{Kid Crafts} Monthly Kiwi Crate Themed Craft Projects

About twenty bucks a month for a couple crafts? I was skeptical if it was worth the cost. This is a sponsored review of Kiwi Crate and we were provided product for a review and our own crafty, creative opinions are expressed here. Kiwi Crate is a monthly subscription service of craft projects and other learning activities for kids ages 3-7; each themed monthly crate contains at least two projects. You can also get single crates, mini crates, and party favor crates. Do I have your attention? 

The theme of May's crate was “Feathered Friends.” My boys were excited to start doing “bird stuff!” The instruction booklet has helpful little graphics that tell the “messiness” and “grownup involvement” of each project, and  I found them to be accurate. The illustrations were colorful and cute, and everything, including the supplies, was high quality. The illustrated instructions were easy to follow, and each booklet was peppered with fun facts relating to that specific project. For example, the “my bird costume” instruction booklet explained the purpose of each bird beak shape, like ducks having wide, flat beaks to help them scoop up water plants. 

AJ, my 5-year-old, says the Kiwi Crate was “way too fun” for him. (That's a high compliment!) My 3 year-old son, Ezra, decided that “all of it was awesome.” They enjoyed the process of making the projects and were delighted to play with the finished products. My boys both said that it'd be fun to get a different crate every month. A fold-out preview of the upcoming crates was in the box, and they look super fun. 

So, is Kiwi Crate really worth the subscription cost? It won't fit into every budget, but YES! (I was pleased to see that you can “pause” monthly subscriptions, which would be helpful if you realized that it just wasn't going to fit into your budget next month! Also, you get a break on the price for a monthly subscription if you commit a longer subscription period.) Could I buy a bunch of craft supplies for the same price? Definitely. However, the imaginative presentation, convenience, high quality, and thrill of getting a package in the mail with surprise projects inside definitely has appeal. If it can be worked into our budget, I'll be subscribing to Kiwi Crate or at least getting single crates or mini crates as an occasional special treat!

Thanks, Donna & Co for the fun review of Kiwi Crate. Thanks to Kiwi Crate, you can get your first Crate at 25% off now through 7/7/13 when you use the code QTPIES25. 

Check out Kiwi Crate's Summer Discovery Series for fun outdoor and indoor play all summer long! Watch the fun YouTube Video below for more fun! If you have older kids, check out these summer activities, too.

More kids activities and crafts

Handprints Heart Card Kids Crafts
I Love You Sign Language Kids Craft
DIY Color Your Own Shoes Craft
DIY Lollipops Kids Activities

Penny Science Experiments
Feathered Friends Crafts


Top Summer Pins on Pinterest

Welcome back to our Pinterest Party! This week we decided to mix it up and instead of sharing our Top Pinterest Boards we are sharing with you some of our Top Summer Pins on Pinterest. These are the most active pin and repins from the past week.
Do these post look familiar to you? Did you pin or repin them, too? As you can see my popular pins were all related to summer foods and summer activities! 

Today is our Weekly Pinterest Party! You can link up anything that you want to get pinned on Pinterest! Join in the fun and link up anything on your blog, your top pins or top repins,etc. Anything goes!

HOW TO JOIN THE LINKY Party (all optional)

1) Pin this Party Post to Pinterest- Please! 
2) Link up your most clicked on post, most followed Pinterest board, favorite pinterest pin, etc...anything goes.
3) Add your Pinterest name to the linky.
4) In turn pin a few things on the linky.
5) Please follow my boards on Pinterest- SusieQTpies Cafe and cohost Crystal and Company and 3 Boys and a Dog. We do follow back.


Kahlua and White Chocolate Amish Friendship Bread

Kahlua is one of my favorite liqueurs. If you aren't familiar with Kahlua, it is a Mexican coffee-flavored rum based liqueur. It has a sweet coffee taste which makes for a great addition to coffee drinks. I've used it many times in baking sweet desserts like this Kahlua and White Chocolate Amish Friendship Bread as well as in my Kahlua Tiramisu recipe.

