Recent Posts

Simplest Homemade Donuts–Using Canned Biscuits!

Simplest Homemade Donuts–Using Canned Biscuits!

I have been seeing something amazing all over the internet…donuts…made from biscuits!? Say what? I decided that we absolutely HAD to give this a try and here our results, in case you are like me and one of the only people on the planet who […]

Whole Wheat Vegan Pancakes Recipe

Whole Wheat Vegan Pancakes Recipe

Recently my family and I have started a journey to living a healthier lifestyle and have adopted a vegan/plant based diet. This required us to do a lot of searching for new, healthy recipes that suited our new needs. A big challenge was breakfast, and […]

Spring Inspired Edible Cupcake Toppers Featuring YumEarth!

Spring Inspired Edible Cupcake Toppers Featuring YumEarth!

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When trying to come up with a cute way to decorate some Spring/Easter themed cupcakes recently, I thought back to the Valentine’s Day craft that I created using YumEarth candy. I created heart shaped charms made from melted YumEarth Organic Pops . Those charms were super simple to create and looked super adorable, so with that in mind, I came up with super darn adorable, flower cupcake toppers made from YumEarth Organic Pops and their Sour Jellybeans!

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Though they offer them throughout the year, currently YumEarth is offering Spring/Easter themed bags of Organic Pops, Sour Jelly Beans and Organic Gummy Fruits. The packaging is super adorable, and the individual wrappers are decorated seasonally as well. This makes them super great for gifting, sending for daycare/classroom parties as well as stuffing your Easter eggs full of.

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YumEarth makes the absolute best Pops out there, so I knew that they would make the perfect base for my flower. These pops are organic and vegan—something that is going to become even more important to our family as we soon will be embarking on a more plant based diet way of living, and I am definitely trying to introduce more vegan friendly brands into our home.

For this project, I preheated my oven to 350 and then took an old silicone cupcake liner ( I still use these presently, but I have a few that have seen more wear and worked out great for this ) and made a small slit towards the bottom, just big enough to put the pop stick through. Using some sort of small silicone liner like this is best, because it doesn’t allow the sucker to run all over the place when it melts. I simply placed the pop through the slit, keeping the actual pop bit inside of the cup. Then I took my jellybeans and completely encircled the pop with them, It doesn’t matter one bit if they overlap, so don’t worry!

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Next, I took my silicon liner cup and placed it on a cookie sheet and stuck it in the oven. I can’t say for certain how long it will take before your pop starts to get gooey and melt, because all ovens are different, but I suggest simply keeping an eye on your liner, because it really doesn’t take very long. Once I could tell that the sucker was starting to get a bit soft, I pulled the cookie sheet out and used a butter knife to give the jelly beans a nudge closer to the sucker–though not too hard. I then placed it back in the oven and waited for it to completely begin going liquid. Unlike the charms from the Valentine’s Day project, you want to pull this out before it really goes completely liquid. This is a little hard to explain, but it’s easy to understand the first time you do it. After I took mine out of the oven, I placed the silicone cup in the freezer for a few minutes, letting it harden ( it really takes no time at all! ) and then I slowly pull my pop away from the liner and then trim up the edges with scissors if any of the pop did liquefy enough to make it past the jelly beans. Trimming it up with scissors is SUPER simple and can really give your flower definition., but its definitely not necessary.

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Once our pops were done, I simply took a piece of green tissue paper and wrapped the sticks up. You could do so many different things to create a flower type look, but I didn’t want to use markers, and our food markers bled quite a lot on the first one I tested it out on. This worked really well, and it wasn’t icky or anything when I pulled the suckers out of the cupcakes before the kids began eating them. This was such an easy project and would have moved super quickly had I used more silicone liner cups at once.

This is a really adorable project and the kids were super impressed! I highly recommend checking out the YumEarth treats, because not only are they fantastically good ( I swear, they are our new favorites ), but they are good for your body as well. and aren’t full of nasty chemicals. We love them and will continue to come up with new and fun ideas to incorporate them into our holidays and celebrations!

You can check out all of the delicious goodies that YumEarth has to offer by visiting them here! While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out their Facebook and Twitter for all of their delicious updates!

