Category Archives: Lifestyle

Photo a Day: Weeks 33 & 34

Photo a Day: Weeks 33 & 34 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear

I’m finding it harder and harder to keep up with my Photo a Day posts. Time is just flying by and weeks have passed before I realize it. I think I’m going to have to set reminders for myself so I can stay on track. This series will be over before I know it!

Week 33

Photo a Day: Weeks 33 & 34 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
This week was our first real snow of the season, so there was staring out the window at the sight all week and a day of digging ourselves out of the house. Before the snow fell I did a grocery store run and did some couponing, which I haven’t done in awhile. It felt good to save so much money and I can’t wait for my next coupon trip! Other than that, it looks like the kids stole my phone for some goofy pics and I discovered one was eating in my bed, which explains where all the crumbs came from that I was sleeping in. Oh, and daddy made into the picture roll at some point too.

Week 34

Photo a Day: Weeks 33 & 34 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
This week was back to school. It was too cold to walk so I drove my son to school and there was a snow pile blocking an entire lane of traffic, and it was higher than my SUV (the pic was taken from my driver side window). Exciting during the week was my son’s 6th birthday, a new potty because it’s potty training time, and some yummy homemade chocolate peanut clusters. Funny this week was my daughter grabbing a whole chicken thigh and going to town, and her falling asleep in the middle of the kids room when they were supposed to be cleaning it.

Did you miss a previous week? Check them out here!

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Weeks 14 & 15 | Weeks 16 & 17 | Weeks 18 & 19 | Weeks 20 & 21 | Weeks 22 & 23 | Weeks 24 & 25 | Weeks 26 & 27 | Weeks 28 & 29 | Weeks 30, 31, 32

*Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

20+ Kitchen Gadgets That Will Make You Want to Cook at Home

I love cooking at home for the most part and the majority of my family’s meals are homemade. That’s not to say I don’t have my days where I just don’t feel like it and a frozen pizza or takeout will have to do. But some of these kitchen gadgets are so fun that you’ll want to cook at home just so you can try them.

20+ Kitchen Gadgets That Will Make You Want to Cook at Home

~This post contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

Whether you want to eat healthier at home, do better at saving leftovers, save storage space with nifty all-in-ones, or just want to make cooking more fun, these are the kitchen gadgets for you. They make great gifts for those who love to spend time in the kitchen, too!

All-In-One Kitchen Tool

Citrus Press

Cauliflower Chopper

Corn Stripper

Spadle

Magnetic Knife Set

Savel

Vegetable Spiralizer

Stackable Spice Carousels

Potato Masher

Adjustable Rolling PinCollapsible Colanders

Rotary Vegetable Peeler

Vegetable Chopper

Avocado Slicer

Garlic Press

Herb Scissors

Dip Clips

Microwave Cleaner

Twist Whisk

All-In-One Rice Cooker and Food Steamer

Vacuum Sealing System

Airfryer

KitchenAid Mixer

Mini Food Processor

Which kitchen gadget do you want to try?

*This post contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, my opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brands.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brands. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Weekly Meal Planning in Under 1 Minute

I have always wanted to try meal planning, but it just seems way too time consuming. With that being said, I decide each day what I’m going to cook for dinner and sometimes that means going to the grocery store multiple times per week because I don’t have everything I need. Well, that’s just as time consuming.

Do you do this too? What if I told you I’ve discovered an amazing tool that will send you a 5 day meal plan WITH a grocery shopping list, right to your email inbox every week? That is exactly what The Dinner Daily does!

Weekly Meal Planning in Under 1 Minute | #TheDinnerDaily #mealplanning

~I received a complimentary subscription to The Dinner Daily to help facilitate this post. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

So, weekly meal planning in under one minute? Yes, it’s completely possible with The Dinner Daily. The Dinner Daily is a subscription website where you sign up, designate your food preferences, family size, and even your favorite store. From there The Dinner Daily does the rest.

Each week The Dinner Daily will create five recipes based on your preferences and your store’s weekly sales promotions, and in your inbox you’ll receive the recipes plus a shopping list. How’s that for a time saver?! And money saver!

