Monday, February 29, 2016

Slow Cooker Cheesy Ranch Chicken, Bacon & Potatoes

Slow Cooker Cheesy Ranch Chicken, Bacon and Potatoes
5 medium potatoes, in 1" cubes
1 large onion, chopped
3 oz. real bacon bit
1 1/2 lbs. chicken, cubed
1 T parsley
1 package dry ranch seasoning
2 C shredded cheddar cheese


  • Spray inside of your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray
  • Combine all ingredients (except cheese) and toss inside the slow cooker
  • Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
  • During the last 10 minutes stir in cheese and allow to melt
  • Enjoy!

#ad Review: Marshmallow Pro Roasting Sticks

I was very excited to have the opportunity to review the Marshmallow Pro of roasting sticks at a deep discount. You can buy this on Amazon. We like to roast marshmallows quite a bit I wasn't sure if I would actually get to use them here in Minnesota in the winter when the review was do but I lucked out and it was 57 degrees on Saturday and we decided to have a bonfire in the backyard. My daughter had over some friends and we roasted marshmallows, hot dogs, and brats using these roasting sticks. They are a heavy duty roasting stick and have a feature on them that allows you to twirl them by moving your thumb on this black piece on the handle. The kids thought that was pretty neat. They are definitely strong enough to cook meat on them which I find other roasting sticks we have are not. My favorite feature about the roasting sticks is that they are extendable which also means they collapse back down to a much smaller size and can be easily stored away. They cleaned up pretty decent but the handles are made of wood so I wouldn't put them in the dishwasher. They also come with a storage case. And they have covers to put over the sharp tips although I have already lost a couple.

I love the choices of colors the handles come in and now each kid can have their own and we know which ones they have touched and 10 to get sticky with marshmallow. They have already claimed their colors.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Love Magformers? Save 30% on your order!!!

MAGFORMERS is the industry leader in magnetic building toys for children. We believe it is vital for children to develop through creativity and our patented, 'always attracting' magnetic technology delivers a unique constructional play experience. It is MAGFORMERS commitment to providing a high quality, reliable product that inspires the creators of the future

Create 3D structures from 2D nets with MAGFORMERS NEW 26Pc NEON Set. Containing Neon colored squares and triangles that are ideal for little fingers to hold, the 26Pc is the perfect toy for building the 'magic ball', houses, towers and much more! See what your imagination will create!

Each geometric shape contains magnets that never reject, so you'll always hear the MAGFORMERS click. When playtime is over, use the magnetic power to simply stack and store!

Love Magformers? Save 30% on your order from @magformers with Magformers30 @usfg

Stay Connected with Magformers

Thursday, February 25, 2016

FREE Lowe's Build & Grow: Monster Jam "Dragon" is THIS WEEKEND

This Saturday at 10am, your kids have a chance to build this Monster Jam "Dragon". You need to pre-register, as some locations fill up. If your location is full it will show you the next closest location with availability.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Art Birthday Party Ideas

My daughter's 9th birthday party was an Art Theme. We did it at our home and here are some of the ideas I had:

  • Palette Cupcakes (those are Spree candies for the paint)
  • Easels made from popsicle sticks (hot glues together) with paint chips as their name plates
  • Gave each child a colorful apron to use and take home
  • Tied her balloons to a watercolor palette for her to keep
  • Set up art stations for each of the kids to paint at (one project was an underwater sealife painting)
  • Decorated storage containers (metal cans I had sprayed painted in advance) with duct tape, milk lids, chalk paint and twine
  • Gave each child a set of paint brushes and a foam brush to use for their painting project and take home 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Clean Eating Coconut Apple Crisp

Clean Eating  CoconutApple Crisp
4-5 med-lg apples (I used Gala). peeled and sliced
1 T ground cinnamon
1 T coconut palm sugar

1 C old fashioned rolled oats
2 T coconut flour
1 T cinnamon
1/4 C coconut palm sugar
1/4 C unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 C coconut oil, melted


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix together apples, cinnamon & sugar, then pour into a greased 8x8 baking dish.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together oats, flour, cinnamon, sugar and coconut until evenly combined.
  • Stir in melted coconut oil until evenly combined, then pour evenly over the top of the apple mixture.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes. 
  • Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy!