 

Hopping Into Spring With Eleni’s New York

Hopping Into Spring With Eleni’s New York

If you have followed my blog, you probably know that my kids and I recently celebrated Valentine’s Day by decorating our very own Color me! Heart shaped cookies from Eleni’s New York. The kids had a ton of fun, and honestly, we became a little addicted […]

My Easter Table featuring Oriental Trading + Chocolate Inspired Mini Easter Baskets!

My Easter Table featuring Oriental Trading + Chocolate Inspired Mini Easter Baskets!

Easter is one of my very favorite holidays, that is a fact. I love the pastel colors, the cheery designs and the fresh spring feeling that comes with putting out the Easter decor. I absolutely love planning out what I am going to put out […]

FARMHOUSE FRESH, This Bunny Loves You Gift Set Review!

FARMHOUSE FRESH, This Bunny Loves You Gift Set Review!

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Easter has always been one of my very favorite Holidays. I love the fresh spring vibe, adorable pastel decor and delicious treats. As an adult, I find myself feeling a little jealous of all of the sweet goodies and treats my kids receive from the Easter bunny, so this year I decided to treat myself to a little Easter goodness, adult style.

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The “This Bunny Loves you” gift set from FARMHOUSE FRESH was exactly what I wanted to see in my Easter basket this year, but I couldn’t wait around for Easter, I had to indulge almost immediately. This set embodies everything I have been yearning for. It’s fresh, pastel, absolutely adorable and most of all, delicious! ( The smells of just about everything FHF offers are seriously good enough to eat! )

This gift set comes beautifully packaged in a sweet pastel yellow and purple gingham style gift box, perfect for Easter and Spring gifting. The icing on the cake is the uber adorable purple ribbon with the wooden scoop attached, holding the sweet box of treats tied up tight!

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Inside of my gift set, I received the 6 oz. Sweet Cream Fine Body Scrub, which is one of my absolute favorite scents from FHF. It is so rich and indulgent, without being overpowering. I suffer from migraines frequently, so being subtle enough to not induce any type of irritation is very important to me. The scrub is full sized, packaged super sweetly ( but what FHF product, isn’t? ) and comes with wooden scoop/spoon. The fragrance is perfect for indulging and the product itself leaves my skin feeling fresh, soft and smelling yummy! This is an incredibly high quality scrub that doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin, something that also is high on my list of skincare demands.

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Next in the gift set is the 2.4 oz Fluffy Bunny Shea Butter Hand Cream. I am totally in love with the FHF hand creams and currently have one in my bedroom and in my purse that I used almost daily. These also are packaged nicely and look lovely displayed ( am I the only one who thinks about things like that?? ) This scent was a little surprising, sort of. With a name like Fluffy Bunny, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Without looking at the description, I almost can’t describe the scent in any other words than Fabulous! It’s very light and comforting, and has an exquisitely high-end fragrance ( if that makes any sense at all? ). These hand creams truly moisturize your skin without leaving you hands feeling heavy and greasy. This product is also vegan, which I love.  DSC_2509

I am absolutely thrilled with my gift set, and feel totally pampered and in the Easter/Spring spirit–even if I did cheat and indulge a bit early. I definitely feel that this set would make the absolute perfect gift for ones self, a friend, an expectant mother or even a great Mother’s Day gift! The ever chic FARMHOUSE FRESH products are always a go-to in my book for myself and for others! I highly recommend checking out this fabulous set, as well as their other delicious products on their equally yummy website. Yum!

A little bit about FHF products:

Each product is made with up to 99.6% natural and naturally-derived ingredients. Everything we make is Paraben & Sulfate FREE and our fragrances are all natural or phthalate free. Many other products are also Vegan and Gluten Free.

You can check them out on Facebook here, Twitter here and Instagram here!

Create A Welcome to the Tween Years Kit with Bioré Deep Cleansing Pore Strips!

Create A Welcome to the Tween Years Kit with Bioré Deep Cleansing Pore Strips!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FiercelyCleanPores #CollectiveBias Being a “tween” is confusing. So many emotional changes, bodily changes and the newly acquired body care routines that go along with them. Being the Mother of a Tween […]

Last Minute Stocking Stuffers to Save the Day @ GameStop!

Last Minute Stocking Stuffers to Save the Day @ GameStop!

