Monday, November 30, 2015

DEAL!!! $9.99 (regularly: $69) for a 20x16" canvas print

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#ad Review: Voice-activated led Laser Stage lighting

My Thoughts:
The red and green colors in this laser stage show is perfect for the upcoming holiday season. I have included 3 pictures here that show the laser show with 3 different ways the lights work. My kids thought this was pretty awesome to set up a dance party in the living room. A couple of warnings on the product say to not use it continuously for over 2 hours, which I don't know that we would have a problem with but wanted to mention in case someone was buying this and wanted it to run longer. Also, it has a warning to not shine the light in anyone's eyes. People should know that, but I am saying it in case people aren't thinking about that. You need to plan to have this in a location so it is not in direct eye line of people and are project it on to something. I looks really cool projected up at the ceiling or at a wall. You can project it on to a wall on the opposite side of the room and them people can dance with the lights going over them.

My kids also really thought it was neat that this was voice activated. It is a feature you can turn on, or you can just have it playing continuously. If you turn on the voice activation feature it will move the lights per your settings to the beats it hears, so you could play music in the background and it will flash in beat to the music or voices or hands clapping.

Product Description from JS Lighting:

Suitable for disco, ballroom, KTV, bar, stage, club, party etc. No UV rays, environment friendly Long working life, excellent stability.
Small and exquisite appearance.
Fully adjustable motion speed Animated moving red and green star, fully adjustable motion speed. Package Includes:1pcs*led stage light

Disclosure - I received these at a deep discount for the purpose of reviewing them. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own.

#ad Review: #ValuePack1000buildingblocks 1000 Piece Building Bricks Compatible with Lego

My Thoughts:
I was excited to get this 1000 Pc Click'n'Play Building Block Set for my son. He likes to build his own thing most often and we have some name brand building blocks at home at home, and he really wanted to have some at the cabin too but we all know how expensive the name brand ones can be so these worked perfectly. We tried them with some 10x10 building sheets that are Lego brand and they adhere too them nicely and are indeed compatible. These block don't stick as tightly together as the Lego kind, which means you need to build them on a flat surface, but on the positive side - they come apart so much easier. I know sometimes I struggles with pulling apart the really thin lego blocks and I don't struggle with these. Now I need to look for some little guys to go with this set and some wheels that attach as well. These are the basic kind of blocks and are mainly square and rectangle with different thicknesses and widths, but there is some slanted blocks as well.

Product Description from Skas Marketing

1000 piece Big Bag of assorted building bricks in various colors and sizes guaranteed to fit tight and compatible with Lego and other major building blocks manufacturers. Let your children be occupied for hour constructing to their imagination. Don't waste your money anymore on expensive building bricks when you can get the same for less. 1000 piece value pack of building bricks with assorted 10 colors and 14 different shaped pieces. Compatible with Lego and other major building block manufacturers. Building blocks are guaranteed to fit tight together. Keeps your children occupied for hours on end building to their imagination. These bricks are not affiliated with or endorsed in any way by Lego, a registered trademark of Lego Systems.

Disclosure - I received these at a deep discount for the purpose of reviewing them. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own.

Cinnamon Roll Wreath from Taste of Home

This is a picture from last Christmas. I made this for Christmas Day breakfast. It was delicious and they kids thought it was pretty neat to look at.

Cinnamon Wreath Bread
from Taste of Home

2 Packages ( ¼ oz each ) Active dry yeast
1 ½ cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
6 TBS butter
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
¼ cup sugar
1 egg
¾ tsp salt
4 1/2-5 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 TBS butter melted
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 TBS water
¼ tsp almond extract

In a large bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the butter, milk powder, sugar, egg, salt, and 3 cups of flour. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough flour to form a soft dough. ( The dough will be sticky )

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.

Punch dough down. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 18 in x 12 in rectangle. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with the cinnamon and chipped almonds to within ½ inch of the edges. Roll up jelly-roll style starting with the long side and pinch the seam to seal.

Place seam down on a greased baking sheet and pinch the ends together to form a ring. With kitchen scissors, cut from the outside edge to 2/3’s of the way towards the center of the ring at 1 inch intervals. Separate the strips slightly and twist to allow the filling to show. Cover and let rise again until doubled. (About 45 minutes to an hour)

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown, Combine the confectioners sugar, water, and extract and drizzle over the warm bread. I used leftover green frosting from when we decorated sugar cookies and added red hot on top for decoratio