Friday, February 19, 2016

T-Rex Moon Pottery Wall Art

This is a pottery wall art piece I made for my son's big boy room. I did it by slab rolling out my clay and then carving in to it. Because of the clear glaze reflecting, it is hard to see the texture on the clay. I used a Makin's USA Clay Texture sheet with a wood grain texture to make the skin texture.

And because of the reflection of the glaze, you can't see that it says "I Love You to the Moon and Back", which is why the T-Rex has a moon shape for an eye. My son is a dinosaur lover, so that is what I did the T-Rex Head.

It took a couple of weeks of drying the piece between to thick pieces of wood . It didn't get a lot of air flow, so it took longer to dry, but I really didn't want it to curl. So, I have learned to allow 2-3 weeks for drying before I fire it the first time, then I have been able to keep a piece flat.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

20 Accelerated Books About Mermaids - Lvl 3.0-5.0

Aqualicious by Victoria Kann

Sink or Swim by Sarah Mylnowski

Make Believe Bride by K Emily Hutta

Mermaid Dance by Majorie Hakala

Mermaids by Charlotte Guillian

The Mermaid and the Shoe by Keith Gordon Campbell

Mermaid Queen by Shana Corey

Mermaids Don't Run Track by Debbie Dadey

Barbie in Mermaid Tale 2 by Molly McGuire

Shayanna's Song by Janey Gurtler

The Little Mermaid by Rebecca Felix

Mermaid in the Bathtub by Laura Peetoom

Emily Windsnap and the Castle in the Mist by Liz Kessler

Teenage Mermaid by Ellen Schreiber

The Melancholic Mermaid by Kalie George

The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen by Delia Sherman

Misty to the Rescue by Gillian Shields

The Mermaid Secret by Vicki Blum

The Dragon in the Sea by Katharine Ross

To Catch a Mermaid by Suzanne Selfors

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Easy Paper Plate Birthday Crown

I made this for my daughter's birthday last year and brought it up to school for her to wear when it was time for her to celebrate her birthday with her class.

All my supplies were bought from the Dollar Tree and the plates were ones we were using for her party.

In the small picture you can see the lines I drew on the back side. Then you just cut on the lines to make the crown points. You can pull them out a little to stand up, but once they stick their head in there, the stand up just fine.

She thought this was so fun to have as a crown for her birthday in school and it was quick and easy for me to make.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Grain Free Paleo Peanut Butter Cookies

Grain Free Peanut Butter Cookies

1 egg
1 C peanut butter
1/3 C honey


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix together all ingredients
  • Scoop out dough to make 1" balls
  • Using a fork, press in the above pattern
  • Bake for 8 minutes
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes
  • Enjoy!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Square Pottery Candy Dish

I just love how this dish turned out. I had all these ideas swirling around in my head that I wanted to try and I tried several of them out on this dish that I hand built.

First off, I slab rolled out my clay. Then I used a ruler to make a square template on newspaper and then cut that out of the slabbed clay. I did not use a mold with this one. I used slip and scoured my corners to join them and then made a small coil that I put inside each edge that I smoothed in to place.

After I finished making the body of the dish, I used the tip of a fettling knife to create the detail inside. Once that was finished, I made the feet, which I did my rolling balls and flattening them on both sides, then using a sculpting too I carved out the details that make it look like bottle caps. I put those in place by souring and using slip between the feet and the dish, the smoothed edges together.

Next was the detail on the outside with the coils. I made those to help fill in and strengthen the joined edges of the dishes.

Finally, the glaze. I really wanted to see the knife detailing I did inside so there is only a clear glaze on the inside sides. On the bottom I used a sandstone glaze with clear glaze over top and on the outside I did a dark blue glaze. This piece for me was more about the details I put in the clay rather than the design of the glaze.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Refinishing a Drum Set

This was my husband's project last winter. He grew up always playing the drums and had a set on and off. This is his current set. He decided that he didn't like the wraps that were on this set. He spent quite a bit of time looking up new wraps to buy to replace on his shells, but everything he found that he actually liked was quite pricey. He started taking off the wraps and noticed that his shells had a really nice grain pattern and decided instead of new wraps he was going to stain them and add many coats of a high floss lacquer.