With Christmas fast approaching, this Santa is in a mad dash to finish up on our Christmas list! For all of our last minute stocking stuffers, Santa looks to our local GameStop ( and online, of course ) to help us out with all of […]

The Hectic Holiday Season Made Easier with Walmart.com

The Hectic Holiday Season Made Easier with Walmart.com

 

 

The Holiday season can be hectic…let’s face it, down right chaotic. I find myself not only doing my best to budget and shop for all of the gifts that I need, but running through constant lists of food items that I need to purchase, and household items that are essential to having a house full of relatives for what seems like two months straight!

We remember the gifts, we remember the food, but it cannot only be me that has turned red, because we have ran out of toilet paper in the middle of a celebration, or someone has spilled a drink all over the counter and asks for a paper towel, and oops! we are out!

This year, I am not only focusing on remembering absolutely everything, but I am determined to get everything done in the least time consuming way possible–this way I won’t be running around at the last minute, frantically trying to convince my husband to make a last minute trip for all of the many essentials that we have forgotten.

With Walmart having such a large selection of paper products, that are not only available in store, but through walmart.com, there is no way I can go wrong. With a few clicks of my mouse, I can save myself a trip, and the hassle of lugging around bulky paper goods. Having my favorite Viva Paper Towels, or Scott Toilet Paper arrive within two days at my door-step, just made my every day life, and crazy holiday season a whole lot simpler!

Did I mention the fact that shopping at Walmart ( or walmart.com ) saves me money?? With their every single day, low prices ( and some super good ibotta rebates out right now ) , I can save not only gas money, but even more green to go towards all of those must have Christmas gifts my children have been requesting for months! It’s a win all the way around!

*Breaths a sigh of relief* Thank you Walmart.com….you have saved my sanity and Christmas party from a crazy no toilet paper, ate too much Christmas ham fiasco!

4 Reasons to Shop Amazon for Household Essentials

4 Reasons to Shop Amazon for Household Essentials

  With the Holiday Season in full swing, finding ways to save money and save money are high on my list of priorities. With that said, it’s also a season of giving, and challenging myself to do more for not only those around me, but […]

Visit Sioux Falls- A Whole lot of Food, Family & Falls! ++ GIVEAWAY DETAILS!

Visit Sioux Falls- A Whole lot of Food, Family & Falls! ++ GIVEAWAY DETAILS!

    This image/video courtesy of Teresa Gonzalez This image/video courtesy of Teresa Gonzalez In a family full of foodies and adventurers, our tribe is always on the lookout for new fun destinations that are outside of the box of the typical, beach and chill […]

Spicy Cheese & Bacon Hashbrown Waffles

Spicy Cheese & Bacon Hashbrown Waffles

 

 

In our house. we love breakfast for dinner. It’s kinda a thing. We are always looking for delicious new ideas and recipes to up our breakfast for dinner game ( we love having get together’s and serving up a mean breakfast buffet ). After hunting around for ideas, I recently decided to combine a few different recipes and really customize a recipe that our family would love.

We love savory, and we love spicy, so what better way to combine the two, than with a super yummy Spicy Cheese and Bacon Hash brown Waffle using our favorite shredded hash browns from  Simply Potatoes®. 

You will need the following ingredients:

1-Package of Simply Potatoes Shredded  Hash browns ( 20 ounces )

10-12 Ounces of bacon, cooked and chopped

2 Cups of shredded cheese ( I use cheddar, you can use any cheese that you like, or a combination )

3 Large Eggs, beaten

3 Tablespoons of Sriracha ( this is at your own discretion, this is the spicy level that WE enjoy–or you can omit this ingredient entirely )

1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika

1 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

3-4 Tablespoons of chopped Parsley ( you will use half in your waffle, and reserve the other half for garnish )

Non-Stick Cooking Spray

Preheat your waffle iron to a medium-high setting.

Combine all ingredients in a large sized bowl.

Combine well. ( do be sure you added half of your parsley )

Use your non-stick cooking spray to lightly coat your waffle iron ( as you are cooking your waffles, they will release steam. No worries! ) . Using about a half a cup, pour your mixture into your hot waffle iron trays. Spread evenly, and be sure your mixture covers the waffle trays. Cook all the way through, and until golden in appearance.

Remove waffle from iron gently, sprinkle your fresh parsley and enjoy!