Friday, November 27, 2015

30 Day Plank Challenge!!!! Let's Do This!!!!

I wanted something I could print off and reference and not have partly dressed people on the print out or a close up of body parts. I wanted something that I didn't mind my kids seeing and so I created this. I am finishing up JJ's 30 Day Ab Challenge right now and it is going well. I do it in addition to my 5 days of exercise and thought I need to keep the momentum going and am trying to encourage and motivate some friends so I suggested we try this #Christmasbooty Squat Challenge. I chose this one because I thought it was a good one for beginners, but if you want one with greater numbers try the 30-Day Squat Challenge I posted in November 2 years ago. We are starting the #Christmasbooty challenge tomorrow and I will start this plank challenge on December 1st since my ab challenge continues until November 30th.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Gas Works Park

Gas Works Park in Seattle, Washington is a large green space that kids can run around and play, and awesome hill and play space among an old gas works building, and an awesome play to fly kites while overlooking Lake Union. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Pottery Scrubbie Holder

I made this for my mom last year for Christmas. She had requested a pottery scrubbing holder that allowed for her scrubbie to drain out water and not sit in it's own water. So, this is what I made up with.

I modeled it after this Slab Rolled Mug with bottons I had previously made, but left off the handles and added drainage holes and some feet to the bottom. I think it turned out pretty nice. I made the scrubbies I included as well.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Christmas Confetti Pasta with Shrimp

I came up with this recipe last Christmas went I decided I wanted something other than Ham or Turkey. I desired something that would be filling, delicious and something we all would like but not require me to spend all Christmas Day in the kitchen. I wanted it to seem "Christmas-y" and so I thought making it red and green would do the trick.

Christmas Confetti Pasta with Shrimp
12 oz. Linguine, cooked
1/2 C butter
12 oz. shrimp
3 green onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 med. zucchini, cubed
salt, pepper and parsley, to taste
1 can diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Melt butter on baking sheet in the oven
  • Add shrimp, onion, cloves zucchini and lightly toss
  • Sprinkle desired amount of salt, pepper and parsley over the top
  • Bake for 15 minutes
  • While Shrimp is cooking, bring water to a boil and cook linguine
  • Drain linguine and place in a large pasta bowl
  • Heat up can of diced tomatoes
  • Pour tomatoes and cooked shrimp mixture on top of  linguine and toss together
  • Enjoy!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Fitness Friday: Chocoholic Frolic

The Chocoholic Frolic was another fun run I did recently. This one was only 2 weeks ago and I did it with 3 girlfriends. We scored a really good deal on Labor Day weekend (it pays to like races on FB because then you find out about specials) and we were able to register for this one for only $29/pp. Our race fee included race entry, a technical hoodie or 1/4 zip jacket (your choice, I got the hoodie), a race bag that says "Life is Better with Chocolate" and chocolate candy bar, plus a fondue buffet afterwards (and a hot chocolate stop at the halfway point if you wanted but I couldn't imagine having hot chocolate when I still had a a little over a mile left to run.) They had both a 5K and a 10K, but we all signed up to do the same run and some were just beginning running again, so we did the 5K.

As of right now, I am not signed up for another race, but I am thinking about a holiday themed 5K to do next month. I am starting to think ahead to next year and what races I might want to do. I don't often repeat too many, but there are some I do because they were just so much fun or they are local.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Make Your Own Lego Greeting Online

Once again, you can create your own Lego Holiday Greeting just like we did. I will unveil our Lego greeting on Christmas, so you'll have to wait, but you can see what our 2014 Lego Holiday Card looked like.

It's FREE to do and you can save your image on your computer and it also allows you to share across social media sites. Be one of the first to create yours this year.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

We Learn to Draw a Plants Vs. Zombies Sunflower

This was actually a really fun project for myself and the kids. We did this as part of our Summer Camp at Home theme of Plants vs. Zombies. If you want to see some of the other things we did and other ideas, check out my Plants vs. Zombie Pinterest Board.

The tutorial on how to draw this is this awesome step by step layout. It was easy to follow. My son wanted a unicorn sunflower with pink eyes and different sized leaves, so he strayed from the instructions, but my daughter and I followed the directions closely.

Learn how to make your own Plants Vs. Zombie Sunflower.

We also drew our own Puffsrooms from a tutorial I have pinned, but we haven't painted them yet, so I will have to share those another time.

Monday, November 16, 2015

NO-BAKE White Chocolate Peppermint Mini Cheesecakes

White Chocolate Peppermint Mini Cheesecakes

36 Vanilla Wafers
6 oz. white chocolate
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extracts
1/4 C powdered sugar
6 peppermint candies, crushed


  • Arrange vanilla wafers in mini muffin paper cups inside regular size muffin tins
  • Whip together cream cheese, extracts, powdered sugar and whipping cream
  • Melt white chocolate in the microwave 20-30 seconds at a time (it took me 1 1/2 minutes) and stir each time you take it out to check it
  • Pour melted chocolate in the cream cheese mixture while it beats
  • Scoop cheesecake mixture in to prepared muffin cups
  • Sprinkle crushed candies on top
  • Allow to chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
  • Keep refrigerated until serving.
  • Enjoy!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Fitness Friday: Mill City SUDS Run

The Mill City SUDS Run over the Stone Arch Bridge was an awesome fun run. What exactly are the suds, you may wonder. Well, it's Beer Suds. It is sponored in part by O'Donovan's Irish Pub.