 

When I first tried The Dinner Daily, I started small. Of the five recipes I’d get emailed to me, I only did two of them. I wanted to get a feel for how it would work for me and my family. Since that first time, I’ve upped it to three or four meals each week, not only because it’s easy, but because it introduces us to new recipes too. Dinner can get pretty boring when you get in a routine and cook the same meals over and over.

Weekly Meal Planning in Under 1 Minute | #TheDinnerDaily #mealplanning

When you get your weekly meal plan, you have the option to delete recipes that you’re not interested in or just don’t want to try that week. Or if you’re not happy with the side dishes, you can swap those out as well. There are different side options to choose from and when you change up your menu, the ingredients are automatically adjusted on the shopping list too. If there’s something you want to add to your shopping list, you can do that before printing it.

For example, staples like seasonings and oils aren’t usually on the shopping list because a lot of people already have those at home. But if you’re running low or need whatever it is, just add it to the list before printing. Even if you just need to purchase a loaf of bread or a pack of diapers, you can add that so your list is all-inclusive when you head to the store.

Weekly Meal Planning in Under 1 Minute | #TheDinnerDaily #mealplanningWeekly Meal Planning in Under 1 Minute | #TheDinnerDaily #mealplanning

The shopping list has been my biggest time saver with The Dinner Daily. I can spend an hour creating a list of everything I need, but The Dinner Daily sends my list to me, ready to go. That means just one trip to the grocery store each week, not multiple. So it’s saving me time not only in the planning phase, but also in the actual grocery shopping phase.

From the time I open my weekly meal plan from The Dinner Daily, review the menu, make any quick changes I want, and print my shopping list, it only takes a minute of my day. It’s weekly meal planning in less than a minute!

Want in on this easy meal planning tool? You can try The Dinner Daily for 2 weeks, risk free! After that you can get weekly meal plans for as little as $1.00 per week. What’s not to love? Save time, save money, and eat good food!

Do you do weekly meal planning?

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*I received a complimentary subscription to help facilitate this post. As always, my opinions are still 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.

Photo a Day: Weeks 30, 31, 32

Photo a Day: Weeks 30, 31, 32 | #photoadayforayear #photoaday

Well, the holidays definitely got in the way of updating my Photo a Day, so this time around you get three weeks worth. At least enjoying the holidays is a good excuse to be late! Who’s ready for New Year’s?!

Week 30

Photo a Day: Weeks 30, 31, 32 | #photoadayforayear #photoaday
While trying to endure the cold weather (that has only gotten colder), the kids got new winter coats. We tried to stay indoors as much as possible, but had to venture out to BJ’s where my daughter admired the holiday inflatables, and I also had a dentist’s appointment. My daughter was “working” on her LeapFrog tablet while we waited.

Week 31

Photo a Day: Weeks 30, 31, 32 | #photoadayforayear #photoaday
The week before Christmas was still all about Christmas. My son had a festive week at school where he got to dress out of his uniform each day (PJ day was his fav), and we made his class Christmas cards and goody bags. We also got to see Santa and the kids got an early present from their uncle (that racetrack is loud by the way). All of the fun Christmas activities wore the kids out, so some relaxing was had too.

Week 32

Photo a Day: Weeks 30, 31, 32 | #photoadayforayear #photoaday
Christmas week! Just look at that face of surprise and excitement on Christmas morning. We made Santa cookies to leave under the tree and after Christmas was over, it was back to good ol’ PB&J sandwiches. I had to go back to the doctor for my third attempt at an anatomy ultrasound because our little guy didn’t want to show his left hand. The ultrasound tech had to toggle between 2D and 3D ultrasound, so I lucked out and got a 3D pic of him. Then it was back to normal shenanigans, like my daughter stealing my spot in bed.

Did you miss a previous week? Check them out here!

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Weeks 14 & 15 | Weeks 16 & 17 | Weeks 18 & 19 | Weeks 20 & 21 | Weeks 22 & 23 | Weeks 24 & 25 | Weeks 26 & 27 | Weeks 28 & 29

*Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Photo a Day: Weeks 28 & 29

Photo a Day: Weeks 28 & 29 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear

After a much needed week long break from the blog, my new Photo a Day is here. The past two weeks have been filled with family and holiday fun. Enjoy!