Tip: If you will not be eating your hash browns immediately, place them in the oven at a 200 degree temp until you are ready to serve them up!

Spicy Cheese & Bacon Hashbrown Waffles

Ingredients

  • 1-Package of Simply Potatoes Hashbrowns ( 20 ounces )
  • 10-12 Ounces of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2 Cups of shredded cheese ( I use cheddar, you can use any cheese that you like, or a combination )
  • 3 Large Eggs, beaten
  • 3 Tablespoons of Sriracha ( this is at your own discretion, this is the spicy level that WE enjoy–or you can omit this ingredient entirely )
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 3-4 Tablespoons of chopped Parsley ( you will use half in your waffle, and reserve the other half for garnish )
  • Non-Stick Cooking Spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat your waffle iron to a medium-high setting. 
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large sized bowl. 
  3. Combine well. ( do be sure you added half of your parsley ) 
  4. Use your non-stick cooking spray to lightly coat your waffle iron ( as you are cooking your waffles, they will release steam. No worries! ) . Using about a half a cup, pour your mixture into your hot waffle iron trays. Spread evenly, and be sure your mixture covers the waffle trays. Cook all the way through, and until golden in appearance.
  5. Remove waffle from iron gently, sprinkle your fresh parsley and enjoy! 
  6. Tip: If you will not be eating your hash browns immediately, place them in the oven at a 200 degree temp until you are ready to serve them up!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://www.homemakingheather.com/spicy-cheese-bacon-hashbrown-waffles/

 

 

Tips for For Finding Your Perfect Car

Tips for For Finding Your Perfect Car

  *Sponsored Post* Finding your perfect car can seem daunting. So many options, so much information coming at you from every direction. It was a process that until recently, I have not enjoyed. Here I have compiled a few simple tips and steps to aid […]

Double Trouble S’Mores Bars #bestcerealever

Double Trouble S’Mores Bars #bestcerealever

    As a homeschooling Momma, I am always looking for fun out of the box ideas to get my kids excited to learn at home. My 4 year old has recently began his homeschooling career as a preschooler this back to school season, and […]

Back to School with Baby Cubby

Back to School with Baby Cubby

With back-to-school upon us, I’ve made it my personal mission to find the absolute best quality supplies and apparel for my little ones. For my littlest, I turned to The Baby Cubby to help us in our hunt.

With high quality goods, that are not only sturdy and dependable, they offer THE cutest options when it comes to baby and toddler necessities.

My favorite, was the Skip Hop ZOO Pack Little Kid Hedgehog Backpack! I knew that my little August would love it, and it is absolutely the perfect size for his 4 year old frame!

“The Skip Hop Hedgehog Zoo Pack Little Kid Backpack is the perfect on-the-go pack for your little one.  With fun, whimsical characters and details, your child will be excited to carry this little buddy around.  Featuring a roomy main compartment that closes with a zip, an insulated pouch for snacks, and a mesh bottle pocket on the side, your child can fit everything for a busy day of “work” and play. ”

We were also pretty darn smitten with the Skip Hop Zoobrella Little Kid Bee Umbrella ! It was also the perfect size, and definitely very well made. It’s functional, and a ton of fun!

“No more rainy days inside with the Skip Hop Bee Zoobrella!  Your toddler will love jumping through puddles and bouncing down the sidewalk with his or her very own umbrella.  Featuring a peek-a-boo windowpane to see what’s ahead, a child-sized handle and kid-friendly release, and 3-D ears on top of this whimsical umbrella, your child will have a new favorite playmate for the rainy days.”

And even though our mission was to find superb back-to-school swag, we could’t stand by all work an no play! We had to pick up the  Jaq Jaq Bird Chalk Book and Jaq Jaq Bird ButterStix Chalk!

“Now your child can be the artist of his or her own story, and the best part is that it can be done without making a mess! The ButterStix chalk is dust-free so there’s no messy chalk residue, and to clean it off just use a damp cloth or a wet wipe! Draw, wipe, and reuse this Forest Chalk Book for endless hours of fun at home or on the go!”

This is perfect for the busy family on the go! It’s a ton of fun, easy to transport, and best of all, it is mess free!

