Saturday, March 29, 2014

Easter Treats on a Stick and Easter Game for Kids

Easter is just around the corner! What fun family traditions do you have? We celebrate this day at Church with our Church family which is kicked off with a massive Easter breakfast. From there the kids hide Easter eggs and then hop on over to family and friends to eat a mouthwatering lunch or dinner. Prior to the actual Easter Sunday there are many Easter egg hunts and Easter parties. Here are a few ideas to kick off April to get you ready for Easter. This is a sponsored post by Global Influence and candy provided by Hershey's but my own ideas and opinions are expressed here. 

easter treats

Instead of giving the package of candy as always, open up the Easter Bunny foiled wrapped HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate and Egg shaped REESE’S Peanut Butter Cups and give them a new spin! 

Sweets on a Stick

We gently and carefully stuck skewers or straws (cut at an angle) into the candy, brushed with honey and added sprinkles and eyes. The thin brushing of the honey was just enough "edible glue" to get the candy eyes and sprinkles to stick. They were so fun to eat this way!

hershey recipes


The kids can actually do these at an Easter party or you can make them up ahead of time for their Easter Basket. It is super quick and easy. 


Another thing you can do is have a JOLLY RANCHER Hard Candy flavored Jelly Bean contest for your Easter celebrations. Have you tried these jelly beans? Oh my they taste just like JOLLY RANCHERS! To make the game, just fill any jar with Jelly Beans and have them all guess on a piece of paper. Make sure to have them add their names to the paper and drop it in an Easter Basket. Pull out the correct guess and reward that person with the jar of candy! 

easter games for kids


We decorated the lid of our jar with a cupcake liner and hot glued a ribbon around the ring to give it some festive color! 




{Pinterest Recipe} Spicy Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Do you love finding new recipes on Pinterest? Do you actually make them or just pin them to one of your many boards. I do pin a lot of recipes and make them as they fit into our family menu. One recipe that I've had my eye on for quite some time is this vegetable recipe for Spicy Whole Roasted Cauliflower from the Pure Wow Blog. Here is what we thought of it!

cauliflower recipes

Spicy Whole Roasted Cauliflower - click to get the recipe. I used their exact recipe and do not want to share it. Here are my thoughts on the recipe.

I had all of the spices in my pantry to make this recipe. It uses greek yogurt, lime, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, curry powder and salt & pepper. That is it! It is a powerful pack of spices.

My Kitchen Notes: The recipe calls for 30-40 minutes of roasting on 400 degrees. I set the oven for 40 minutes because the top was dry to touch, as suggested. I let it cool for 10 minutes and cut into it and it wasn't done. Drats! I had timed it perfectly for dinner. We ate dinner without it.

 I then put it back in the oven, lightly covered with foil and turned the oven down to 350 for 45 minutes. I suggest you test it all the way through with a knife at 40 minutes and then determine how much longer you need to cook it. I turned it down so low and covered it because I had to leave the house.

Taste test: Hubby loved it and took it to share with his friends the next day. I didn't think that I would love it because I do not tolerate the taste of most curries. If I made it again, I would just skip the curry so that I could eat it, too. I tried to love it, though!

Hubby didn't like that it was a dry vegetable. Cauliflower itself is not real moist and roasting it obviously dries it out. He added a tad bit of homemade blue cheese dressing on top of his cauliflower.

Cauliflower recipe

More Vegetable Recipes

Antipasto Platter
Avacado Relish
Baked Carrot French Fries
Critter Valley Snack Attack!
Cucumber Cilantro Salad (VEGAN) 
Easy Greek Salad
Garden-Fresh Gazpacho
Garden Pasta Salad
Gazpacho dip

Friday, March 28, 2014

$180 Egyptian Themed Giveaway by Author Laura DeLuca

Ready for another giveaway? I'm so excited to bring you this giveaway from author Laura "Luna" DeLuca. I've joined a group of bloggers who are working together to support her new release, The Forgotten Pharaoh. The theme of the prizes are Egyptian to go with the setting of the book. Read more about the book below! 



Purchase


Julie Gerber isn't thrilled to be pulled out of school her senior year to follow her parents halfway around the world to unearth a lost pyramid. However, when the cute British guy and the mysterious financier of their project both fight for her attention, things start to get interesting.

The pharaoh known as Djedefre was cursed for the murder of his eldest brother. The work of the archaeologists brings new secrets to light, ones that prove the fallen god-king wasn't the villain history had painted him to be. Can they prove his innocence?

As the team digs deeper into the mystery, members of the party vanish or end up dead. Someone is determined to keep the truth hidden at all costs, even 4,500 years later.