Week 28

Photo a Day: Weeks 28 & 29 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
This week there were lots of naps. My daughter likes to climb up on the side of my chair and fall asleep on my shoulder, and my son fell asleep right in the middle of the kitchen floor one afternoon, midway through his homework (must’ve been a rough day at school, haha). Aside from that the kids attended a holiday party, we did some holiday shopping where my daughter thought she was leaving with a new rocking horse (it’s too close to Santa coming for that to happen), and I snagged a pic of her looking out the school door window waiting for her brother’s bus to arrive.

Week 29

Photo a Day: Weeks 28 & 29 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
This week we started our holiday baking (yum, cookies!) and had some snowmen ice creams. It was snowing outside, so it was only fitting we’d eat snowmen. Our Christmas tree has been reduced to nothing but lights at this point (thanks to the littles for demolishing all the ornaments). My daughter applied crayon to her lips like lipstick, my son has become addicted to Wheel of Fortune so he had some kind of set up with his letters pretending to play it, and he’s getting better at spelling and sounding out words (hence the photo of his sentence notebook). And for you, the best part of the week is the new holiday giveaway I’m hosting on Facebook. Head over to the Making Time facebook page (@ImMakingTime) and enter to win a Fingerling + other fun stocking stuffers!

Did you miss a previous week? Check them out here!

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Weeks 14 & 15 | Weeks 16 & 17 | Weeks 18 & 19 | Weeks 20 & 21 | Weeks 22 & 23 | Weeks 24 & 25 | Weeks 26 & 27

*Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Easy Game Day Snacking

Football season is in full swing and that means parties, tailgating, and lots of food. Game day food doesn’t have to be a fully involved task because with HORMEL GATHERINGS® Party Trays, game day snacking is easy.

Easy Game Day Snacking | @HormelFoods #HormelGatherings #partytrays #gameday

~I received samples to help facilitate this post. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

Game day has arrived! You’d much rather sit and enjoy the game with your friends and family, instead of working in the kitchen on food and snacks. So do that! HORMEL GATHERINGS® Party Trays make game day snacking quick, easy, and tasty. And with their packaging perfect for at-home parties or tailgating at a stadium, the already ready trays are a go-to game day snack no matter what your plans are.

The best thing about HORMEL GATHERINGS® Party Trays is that all you have to do is open up the freshly packaged snacks and you’re ready to go. The sleek design of the trays are a great way to serve them, or if you want to get a little creative, putting together a fun and unique themed plate is just as easy. Do you like the football shape I created?

Easy Game Day Snacking | @HormelFoods #HormelGatherings #partytrays #gameday

On top of that, I really like that the kids enjoy the snacks too. What’s better than an easy kid-friendly snack? My kids love snacking on all of the components of HORMEL GATHERINGS® Party Trays, so when I pulled out the salami and cheese tray they were just as excited for game day as everyone else.

Easy Game Day Snacking | @HormelFoods #HormelGatherings #partytrays #gameday

HORMEL GATHERINGS® Party Trays are available in three different varieties (we love them all) and can be found at one of your local grocers.

  • 28 oz. Honey Ham & Turkey Party Tray
  • 28 oz. Hard Salami & Pepperoni Party Tray
  • 39.7 oz. Supreme Party Tray (Hard Salami, Genoa Salami, Peloponnese Pitted Olives)

Which HORMEL GATHERINGS® Party Trays will you choose for your game day snacking?

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*I received samples to help facilitate this post. As always, my opinions are still 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.

5 Tips for Finding the Perfect Family Car

Who’s in the market for a new car? This has been on our radar for a couple of years, but now with baby number 3 on the way, we’re looking more than ever at buying a new vehicle. Don’t know where to start? I’ve got some tips to help you find your perfect family car. 5 Tips for Finding the Perfect Family Car | #CarsCom #ad

~This is a sponsored post on behalf of Cars.com. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

Know What You Need

The first thing you need to consider is what your needs are in a new vehicle. For us, we need LOTS of backseat space since we’ll have 3 kids in car seats. We’ll also need lots of trunk space. It’s ridiculous how much space a stroller can take up. Add groceries to that and the trunk could be at it’s max.