The Baby Cubby is our new go-to for fun and functional toddler gear, and I highly recommend giving them a gander!

 

 

Force Friday- Tomorrow @ GameStop! #forcefriday #giveaway

Force Friday- Tomorrow @ GameStop! #forcefriday #giveaway

This Force Friday, fans can celebrate their inner-Jedi with fellow Star Wars buffs at GameStop. They’ll be channeling the Force with in-store trivia, raffles, live video gameplay, the debut of a brand new Star Wars figure line, and they’re participating in Lucas Film’s augmented reality treasure hunt from Sept. […]

Make Time For Cake.

Make Time For Cake.

Life can be chaotic. It can be stressful. Between homeschooling my 3 children, running my own business, taking care of my household chores and writing my blog, sometimes it can be hard to make time to indulge in my favorite pastimes and hobbies.   One […]

Enter to WIN $50 Target GC or $50 PayPal Cash

Enter to WIN $50 Target GC or $50 PayPal Cash

Win $50 Target Gift Card or $50 Paypal Cash

Summer Traditions & Ice Cream Cake! (Read for Recipe & Contest Details)

Summer Traditions & Ice Cream Cake! (Read for Recipe & Contest Details)

Summer means to many things to us. A break in our school year, camping, cookouts, swimming, but it also means something else…birthdays! The vast majority of our family celebrates their own special day during the summer months, and we do our absolute best every single […]

Simple Ghostbusters Inspired Movie Night

Simple Ghostbusters Inspired Movie Night

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #CatchMoreData #Ghostbusters #CollectiveBias Movie nights are a tradition in our household, and nothing is more fun than themed movie nights! With our tight budget and […]

Bathroom Organization Made Easy! #CaringMadeEasy

Bathroom Organization Made Easy! #CaringMadeEasy

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CaringMadeEasy #CollectiveBias
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DSC_9723Recently, after a visit to my Mother in Law’s home, I made the discovery that not only was she desperately in need of some help with organization, but that she is lonely. Living a few hours away, it makes it hard to visit her as often as we would like and with her progressing age and recent passing of her husband, she isn’t able to keep up with house hold tasks and keeping things quite as organized as she once was, or would like.

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I made the decision to treat her to a little mini-bathroom makeover when I realized this one of the places she most desperately needed a touch of organization. She welcomed this idea, especially when she realized how simply and quickly it could be done!

We decided to use items already available around the house. She chose a few small decorative pieces to add a  touch of color, as well as a few baskets that weren’t already in use.

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I set to work cleaning, organizing and rearranging all of her bathroom necessities, really trying to focus on placing the items she uses the most, at an easy convenient location for her, and placed in a way that makes it simple for her to reach and clean,

One of the items that she uses most frequently and she had in the most inconvenient location, were her Poise® Pads – maximum Absorbency that we purchase on our bi-weekly trips to Sam’s Club ( though I do love that they have the option to shop online available! SamsClub.com )

FYI: When you open your Poise Packaging when purchased from Sam’s Club, there will be a sticker located inside that is redeemable for a Caregivers Sample Pack at the Sam’s Club Pharmacy! How cool is that?

DSC_9737Poise® Maximum Absorbency Pads offer a fantastic absorbancy that gives not only protection but confidence! These Pads have an absorb-loc® core, that keeps away wetness and odor, not to mention the leak block sides that provide worry free protection! These our my dear mother in law’s go to pads for the ultimate protection, and provide her with such a sense of relief and confidence that makes her life a little more worry free! I am so thankful that products like Depend  as well as Poise have made things so much simpler and hassle free for those, like my mother-in-law, who struggle with bladder leakage. Knowing that she has comfort and protection from leaks, gives her a sense of confidence, that I feel that in her progressing years, she seems to feel as though she is losing with her declining independence.

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To start the process of organizing we:

  1. Evaluated her needs
  2. Sorted through her clutter and chose what to keep and what not to keep
  3. Organized the products that were most important to her
  4. Stored them in their new designated containers
  5. Arranged said containers in a beautiful, yet functional location
  6. Added small accents to really liven up the area

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Once we completed all of these steps, we also added a few small touches around the rest of the bathroom, such as a decorative hook right next to her shower, to hang her shower cap and washcloth. Then we stored away the rest of the things that she decided to keep but weren’t quite as necessary in her day-to-day routine, and made things a whole lot tidier and functional.