This run is all about the fun! Your race entry includes the race, a technical t-shirt, 2 beer/soda tickets and a pulled pork (or bratwurst) & chips lunch. You gotta love a race that includes a meal at the end.

It was a BEAUTIFUL course. I ran it with a couple of friends and it was just a fun time. For those that want a little fun around 2 miles, they do have a "beer stop" to use your first drink ticket. I didn't do that, but there were plenty who did.

I will have this race on my race list for next year. I know several people who wish they had done this one after I told them about it, so I think I may be able to get a group together for this one. I hope so. Even more fun!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

FREE Lowes Build and Grow: A Pull Back Car

After a little break to redesign the program, the Lowe's Build and Grow Clinics are back. This weekend you can build a Pull Back Race Car for FREE! These fill up fast so be sure to register ASAP!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Paper Plate Captain America Shield Craft

This was a fun and easy craft to have my son do. We did this one around the 4th of July since we were trying to make a bunch of Red, White and Blue decorations.

All you need is:

  • a paper plate
  • red paint & a paint brush
  • blue construction paper
  • white construction paper
  • glue
I drew circles on the paper plate so that he knew where NOT to paint so that it would stay white. He painted red everywhere else. White that was drying I gave him a plastic list to trace and cut out a blue circle and a star cookie cutter to trace and cut out a white star. When the paint was dry, he glued those pieces on.

Monday, November 9, 2015

30 Minute Butternut Squash Soup

If you start out with a squash already baked, this recipe will be ready in about 30 minutes.

Butternut Squash Soup

1 med baked Butternut Squash (bake halves at 350 degrees for 1 hour)
1 large apple, finely chopped
1 med onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 T butter
1 1/2 C broth
3 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
Salt, to taste

* Bake your squash in advance and scoop out of shell
* On the stovetop in a 3qt. pot, saute apple, onion, and garlic in butter until onions are translucent
* Stir in squash and broth and heat until simmering
* Stir in cream cheese and seasonings, continue stirring until cream cheese has completely melted in the soup
* Using a hand blender, puree the soup to your desired consistency
* Simmer for 5 minutes to blend the favors before serving

* Enjoy!

Friday, November 6, 2015

2015 Book Club Read List

In case you are looking for ideas for yourself or a pick for your own book club, here is what we have read this year. I was the host for February and so that was my pick. I have been thinking about 2016 and what my pick will be. I am pretty sure I have a pick for when I will host early in the year.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Our Top 12 .5 Accelerated Reader Books

The Birthday Car by Margaret Hillert
Country Fair by Mercer Mayer
Daniel's Pet by Alma Ada
Down on the Farm by Rita Lascaro
Fish by Helen Frost
Hop, Skip, Run by Margaret Hillert
Hot Rod Harry by Catherine Petrie
It's Too Windy by Hans Wilhelm
Lucky Bear by Joan Phillips
My Best Friend by Kristen Hall
Scat, Cats! by Joan Holub
Splat! by Mary Perez-Mercado

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Make a Fun Turkey Cinnamon Roll

This is a fun and simple way to be creative on Thanksgiving. I used leftover Halloween candy (banana Laffy Taffy, Tootsie Rolls, and Fruit Punch Frooties) and make then in to facial features on the caramel cinnamon rolls. This is my recipe for Caramel Cinnamon Rolls. Finally, stuck half pieces of fried bacon in the back for tail feathers. How cute its this?!?!?!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Turkey Wild Rice Soup

Are you thinking ahead and looking for ideas on how to use your leftover turkey from Thanksgiving?

Just pick up a bag of Shore Lunch Creamy Wild Rice Soup from your grocery store and make according to the instructions (it cooks up in about 20 minutes and only needs water!) and add about 1 Cup of chopped turkey to the mix. That's it.

I have bought this soup several times and sometimes I had leftover chicken. I usually have one of these (or another my this company) in the pantry in case I do have leftover meat I want to add to it. This is NOT a sponsored post or anything, I just think they make a mix that gives you a fresh tasting soup that is of restaurant quality. Try it for yourself.

If you need other ideas, try out my other posts to find other ideas to use up turkey leftovers:

Guess I decided not to do a round up in 2014, well, I might have to re-think that for 2015.