And it’s not just logical needs you should think about, but all of the fun features you want too, like Bluetooth capabilities, back up cameras, navigation, sun roof, etc. Know ahead of time everything you need and want.

Have a Budget

Having a set budget is always a good idea when you step foot on a car lot. You know what you can afford, not the car salesman. If a car salesman really wants to sell you a vehicle, he/she will make it work for you. And if he/she can’t, you need to know it’s okay to walk away. There are plenty of car lots and dealerships to shop at.

Research

Now that you know what your new vehicle needs are and what your budget is, it’s time to research. Cars.com makes it super easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. Start with the bodystyle and Cars.com will show you everything you need to know about different vehicles – price range, mileage, seating capacity, safety ratings, various pros and cons, and even where the vehicle is in stock in your area.

5 Tips for Finding the Perfect Family Car | #CarsCom #ad

On top of that Cars.com offers expert and consumer reviews, as well as recall information and what the estimated yearly service and repair costs are. Cars.com also has the ability to give side-by-side vehicle comparisons and if you’re not sure the vehicle you want will fit your budget, you can find out for sure using the payment calculator.

Test Drive

Test drive, test drive, test drive. After doing your research, you may have a few different vehicle models that you like and that fit your needs and budget. Test drive them all! Get a feel for the ride, play with all the features, imagine the kids in the back doing what they do. Heck, since backseat space is a big must for us, I’d even go so far as to ask if I can put all 3 of our car seats in the backseat to see just how much space there is. Test driving is your one chance to see what it would really be like if the vehicle were yours.

Don’t Settle or Rush

Car buying is an exciting time and when you’ve been driving the same car for a long time (my car has been in the family for 14 years), it’s hard not rush into a decision. But rushing or settling is not the way to go. Vehicles are an investment and one you’ll likely be paying off for 5+ years and driving for much longer than that. If you rush into a decision, you may end up spending those years investing and driving a vehicle you really don’t like, or ends up not being what you need.

No matter what, do not make this mistake. It’s not very easy, or may not be financially feasible,  to get out of the investment. And don’t get discouraged if it takes you months to find the perfect family car. I can assure you, it will be worth the wait.

What are some of your family car needs and wants?

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*This is a sponsored post on behalf of Cars.com. As always, my opinions are still 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.

Photo a Day: Weeks 26 & 27

Photo a Day: Weeks 26 & 27 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear

Admittedly, I almost forgot the new Photo a Day post. The holidays have been a bit hectic, but luckily, I remembered before getting too far into a new week. And can you believe it? I’ve made it halfway through the year already! Boy, has it flown by and I’m sure the other half will fly by just as fast. Enjoy!

Week 26

Photo a Day: Weeks 26 & 27 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
This week was busy, but we made time for some naps in between it all. My son disguised his turkey as Batman so it wouldn’t get eaten for Thanksgiving this year. My daughter (it’s pretty obvious we spend a lot of time together) was fairly well-behaved at my doctor’s appointment and the rest of the week she played around with Olaf, fell asleep with Snoopy on the way to pick up her brother from school, and had a little play time while laying on daddy’s legs.

Week 27

Photo a Day: Weeks 26 & 27 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
Thanksgiving week was full of turkey crafts at school, cooking at home, and putting up Christmas decorations and admiring them. Santa also learned that my son wants everything Batman for Christmas (and probably why he disguised his turkey as Batman last week). And if you need a good laugh, the very middle picture shows my daughter trying to block the TV so my son couldn’t see it. She wasn’t very effective, but it was funny all the same.

Did you miss a previous week? Check them out here!