Giving back to those who have not only paved the way for us, is not only a nice thing to do, it is important. In our fast paced society, it’s easy to forget that not only do we owe our thanks, but our time and dedication to providing a comfortable, joy filled life for those who have provided and taught us throughout the years.

Simple, even inexpensive acts of kindness, can make all of the difference in a person’s life. Even something a simple as organizing a bathroom. #CaringMadeEasy

DSC_9743Helpful Tip: Downlooad the Digimarc Discovery App and scan your packaging anywhere to direct you to the Sam’s Club Caregivers website! This is such a convenient way of making the information you need readily available!

I would love to hear from you about not only your favorite Poise of Depends product, but what you have done to give back to our elders, or just how they have enriched your life! Comment Below!

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Caramel Brownies Recipe for ANY Celebration & #WhatMattersToU

Caramel Brownies Recipe for ANY Celebration & #WhatMattersToU

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WhatMattersToU #CollectiveBias   When faced with that unpleasant monthly visitor that most of us ladies are fairly familiar with, I used to cringe. I wanted to curl up […]

Get Your Groupon Goodness!

Get Your Groupon Goodness!

As a frugal Mom, Groupon is quickly becoming my go to for just about everything I need, from local events, concerts, sports events, amazing restaurants and so much more, and you can even purchase tons of your favorite goods. This makes shopping and planning a night […]

ENTER TO WIN A $75 DOLLAR AMAZON GIFT CARD!!

ENTER TO WIN A $75 DOLLAR AMAZON GIFT CARD!!

$75 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Enter to win your choice of $75 dollar Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash!

Our Favorite Recipes For A Refreshing Summer! #SummerTastes

Our Favorite Recipes For A Refreshing Summer! #SummerTastes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #SummerTastes #CollectiveBias After going through my list of favorite summer dishes , I decided that I needed to shake things up a bit, and get a little […]

CHEAP AND SIMPLE KITCHEN AND PANTRY ORGANIZATION & PANTRY REFRESH

CHEAP AND SIMPLE KITCHEN AND PANTRY ORGANIZATION & PANTRY REFRESH

If you are like me and LOVE to collect kitchen gadgets, pots pans and even hoard up on gourmet ingredients, you just may have the same ever growing problem that I have began to encounter, and that is running out of space. My family and […]

Summer Fun With Wilderness Aware Rafting!

Summer Fun With Wilderness Aware Rafting!

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Wilderness Aware Rafting offers white water rafting in Buena Vista, Colorado. We offer outstanding guides, 39 years of white water experience, and a unique knowledge and appreciation of the natural environment forged by our many years of living and working on various rivers as well as our educational background in Environmental Interpretation and Wildlife Biology. Our raft trip options include the Arkansas River, Colorado River, Dolores River, Gunnison River and North Platte River.

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Call 800.462.7238 or book online at www.inaraft.com 15% off any raft trip – Good on any raft trip!
http://usfamilyguide.com/coupons.php?bid=9563&dealid=759 .@usfg

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Our Favorite Recipes For A Refreshing Summer! #SummerTastes

Our Favorite Recipes For A Refreshing Summer! #SummerTastes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #SummerTastes #CollectiveBias
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After going through my list of favorite summer dishes , I decided that I needed to shake things up a bit, and get a little creative. We eat a ton of fruits and veggies, and drink a lot of tea around our home, me being a vegan and all, so I set out to add a few new little fun summer twists to our recipe schedule of meals and treats.

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When browsing recipes online, I came across an idea for a pasta salad that was basically an “everything but the kitchen” sink type thing, and I really kind of dug that idea. Why not just throw TONS of the tasty veggies into one fabulous salad and give it a taste. So I set out to find the perfect flavor combinations for our family, and here is what I came up with:

 

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This is what I like to call my EVERYTHING Summer Pasta Salad. Using Barilla Whole Grain Rotini that I picked up at Walmart, I set out to create a fabulous pasta salad that everyone in my house would dig. Here’s what I used :

-1 Box of Barilla Whole Grain Rotini

  • Red, Yellow and Orange Peppers ( we just added one whole, and several small, but this can be to your liking ) Chopped
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 2 Varieties of cherry type tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 Avocado
  • 2 Roasted Ears of Corn cut off the cob
  • Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • Pepitas
  • 1 bottle of our favorite vinaigrette. We used a garlic flavored vinaigrette, but I’m sure just about any would be fabulous, so go wild! Vinaigrette’s are also quite simple to make yourself.