 Be sure to add The Forgotten Pharaoh to your to-read list on Goodreads and check it out on Manic Readers!



 About the Author


Laura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and four children.  In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the editor of a popular review blog called New Age Mama.  Her works include romantic thrillers, paranormal fiction, contemporary romance, and young adult.

  Follow the author Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Pinterest




The Giveaway

Author Laura DeLuca has put together a selection of prizes that go along with the story. All the prizes are Egyptian themed. Prize pack includes a decorative wall plaque, oil diffuser, incense, bookmark, collectible pens, necklace, scarab bead, real papyrus bookmark, pin, and ankh charms. ACV is around $100.





Our friends from Magical Monk Bags have also created a one-of-a-kind Egyptian style handbag depicting a scene of the Great Pyramids. The bag was hand-embroidered and is absolutely beautiful. AVC - $40.


Finally, The Whimsical Pixie has contributed a handmade dowsing board complete with blood stone pendulum valued at $45.99.



One lucky winner will walk away with all these prizes! Total value is over $180. To enter, simply fill out the rafflecopter form below. Giveaway will end on 4/29/14 and is open to the US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: Host blogs are not responsible for prize delivery. Facebook, pinterest, and twitter are in no way associated with this giveaway.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Prom Time Tips and Dresses

Have your daughters started shopping for Prom? Not only can the girls attend their own dances but they also attend the dances from other schools. Everyone wants a dress, shoes, flowers and more which no one else will be wearing. This isn't always easy especially if you live in a small town. How about your daughters? When will they start preparing for prom? Here are some tips to help you along the way! This is a sponsored post but my own opinions are shared here. 

prom safety tips

When it comes to prom, everything must be just right from the shoes to the dress to the date and yes to even the after prom activities! Here are some prom tips to help you along the way. Some tips might be a little sarcastic but we all need a little fun to keep the stress level down. 
Get ready for prom tips
Dress up for Prom


Prom Time Tips

1 - Get the dress first! Once you have the dress then take care of all the other details. We checked out JenJenHouse and loved that the selections and prices were under $200. 

2-Get a date - ok so this should be your first tip but most girls are going to prom without a date and hanging out with a group of friends.

3-Know the plans of your teens which includes:

  • Where they are going before prom
  • When it starts
  • When it ends
  • After prom location
  • Who they will be hanging out
4- Flowers - If the girl has a date she needs to let the guy her dress color so he can get her flowers. No one wants the wrong blue flowers or ribbon for their exquisite, perfect prom dress http://www.jenjenhouse.com/Prom-Dresses-c18/new-arrival/.

affordale prom dress
Make sure the flowers match the dress
 
5- Prom Budget- Ok so maybe this tip should be shared before finding the perfect dress and handsome date. Set a budget for your princess or you'll both regret it later. This will help control the roller coaster of teen emotions.

6-Photos - No matter what, please make sure you take a lot of photos. Teens and parents both will regret later if none get taken! 

There are more tips to share but I would love to have some of yours, too! Share your tips in the comment section and I'll add them to this post!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

$300 Cash Giveaway Event! Don't Miss This One!

What would you do if you had an extra $300? Would you go on a shopping spree or would you use it to pay off some bills? I'm so excited to participate in this giveaway with the below bloggers. I won't be picking the winner, so if you win please let me know! All the entries are easy and the bloggers are worth following. So get in all of your one time entries and your daily entries! Good Luck!

cash giveaway event
Cash Giveaway

Welcome to the $300 Cash Giveaway!

Sponsored by Michael Phillip Cash.

Cash Giveaway
The Battle For Darracia


Schism was recently chosen as a BOTYA 2013 Finalist in Science Fiction. To celebrate, Michael Cash would like to offer a everyone a chance to win $300.

On the planet Darracia, an ever-widening social gap between its inhabitants is causing turmoil that is fracturing a once peaceful world. Struggling with his identity, nineteen year old Prince V'sair must harness the power of the elusive Fireblade, the secret to a warrior's heart, in order to overcome his uncle Staf Nuen's lust for supremacy. Will the energy of the Elements guide the young prince to his true destiny or will Staf Nuen conquer Darracia?



Dii, an Amazon reviewer said:
"Does intolerance of people’s differences go beyond our planet? What of jealousy and the quest for power? Is it thicker than blood? Schism by Michael Phillip Cash is a fascinating and intense dark fantasy/Sci-fi filled with everything that makes for excellent, magnetic reading! Prejudice, love, greed, trust, the lust for power, deceit, cruelty and bloodshed, it’s all here in the first book of what looks to be an amazing journey to another planet somewhere in the heavens.