Kahlua and White Chocolate Amish Friendship Bread
1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter
3 eggs
1 cup oil
1/2 cup chocolate milk
1/3 cup Kahlua or coffee liqueur
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons instant coffee
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
2 small boxes instant chocolate pudding
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Mocha Whipped Cream (optional)
1-Preheat oven to 325° F (165° C).
2-In a large mixing bowl, add ingredients as listed.
3-Grease two large loaf pans and then dust the greased pans with a mixture of 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder (optional).
4-Pour the batter evenly into 2 loaf or 2 cake pans or 1 Bundt pan. Sprinkle the top of bread with remaining sugar-cocoa mixture.
5-Bake for one hour or until the bread loosens evenly from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.
6-Baking time can vary depending on size of pan.

Kitchen Notes

Serves 16. This recipe can also be made into muffins and will yield 24-32 muffins. Cook time on muffins is 20 minutes but always do the toothpick test before removing from oven.

More Amish Friendship Bread


Easy Home Meals for Teens #dairybeyondcool #sponsored

I don't know about you but in our house we shop for our favorite meal planning foods in the refrigerated dairy case several times a week. I do have a weekly menu plan to create easy home meals but with 3 growing teens I never know when they are going to use all of the milk, cheese, yogurt, sour cream, veggies, etc. The girls are always on the go and I have to have food that is easy to make for them to grab and go.
Today's post is sponsored by National Frozen and Refrigerated Food Association (NFRF).

What refrigerated staples do I keep on hand for growing teens?
  • Coffee creamer
  • Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Eggs 
  • Fresh fruits and veggies
  • Yogurt

Easy Home Meals- for me to make or for the teens to make

  • Coffee-for hot, iced and blended coffees (yes it is a meal)
  • Tacos
  • Nachos
  • Mini pizzas
  • Quesadillas
  • Breakfast nachos
  • Shakes & Smoothies
  • Taco Salad

(recipe coming next week!)

Here are a few things that I pulled out of the fridge. These refrigerated staples are on my list every time I go to the store. Yes, milk, creamer, cheese, yogurt and sour cream. I did realize that we were out of yogurt when I went to snap this picture. These refrigerated staples are essential for teens and I keep them on hand.
Over the summer the teens eat a lot of mexican type food which includes taco salads with or without salad bowls. Almost everything is quick and easy to find in the refrigerated dairy aisle and this includes fresh veggies for our summer salads. 
(recipe coming next week)

We drink a lot of healthy smoothies, too! My 3rd, and last, teen just got on her braces. So this week she is getting her protein from shakes and smoothies and I'm cooking her soft veggies. I know that I can count on the refrigerated food section to help me create easy home meals for my teens.

These foods are most always real, simple and farm-grown ingredients. Yes there are some thing that I purchase that are not real - like my coffee creamer but life is all about creating a balance. So with growing teens, I work hard to provide just the right foods to give them a healthy, balanced lifestyle. It isn't always easy to get the teens to eat balanced meals every day so I do like to these keep easy staples on hand to create easy home meals on the go. This does save them money at school and keeps them eating healthier! 

Did you know that June is National Dairy Month? The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) are sponsors of this and encourage us to shop and create easy family meals from the refrigerated food section. These foods most always are real, simple and farm-grown ingredients.

You can follow NFRA on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook where you will find the best information on healthy, easy home meals for your family. I just started following them and have already found some new ideas for my teens. 

Join in the fun -RSVP here- and learn more about NFRA and Easy Home Meals at the Thursday June 27th Twitter Party! It will be at 8pm EST with the best Twitter host on the planet, @ResourcefulMom. Follow the hashtag #dairybeyondcool on Twitter today to see what bloggers are sharing on this topic and to participate in the Twitter party!

You can find more culinary inspiration on The Dish Diary Tumblr - The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association’s photo blog. I have found some new, creative recipes for our meals using food from the refrigerated dairy aisle. You can also share your creative dishes! I'm loving this new source of easy home meal inspiration. 