The great thing about this pasta salad, is you really cannot go wrong! Each ingredient can be measured to your specific liking or even omitted. I have a feeling there are so many other fabulous ingredients that would also work perfectly, but these were completely perfect for our taste buds!

 

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This is a super simple dish to make, honestly, and I cannot believe it wasn’t already on our menu. All we did was start with our Barilla Whole Wheat Pasta, Italy’s #1 brand of pasta, followed the instructions on the back of the box, then once it was cooked, drained and rinsed our Rotini in cold water and put it to the side. We roasted our corn during this time and then cut it off of the cob. I then used my food processor to chop up my veggies, though doing it by hand works just as well.

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At this point, the kids and I basically just dumped all of the ingredients ( veggies and dressing )  other than the cheese and pepitas in and gave it a really good even stir so that all of the veggies were evenly distributed. DSC_9114

Even though it was difficult to not just dig into, we covered our bowl with foil, and put it in the fridge for a few hours to cool everything down and give the flavors time to really settle and blend. Once it was time to serve, we topped each individual bowl with cheese and pepitas—( I don’t eat cheese, so doing it individually worked out best ).

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This is a super light, amazing dish that makes a great addition to a meal, or can simply be served in a larger portion and is tasty enough to be the star of the meal! It’s light, bright and absolutely delicious!

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Since we primarily drink tea in our house, I decided to add a few new favorites to our summer menu, using our old favorite Gold Peak Tea into the mix. I picked up a 6 pack of the Diet Gold Peak Tea from Walmart, and started brainstorming.  In the end, I decided a infused tea would pair perfectly with our pasta salad, and I couldn’t have been more right!

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Since Gold Peak is absolutely scrumptious on it’s own, I knew that it wouldn’t take much to come up with a tasty new spin that my kids would be sure to love.

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For our drink, we simply took our favorite chilled Gold Peak Tea, poured it into a glass and added our most favorite fruits! We found that adding raspberries and letting them infuse into the tea for a bit was the most scrumptious combination. We garnished our glasses with strawberries, which was a big hit with the kids and definitely gives the table setting a little something extra!

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These drinks are absolutely delicious, refreshing and since we used diet tea and only fruit as our added flavoring, still a very health conscious choice as well.

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For our dessert/cold summer treat, we decided to stick with the tea theme, and make fruity tea pops! Think super delicious tea infused frozen goodness! This was also SUPER simple, which I love…

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For these pops, basically all you need is your Gold Peak Tea ( sweetened is the best option for this ), popsicle molds and fruit. I personally chose to use pureed frozen peaches, raspberries and mint leaves.

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Using frozen peaches that I ran through my food processor seemed to work out the best, I even just stuck my mint leaves in at the same time, which seemed to spread them evening throughout the mixture. The rest was simple, I filled the molds up about half way with my Gold Peak Tea, and then just dropped in my fruit. I added only peach and mint to a few, then threw raspberries in the mix as well. We froze our pops for around four hours, ran the molds under hot water, and then had not only tasty, but BEAUTIFUL frozen treats that I think are great for not only the kids, but adults as well. They have a very clean crisp refreshing taste, and are just sweet enough to really cure my craving for cool refreshing sweet treats.

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I had a lot of fun creating these very crisp, healthy summer time menu additions and will definitely go perfectly along side our traditional summer grilling parties! They are simple, quick and although delicious, are light enough to go perfectly with a hot summer day backyard barbecue.

sofab For more delicious summer recipes  click here ( I know I have enjoyed them! )   Also, while you’re at it, check out this great coupon for $1 off when you buy any two (2) 64 fl oz bottles of Gold Peak Tea from coupons.com , plus this great Ibotta offer for Barilla – Buy 3 products and earn $1. Valid on all Barilla Blue Box Products and Barilla Pesto Sauce.

What are your favorite summer favorites? Do you use your Gold Peak Tea in any sort of unique ways? If so, I’m dying to hear! #SummerTastes