The ever-widening gap between the different classes is causing unrest to the once peaceful plant of Darracia, the haves get more, the have-nots lose what little they have and are beginning to fight back. Considered inferior to those around him, young Prince V’sair struggles to be seen as warrior material, in spite of his smaller stature and different skin coloring. He is a half-breed, part Darracian, part Planta. Smart, filled with knowledge from books, he still longs to feel the power of the Elements in the Fireblade, a weapon that can only be wielded by one blessed with a warrior’s heart. Forbidden to risk his life in a quest to find the powerful weapon, V’sair chafes at being trapped between wanting to help his people and needing to obey the King and Queen. But there is more to the unrest among the classes than meets the eye. Someone nearby is a traitor and it may be up to V’sair to save his world, but how? Unprepared for what awaits him outside of his castle, V’sair finds strength in love, honor and in believing in himself as he stands against the odds and the evil betrayers around him.

No doubt about it, Michael Phillip Cash can build a world with depth and clarity and then populate it characters that one can see in their minds. Soar above the clouds on a flying horse-type creature, feel the tension, feel the fear and wonder of V’sair as he runs into danger, faces near death and the love of a girl whose skin is as red as his is blue. Mr. Cash introduces each character with ease and enables the reader to see who to watch for, who to root for and who to hiss at. He has created magic with his words that transport you into another world as good battle evil in the takeover of Darracia and a boy becomes a warrior with heart. As the foundation from which this series will build, Schism is a powerful testament to the power of the imagination when guided by a masterful storyteller."

The Battle For Darracia
Masterful Storyteller

Book 2, Collision: The Battle for Darracia (Book 2) (The Darracia Saga) is now available on Amazon.
After the success of his first three books (Brood X, Stillwell, and The Hanging Tree) Michael Phillip Cash is fulfilling a dream and creating his own epic fantasy world. The third book in the series is coming soon!

Enter to win $300 Cash via PayPal

Complete the tasks below to earn entries into this giveaway.
Refer your friends using your unique link to earn even more chances to win.
Open Worldwide.
Ends at 11:59pm EDT on April 8th, 2014.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway was coordinated by Giveaway Promote.

Monday, March 24, 2014

{College Budget Saving Idea} Scratch Wireless Free Phone Usage on Wi-Fi #mc

This isn't an early April Fool's Day joke! You really can get free data, voice and texting service free through Scratch Wireless when connected to Wi-Fi. This can be Wi-Fi at home, at work, at the mall, etc..... it doesn't matter where the Wi-Fi is coming from just connect and you can use your phone. I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Scratch Wireless. I received a product sample to facilitate my review.
college savings tips
College Budget idea

Last month we posted a review using the new Scratch Wireless plan with our teen (check out her initial reaction here.) She automatically loved the Android phone from Scratch Wireless. Right now the phone is the Motorola Photon Q Android device. You must get this phone to use the service for now. You can keep your own phone number which is one of our favorite features of the company. No one wants to change phone numbers, especially teens!

Everyone has asked us what is the catch ... there has to be a catch as nothing is free. Scratch Wireless is a free text, data and voice service on Wi-Fi. If you aren't on Wi-Fi then, yes, you have to pay to use the phone. They offer a very affordable plan if you are going to be in an area without Wi-Fi. You can get their pay-as-you-go access to calls or data for $1.99 per day for short term use or use their monthly no Wi-Fi access of $15. At $1.99 or even $15 that is still a huge savings for cell phone useage.

My teen is a music junkie and has her phone loaded up with all of her favorite music apps. She can have her music with her at all times and text friends. My girl loves to exercise and the phone is just the right size to take along on her jogs. As the mom, I love that she also has her phone so if she needs us when out jogging we are just a text or phone call away. 


free cell phone service
cell phones with free service - it is for everyone!

I'm super jealous of the slide out keyboard. You can use the phone with our without it. The keyboard makes it so much easier to type. I doubt my phone brand will ever give us a slide out keyboard even though it is a feature most women love. 

When it comes to cutting back on cost, my teen figured out that this is a cost effective device and could easily save her $60 or more a month. She will be moving out this summer or fall for college and we are seriously considering keeping this plan for her. She knows that she will have Wi-Fi all over her college campus which means a free service for her to cut down on college cost. The pay-as-you-go fee or even the monthly fee if needed is still lower in cost than her current plan.

budget savings for college
College teens can save money and be on a budget

We love this family budget saving idea and will strongly consider it for the teen who will not be leaving home as well. The pricing is right and so far the past month so is the service.

