mixture over the patties in the crockpot.This Crockpot Salisbury Steak #recipe is one of my favorites in the fall. It's really easy to make and the whole family loves it.This Crockpot Salisbury Steak #recipe is one of my favorites in the fall. It's really easy to make and the whole family loves it.
  8. Cook on high for 4 hours (or low for 6 hours).
  9. Serve with mashed potatoes, rice or your favorite side dishes.

In my family this recipe yields about 5-6 servings. We typically eat two patties and the kids eat one, and then we’ll have some left over for the next day.

What’s your favorite crockpot dish?

How My Little One Indulges in Fall Flavors

With this #recipe calling for @Gerber 3rd Foods Lil' Bits, my little one can enjoy the same fall flavors I've come to love and is also learning to chew and eat solid food. #GerberBabies

One of my favorite things about fall is all of the amazing flavors – pumpkin, turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, roast beef, apples and any recipe that has crockpot in the title. I can’t wait to pull my crockpot out!

On the flip side, my little one can’t enjoy all of the same fall flavors I do because she’s still learning to chew solid food. There’s no way I can give Sadee small pieces of turkey, ham or roast beef quite yet, but I would love for her to experience the same savory fall tastes that I love and enjoy.

With this #recipe calling for @Gerber 3rd Foods Lil' Bits, my little one can enjoy the same fall flavors I've come to love and is also learning to chew and eat solid food. #GerberBabies
Eeny meeny miny moe, so many Lil’ Bits to choose from, yes it’s so.

 

My solution is Gerber 3rd Foods Lil’ Bits! With flavors like Garden Vegetable & Beef Dinner and Autumn Vegetable & Turkey Dinner, I can share my favorite fall flavors with her.

Gerber 3rd Foods Lil’ Bits provide Sadee with a puree consistency she can handle, but also introduces her to small pieces of soft, solid food. I love it because it’s teaching her how to chew and progress into real, solid table food. It’s only a matter of time before she’ll be eating everything we eat right from our table.

With this #recipe calling for @Gerber 3rd Foods Lil' Bits, my little one can enjoy the same fall flavors I've come to love and is also learning to chew and eat solid food. #GerberBabies

Crockpot roast beef is a favorite fall dish of mine and one that I make at least 3-4 times during the fall season. I wanted to see how well Sadee would like some of these same flavors, so I made time to try a quick mashed sweet potato recipe for her and topped it with Gerber 3rd Foods Lil’ Bits Garden Vegetable & Beef Dinner. It gives her a little taste of the sweet and savory flavors of fall, but in consistencies she’s able to handle at her age.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Gerber 3rd Foods Lil' Bits
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
This recipe allows your little one to experience the sweet and savory tastes of fall, while maintaining a consistency they're able to handle, and even introduces them to easy to eat, small pieces of solid food.
Ingredients
  • 3 small sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1, 5 oz. container of Gerber 3rd Food Lil' Bits Garden Vegetable & Beef Dinner
Instructions
  1. Boil the sweet potatoes for 20 minutes, until tender.
  2. Drain the sweet potatoes and return them to the pot.
  3. Mash the sweet potatoes, and mix in the milk and maple syrup.
  4. Place desired amount sweet potatoes in a bowl.
  5. Top with desired amount of Gerber 3rd Foods Lil' Bits Garden Vegetable & Beef Dinner.
  6. Let sweet potatoes cool before serving.
Notes
Feel free to substitute the Gerber 3rd Foods Lil' Bits Garden Vegetable & Beef Dinner, with another flavor your little one may like.

With this #recipe calling for @Gerber 3rd Foods Lil' Bits, my little one can enjoy the same fall flavors I've come to love and is also learning to chew and eat solid food. #GerberBabies

I’m happy to say, it was a big hit and Sadee loved it! She had no problem eating the small, solid pieces of carrots in the Gerber 3rd Foods Lil’ Bits Garden Vegetable & Beef Dinner, while the rest of the dish was a puree consistency. I think she really enjoyed having a little taste of both the sweet and savory sides of fall dishes because up until now her meals have been pretty one-sided – either sweet or savory.