About NFRA (provided)
NFRA is a non-profit trade association representing all segments of the frozen and refrigerated foods industry. Headquartered in Harrisburg, PA, NFRA is the sponsor of March National Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month, June/July Ice Cream & Novelties promotion and October Cool Food for Kids educational outreach program. NFRA provides consumer information such as food safety guidelines, meal preparation tips, recipes and sweepstakes opportunities to consumers through Further information available at


Raspberry Chocolate Macadamia Nut Amish Friendship Bread

Amish Friendship Bread is all about love and sharing with your family and friends. Over the years I have learned a lot about people because I have shared Friendship Bread recipes on the internet, at home to family and friends as well as to random strangers. If you haven't made an Amish Friendship Bread Starter (or had one given to you), I challenge you to start one, bake bread and share it and see what you learn. 

Raspberry Chocolate Macadamia Nut Amish Friendship Bread
Pure raspberry and chocolate goodness.
1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter
3 eggs
1 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons instant coffee
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
1 small box raspberry jello
2 cups macadamia nuts, chopped
1 cup chocolate chips (white, milk, dark or mixed)
1/2 can raspberry pie filling to mix in recipe

1/2 can raspberry pie filling to use as topping
1 cup powdered sugar for topping


1-Preheat oven to 325° F (165° C).
2-In a large mixing bowl, add ingredients as listed.
3-Grease two large loaf pans and dust the pans with sugar.
4-Pour the batter evenly into 2 loaf pans or 2 cake pans or 1 Bundt pan and sprinkle with sugar on the top.
5-Bake for one hour or until the bread loosens evenly from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Cooking time varies according to the size of pan you use.
6-Once cooled, top with raspberry pie filling before serving each piece. Another topping idea is to mix water with powdered sugar until it has the consistency to lightly drizzle on top of cake just like in the picture above.

Kitchen Notes

Serves 16. This recipe can also be made into muffins and will yield 24-32 muffins. Cook time on muffins is 20 minutes but always do the toothpick test before removing from oven.

More Amish Friendship Bread Recipes

Mocha Chip Scones
Oreo and Cream Amish Friendship Bread/Muffins 
Peanut Butter Brownie Muffins
Pumpkin Spice Bread 
Zucchini Mini Chocolate Chip Bread 



Dishwashing secrets with #MyPlatinum Cascade #sponsored

Have you been following my series, "Sharing the Secret to Cleaner Dishes?" If so then you have learned how my dishes, glasses, silverware and my dishwasher went from built up water stains to shiny, fresh and clean with the help of one little powerful product. Here is another report of how shiny my glasses are and they are water stain free!

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Cascade. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating. I'm thrilled to have participated in this campaign because I got to try out the the new Cascade Platinum pacs for my dishwasher. 

All I can say is, amazing!!!! Yes amazing is the right word to use when it comes to how clean my dishes, glasses, silverware and dishwasher looks since I started using the Cascade Platinum pacs three weeks ago. My dishes look clean and I'm working very little to make this happen. Normally I hand wash every item and then add it for a cycle in the dishwasher. I had been double washing which of course required double effort on my part, double the water and double the aggravation. Why the aggravation, you ask? With all the effort I would put in daily for my dishes, they would then come out of the dishwasher cloudy, spotty, no shine and I was usually embarrassed to serve food and drinks to guest. I use to save a few glasses that were brand new for our guest.

No longer do I have to be embarrassed at my cloudy glasses or save new ones for guest. Each and every glass in my cupboard shines, is spot free and smells great! Yes my dishes using the Cascade Platinum pac come out of the wash smelling fantastic! Prior to using these new Lemon or Fresh scent pacs I never noticed a fresh smell from my dishes or dishwasher. This unexpected affect is fascinating to myself and my daughters! So now we have clean & shiny dishes, glasses and silverware, clean & shiny dishwasher and fresh, clean smelling dishes and dishwasher! My family is sold on these new pacs and we no longer need any other product but the Cascade pacs to take care of our dishwashing needs. 

Besides trying out these pacs, I am participating in the MyPlatinum Instagram contest. What is this contest? Cascade wants you to participate in this contest by showing off your "My Platinum Clink" for a chance to win fabulous prizes. 