Since my last post, did you look into Scratch Wireless? Have you decided to try the service? If so what do you like about it? If you haven't tried it, what is holding you back? I'd really like to know. One incentive to get you to try the service, each month, Scratch Wireless gives away a Motorola Photon Q Android device through its ‘Fan of the Month’ contest. 

To enter, all you have to do is comment with what your monthly wireless bill costs on the contest hosted on the Scratch Wireless Facebook page. Give it a try!

Happy National Cake Pop Day Recipes {March 24}

A few years back everyone was making cake balls and cake pops. At first they were a pain to make but after a few tries, they got easier. I love them because they are small bite size treats. Have you ever made cake balls? Here are a few of our favorite family recipes. We hope you enjoy them!
national cake pop day
Cake Pops Cake Balls and other Sweet on a Stick

All the recipes are in the below linky! Click to go to them.

Need more sweet treat ideas? Check out my National FoodHolidays or Cupcakes & Push Pops Boards.

Sweets on a Stick Recipes
Recipes for Sweets on a Stick 


Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Has Sprung Giveaway with Singing Plant Moisture Sensors

Spring is here! Even though the calendar is telling us it is spring, our weather isn't cooperating. We might be getting more snow this weekend. How is the weather where you live? For this giveaway let's pretend it is spring and sing like birds! We've joined in with other bloggers for a spring time giveaway! I do not get to pick the winner so if you are one of the lucky three winners, let me know and good luck! 

 photo d7bb2465-893b-474d-90c7-e5248d62361d_zpsef355d3b.jpg

Singing Plant Pal Moisture Sensor
Giveaway

Along With



Proudly Brings You The

Singing Plant Pal Moisture Sensor Giveaway


3 - Winners each receive a Blue Jay and Cardinal Plant Pal





 Singing Plant Pal Moisture Sensor- Blue Jay


(FLOWER AND POT NOT INCLUDED, VISUAL EFFECT ONLY)


Looking for a great idea to assist you in the care and healthful growth of plants indoors or out? Plant Pal® Moisture Sensor accurately measures moisture at the root level to prevent under- or over-watering. Lifelike hand-painted poly-resin Cardinal or Blue Jay softly chirps its own authentic bird song when your plant needs watering. Position the 6-inch moisture-sensing probe into the soil for accurate moisture measurements. Light sensor deactivates bird song when room is dark. Just remember, when your plants need watering, our little birdie tells you!


And The

 Singing Plant Pal Moisture Sensor - Cardinal
(FLOWER AND POT NOT INCLUDED, VISUAL EFFECT ONLY)


These Plant Pals are truly remarkable, the life like birds will make
Blue Jays and Cardinals around your home think their mates have
landed in your pots. The best feature is that it prevent you from under
and over watering to your plants. Their 6" probes will give you accurate
results from within the root system of the plants instead of just giving
you results from the top layer of your potting soil as others models do.

Another feature that makes these unique is that you can use them both
indoor and outdoor, adding a extra touch of beauty to your plants. Your
Plant Pal go silent at night, preventing the chirping from waking you up
at night.



A Big Thank You To Our Sponsor



At this time Mark Feldstein & Associates, Inc  sells  direct to licensed retailers only. 
To locate a retailer near you who carries our products –

1. Locate the product that you are interested in purchasing on our website by entering the name or item number in the search field
2. Once results have been displayed, click on the product name or image for more detailed  information
3. Enter your zip code in the “Product Locator” field along with the search distance (25, 50, 100 miles)
4. Results shown reflect retailers that have ordered this product from using within the last 6 months.
5. If no results are returned, we recommend that you expand the search distance from your zip code.

A Big Thanks to Mark Feldstein & Associates, Inc  for Sponsoring this event.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



This giveaway will begin 12:00 AM 3/20/2014 and end 12:00 AM 4/15/2014


This giveaway is valid in the Continental United States only and entrants must be
18 years of age or older to enter. This giveaway is in no way associated, endorsed
or affiliated with Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin, Networked Blogs , Instagram or
You Tube in any way.


Holiday Contest and Sweeps received each Plant Pals for review purposes.
Mark Feldstein and Associates, Inc will be responsible for awarding and for
shipping the prizes directly to the three winners. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Homemade No Salt Seasoning {Healthy Recipes}

I've been working to find ways to make healthier recipes for my family. It truly is an amazing process of discovery. I say this because everyone thinks it is expensive and difficult to eat healthy but honestly it is just like any other change, it takes time and a desire to make a change. I love that my family will try most things that I make and they are eating healthier even when not at home.

no salt seasoning mix recipe
Ingredients found in your spice cabinet!