Which flavor of Gerber 3rd Foods Lil’ Bits would your little one enjoy?

*Thank you to Gerber for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to prepare my little one for solid table food. This is a sponsored post in which I will receive compensation.  My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Balancing Fun and Learning with Balance Beans

Balance Beans is a game for ages 5+ that teaches kids logic and problem solving, as well as basic physics, all while they have fun balancing beans on a seesaw. @ThinkFun #balancebeans #game

My son is at an age now where he’s starting to get more into hands on fun (thank goodness I can get him away from video games), and learning why and how things work. And when I can find something that offers him hands on fun and learning, but doesn’t require some type of homemade explosion in the kitchen or a mess in general, it’s a win-win for me.

This is exactly what Balance Beans from ThinkFun offers. Balance Beans is a one player game for ages 5+ that promotes logic and problem solving, and teaches a basic physics principle – the further away weight is from the center of balance, the more downward force it exerts.

Imagine carrying a bag of groceries. Would you prefer to carry the bag with your arm extended outward at shoulder height, or would you prefer to carry the bag close to the body and center of balance? The obvious answer is close to the body and center of balance, well, unless you’re some type of super human or have some amazing muscle strength. It’s harder to carry a bag of groceries with your arm extended outward at shoulder height because there’s more downward force acting on the bag. Balance Beans teaches my son the same principle, but in a fun way.

Balance Beans is a game for ages 5+ that teaches kids logic and problem solving, as well as basic physics, all while they have fun balancing beans on a seesaw. @ThinkFun #balancebeans #game

Game components:

  • Seesaw for balancing.
  • 3 red beans – single bean, double bean, triple bean.
  • 2 orange single beans.
  • 2 yellow double beans.
  • 2 blue triple beans.
  • 40 challenge cards – Easy to Super Hard (including solutions).

How to play:

  1. Simply set up the seesaw and select a challenge card.
  2. Place the red beans on the seesaw as indicated on the challenge card. The red beans are stationary and once placed on the seesaw, cannot be moved until you’ve solved that particular balancing challenge.
  3. Using the orange/yellow/blue beans as indicated on the challenge card, balance the seesaw. These beans can be placed on any empty space available and once placed can be moved around. You can only use the specific beans indicated on the challenge card and must use them all.
  4. Balancing the seesaw completes the challenge and you’ve won! Try a new challenge card until you’ve completed them all.

Balance Beans is a game for ages 5+ that teaches kids logic and problem solving, as well as basic physics, all while they have fun balancing beans on a seesaw. @ThinkFun #balancebeans #game

Balance Beans is a game for ages 5+ that teaches kids logic and problem solving, as well as basic physics, all while they have fun balancing beans on a seesaw. @ThinkFun #balancebeans #game

Balance Beans is a game for ages 5+ that teaches kids logic and problem solving, as well as basic physics, all while they have fun balancing beans on a seesaw. @ThinkFun #balancebeans #game

My son couldn’t wait to open his new Balance Beans game, and once he figured out how it worked, he became a balancing machine. Of course, he wants me to watch him successfully complete his balancing challenges, so every day this week I’ve made time to share in his fun and learning.

He has been using trial and error to balance the seesaw and complete each challenge card, but there is also a math to it. He’s not quite ready for that though (he’s only 4 – it’s never too young to start learning, right?!). The harder the challenge is, the more math and reasoning skills come into play. The challenge cards are numbered 1-40 and are also labeled Easy, Medium, Hard and Super Hard (10 of each level).

 

For now I’m enjoying watching him learn how force and balance work together with some of the easy and medium challenges, and know that with time he’ll learn the algebra behind it as well. He’s also having a fun time free-styling without the challenge cards!

Think you could complete the Super Hard balancing challenges?

Connect with ThinkFun:

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*Available at Target and Amazon for $17.99.

*This post contains an affiliate link. I received a sample of this product to provide an honest review.  My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.