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Weeks 14 & 15 | Weeks 16 & 17 | Weeks 18 & 19 | Weeks 20 & 21 | Weeks 22 & 23 | Weeks 24 & 25

*Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Share the Joy of Reading with Bookroo

With all the technology available to our kids today, sometimes it’s nice to take a step back and enjoy the simpler things, things like reading physical books. Shocked to hear that books still exist? Haha! They most definitely do and we are constantly working to expand our kids’ home library. With the help of Bookroo, growing their collection is as easy as it gets.

Share the Joy of Reading with Bookroo | #Bookroo #childrensbooks #reading #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

~I received a sample to help facilitate this post. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

It’s important that we take the time to help our kids’ imaginations grow, improve their listening skills, and expand their understanding of the world. The easiest way to do this is by reading to them.

It’s not just children’s classics like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” that we need to read to our kids. It may be a favorite, but there’s so much more to be learned by reading a large variety of books.

Bookroo, a monthly children’s book subscription, can help with book selection! One of the things Bookroo offers in its monthly shipments is an assortment of different titles.

Share the Joy of Reading with Bookroo | #Bookroo #childrensbooks #reading #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

This month we received two titles that I’ve never heard of, but they turned out to be great choices – “Lily Wool” and “Edward Built a Rocketship.”

“Lily Wool” is about a little sheep, Lily Wool, who is a bit of an outcast in her herd. In the end she’s able to find and follow her unique passion, while helping others around her. It’s a great story for those trying to find their place, even if it’s not the norm.

“Edward Built a Rocketship” is a fun rhyming story that follows Edward as he plans and creates his own rocketship, then uses his imagination to journey through outer space. It’s quite the adventure!

Share the Joy of Reading with Bookroo | #Bookroo #childrensbooks #reading #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

Another fun feature of Bookroo is that each book comes individually wrapped, so it’s always a surprise to the kids as they open them up. Most people don’t think of books as gifts, but I personally think that when books are wrapped and kids get to open them up, it adds a sense of excitement about reading. Gifts are exciting, right? So if a book is wrapped like a gift, they must be a fun item and reading must be exciting.

Making Time 2017 Holiday Gift Guide | #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

Bookroo is a wonderful gift for kids this holiday season.

Starting at $15.99 per shipment with a 12 month subscription, and ranging up to $17.99 per shipment with a month-to-month subscription, it’s an affordable option too. And for you deal seekers, each shipment retails for more than you actually pay for the subscription.

Plus, it’s easy to sign up or gift a Bookroo subscription.

First, you choose which type of shipment you want – board books or picture books.

Share the Joy of Reading with Bookroo | #Bookroo #childrensbooks #reading #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

Then you choose your subscription.

Share the Joy of Reading with Bookroo | #Bookroo #childrensbooks #reading #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

And last, you enter your billing info and then sit back and wait for shipments to come every month.

Share the Joy of Reading with Bookroo | #Bookroo #childrensbooks #reading #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

Which shipment option would your kids enjoy – board books or picture books?

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*I received a sample to help facilitate this post. As always, my opinions are still 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.

Photo a Day: Weeks 24 & 25

Photo a Day: Weeks 24 & 25 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear

Week 24

Photo a Day: Weeks 24 & 25 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
Halloween week! For Halloween we dressed up as a scarecrow, Robin (Batman’s sidekick), and Jesse from Toy Story. We also had a fun fall day at the park, did a little rocking out and passing out, walked brother home from school a few times, and Sadee was so happy about something (maybe her cheese doodles) that she was just running in circles.

Week 25

Photo a Day: Weeks 24 & 25 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
My favorite part of this week was announcing that we’re expecting kiddo #3 (boy). On top of that, there was some lemon tasting (oh, the faces but she kept going back for more), listening to music on daddy’s phone, 2 broken spatulas (I broke 2 in 2 days and have no idea how), a little family movie (Nemo), lots of blanket time because man it’s getting cold outside (pretty sure fall was only like a week and then, BAM!, winter), and I have a feeling Sadee thinks she’s a bull with her head butting games.

Did you miss a previous week? Check them out here!

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Weeks 14 & 15 | Weeks 16 & 17 | Weeks 18 & 19 | Weeks 20 & 21 | Weeks 22 & 23

*Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.