He started out with just one to see how it would turn out and if he found the color of stain he liked and if the grain would look as awesome as he envisioned it would. It did. You can see up in the collage the center picture on the right is his first finished shell next to one of the ones ones with this burgandy wrap on it.

Of course all the hardware is still dated, but it works with the wood. I think the updated look actually makes them have more of a classic look. He's past that "flashy" drum set stage of his life and this is a very nice looking set.

There was still an investment in a high glass lacquer (I think he said he did 6 coats or so on them to get the level of glass he wanted) and stain, and the time was a considerable investment, but he now has a set he refinished and can be proud of.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Dairy Free Creamy Spinach Chicken

Dairy Free Creamy Spinach Chicken

3/4 C light coconut milk, warmed
3 T nutritional yeast
1 T dried onion
1 T Wildtree Garlic Galore
4 oz fresh spinach
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken
favorite seasonings


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Mix together coconut milk, nutritional yeast, onion and garlic seasonings,allow to rest for 5 minutes
  • Place spinach in the bottom of a greased casserole dish
  • Pour over the top of spinach
  • Stir to coat spinach
  • Place chicken on top
  • Sprinkle favorite seasonings on top of the chicken (I used Stonemill Essentials Steak & Chop Seasoning Mix and Parsley Flakes)
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes

Saturday, February 6, 2016

New Blog About My Travel Adventures

I have decided to start a travel blog about My Adventures in Travel, starting with our recent trip to Costa Rica. Please go check it out.

Friday, February 5, 2016

#ad Black Bean Burger Wraps with GrubMarket Avocados (REVIEW & GIVEAWAY too!)

I love lettuce wraps in lieu of buns. Don't get me wrong, I do love a nice ciabatta roll, but sometimes I want something lighter or am watching where my carbs are coming from. I wrap these black bean burgers that you can buy at Aldi Food Stores in my lettuce, but not before I top them with loads of other goodies including cheese, tomatoes, salsa and these organic avocados from Grub Market.

I knew my readers would love to hear about Grub Market and what exactly it is. It was new to me when I agreed to do this review and provide my readers with a giveaway. See that box full of fruits!!! They are all ORGANIC! When they arrived, they were either ready to eat or ripened in a few days. Included in this California Fruit Bounty Grub Box was a Pummelo, a Mandarin, a Blood Oranges, 2 Oranges, 3 Apples, a Pomegrante, an Avocado, a Pineapple, 2 Bosc Pears, and a container of Medjool Dates. This was the regular size grub box and it lasted our family of 4 about a week, but I also had some other fruits from the grocery store I already had purchased as well. They sell this box for $29.99, but is supposed to be a value of $45 and is for 2-3 people. They also sell a large box that is supposed to feed 5-6 people for $44.99 (value of $65).

Check back often or sign up for their email list to find out about specials on Grub Market. Right now they have organic loose red beets on sale for 50% off.

Now, the contents of your grub box can vary from time to time depending upon what is in season. So, what you see here might not be what my winner gets and might not be what you get with your order. You can also choose to have it delivered just one time or at a regular frequency every week, 2 weeks or 4 weeks.

Of course, you can always choose to buy each item individually and then you know exactly what you are getting. If you do that, I highly recommend these Medjool Dates. We had never had such wonderful tasting dates. Even the kids loved them and they weren't too sure about dates.

And it's not just produce they sell, you can buy a whole variety or food and beauty and health products on their website, but the greatest quantity of food is of the produce.Grub Market is helping make organic food, including produce available to anyone with just a few clicks online. My box was shipped via Fed Ex and if you buy $49+ you get free delivery as well.

If you like the GrubBox Idea, they also have a Sack Grub Box, Fruit and Snack Grub Box, and College Care Grub Box.

(GIVEAWAY ENDS  2/12/16)

Find GrubMarket online:

Spoon Bugs Craft Project

This is a 2-part project that is fun and easy. All you need is some plaster of paris, plastic spoons and paint.

Your kids can help with both parts. The first part is to create the bug. Mix the plaster of paris as the instructions on the package indicate. Using plastic spoons, take level spoonfuls. Tap the bottom of the spoon to make the plaster settle and even out. Allow the spoons to dry (I gave it a full 24 hours to make sure they dried completely) on something like wax paper or a plastic lid.

After they are completely dry you can paint as you wish. You could even glue a magnet on the back to make a magnet out of them.