To enter, snap a photo of your favorite drink and sparkling glass to show off your "My Platinum Clink" and share on Instagram with the hashtag #MyPlatinum. The mama margarita picture above is the one that I shared on Instagram.

Dish Washing Secrets

Sharing the Secret to Cleaner Dishes
Before and After Dishes with Cascade Platinum Pacs
Bumbleberry Summer Sundae

Learn More about Cascade Platinum 


Summer Fun Activities for Kids and Teens

Summer is here and time to make some good old clean fun for kids and teens! When looking for inspiration, Pinterest is the place to go! I love how Pinterest allows bloggers to share their ideas and pin favorites into our own boards. Two of my favorite summer boards are Teen Crafts Fun & Recipes and Kids Activities & Crafts.
Today is our Weekly Pinterest Party! You can link up anything that you want to get pinned on Pinterest! Join in the fun! I'm featuring kids and teens activities so you are welcome to share those idea and anything else you fun!

Please follow my boards on Pinterest- SusieQTpies Cafe 


{Freebies for Mom} Gooseberry Patch 3 Free Recipe Card Printables

Did you know that I love Gooseberry Patch? If you are a regular reader here then you know it from all the early cookbook reviews that I do for them. In June I will have a huge crafty sewing book review and giveaway and then July another cookbook review and giveaway from Gooseberry Patch so stay tuned! Sign up in my mailing list below to keep updated.

I'm starting a new series on my blog called {Freebies for Mom}. Keep an eye out for them as I find fun things to offer you each week. The freebies will get posted at random times. 

Today's {Freebies for Mom} is from Gooseberry Patch. Today they are offering 3 FREE Recipe Cards for their fans! Click over and get yours today! You also get FREE-BEES on the above recipe card thanks to Gooseberry Patch!

While you are getting their free printables, check out their blog. It is TASTY ;)

More Gooseberry Patch

*Gooseberry Patch Cookbook Garfield Recipes with Cattitude Cookbook Review and Giveaway


50 Summer Activities for Teens

Teens wanna have fun, too! When you are planning your family summer activities or vacations make sure that you include the teens in the decision making. Chances are they do not plan on sleeping away their entire summer (yeah right?) so just ask them and get them involved.

Summer Activities for Teens (click links to get to the FUN)

1-Water Ballon fights
2-Paint on Shoes
3-Eat desserts
4-Eat pizza
5-Eat some more pizza
6-Make some new room decorations -easy to make teen wreath
9-Sleep and maybe clean their room
10-Live and breath the internet
11-Make YouTube videos
12-Make crafts for their pets
13-Go to Camp
14-Play Volleyball with friends (we just got our own set up for the teens)
15-Play summer sports
16-Eat nutritious foods
17-Get up in the morning for like 1 hour
18-Help the environment and recycle all the soda cans in their room
19-Go on a hike
20-Eat dinner with the family
22-Sleep or do a DIY Facial with Friends

25-Baby sit for money, of course and cook for the kids
26-Create new words to impress the parents
27-Make sushi (candy sushi)
28-Eat with friends
29-Sleep or become a zombie
30-Download apps
31-Inspire others with Operation Beautiful post it note project
32-Spend hours going through Pinterest
33-Actually creating something (food) from Pinterest
34-Create more food from Pinterest
36-Eat and spend time together as a family
38-Get the "talk" with mom and more "talk" with mom
39-Hang out and play games with friends
40-Text friends to tell them that mom just had the "talk" with you
41-Plan a car wash for charity with the BFFs
42-Try and figure out life
43-Go on a "playdate" with the parents
44-Work and save money for that first car
45-Volunteer at Church and help with VBS Crafts
46-Babysit and bring a fun craft for the kids to make
47-Make more room decorations
48-Stay up late watching scary movies
50-Back to school "talk" with mom

I'm the mom of 3 teen girls. How about you? If you have any ideas for summer activities for teens, please tell me in the comments and if you have a link, share! I will come visit you.

If you want to be added to my teen Pinterest boards then go to the Tweens & Teens and to the Teen Crafts Fun & Recipes Pinterest boards and leave a comment for me to add you!

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