What healthier changes are you making for your family? What changes do you want to make? I've been cooking no salt and low salt for years. Sometimes the spices are really expensive or contain unwanted preservatives so making my own seems like an even better idea.

I want to get back to the basics and make things that do not contain a bunch of preservatives. One thing I have been doing is making my own dressings and spices. I was thrilled to find a no salt seasoning mix in the new Gooseberry Patch Good For You Everyday Meals Cookbook. Along with this recipe, I found others worth making too! Get those recipes at the end of the post.

homemade spice recipes
healthy spice recipe


No Salt Seasoning Mix - original recipe and my changes in the Kitchen Notes

Ingredients

1 T. garlic powder
1 T. onion powder
1 T. dry mustard
1 T. paprika
1 t. dry thyme
1 t. dried basil
1 t. cayenne pepper or to taste
1/2 t. pepper

Directions

Mix together all the ingredients and place in a shaker jar. Makes about 5 tablespoons.

Kitchen Notes

1-I used 1 tablespoon for each of the above ingredients except cayenne which I used 1 teaspoon.
2-I'm not a huge fan of thyme so instead of thyme I used italian seasoning. It is a bit redundant but it worked.
3-We've been using this seasoning a lot lately! It worked great to add some spice to our salad veggies and a tater wedge recipe. Check back as I'm going to share that tater wedge recipe on Friday!

More Healthy Recipes from Gooseberry Patch





Happy First Day of Spring! Top 10 Spring Break Family Road Trip Ideas

What will your family be doing for Spring Break? We are so excited that today is the first day of spring! These activities below can be for any of your up and coming road trips! Unfortunately we won't be taking any long trips but hopefully short trips here and there due to our crazy schedules. Spring break or summer break it is great to be prepared for family road trips. Do you have any fun family road trip ideas? If so share in the comments and I can add to the list!
road trip ideas
Spring Fun for Families

Boredom, the silent enemy of family road trips, is a constant threat to ruin an otherwise fun vacation. Keeping the kids entertained on those long drives can be a challenge without some planning and a little imagination. Fortunately, there’s a great variety of activities for kids that can make your family’s summer road trip one to remember for all the right reasons.

Here are ten great ways to kill time in the car on family road trips.
  1. License Plates – A time-honored road trip classic, kids can compete to see who can spot license plates from the most different states. An alternative version involves scouting for unusual numbers or for a particular letter. This game has been known to last through several states’ worth of driving.
  2. Road Trip Bingo – You can find cards for this game online with symbols of objects, vehicles, and road signs printed on them for the kids to scout out during family road trips. Play it just like traditional Bingo, marking off each item that’s spotted on the journey, until someone fills a line or the whole card.
  3. I Spy – A more traditional, low-tech version of Road Trip Bingo, this one requires nothing more than sharp eyes. Kids can call out, “I spy a …” and others compete to identify the “target” first. It’s also a good way for the kids to appreciate the scenery as it goes by their windows.
  4. iPod – Of course a good supply of personal tunes can go a long way in keeping the older kids pre-occupied. An mp3 player or cell phone can be just the ticket to make the long stretches on the road go by more quickly.
  5. Unusual Attractions – Whenever and wherever possible, it helps to incorporate some interesting tourist attractions as part of your scheduled route, which will help break up the drive a bit. When planning your trip, check for any roadside oddities along the way that make for fun photo ops, like giant cow sculptures or donut-shaped donut shops.
  6. Video Games – Parents know all too well how much time a kid can kill on those game consoles. Bring along a hand-held device or two to keep them busy. There’s an excellent chance that you won’t hear a peep out of them while driving clear across the country.
  7. DVD’s – If the family vehicle is equipped with a DVD player, you’re way ahead in the battle against boredom. Stock up with a selection of family favorites for viewing on the road and you can kill hours at a time.
  8. Keep a Travel Journal – Encourage the kids to bring along a journal and document their adventures while on vacation. It will do much more than keep them busy, it will preserve some valuable memories for posterity too.
  9. Read – Bring a good book assortment – either the paper or e-book variety – and let your kids get lost in some good literature. Suggest that everyone unplug for a stretch of your trip and just read quietly. Who knows, it could become a habit that extends into everyday life.
  10. Sleep – Some of the more boring stretches of road might provide a good excuse to get some rest and save the kids’ energy for the activities planned at your destination. Kids are a lot less cranky when they've had sufficient
    saves.
Family Car Ideas
Take a Hike .... with the family!

More Family Fun
Games to Play on Road Trips
Hit the road....with family road trip activities.

Share your ideas below! If you have any on your blog, link up and I'll pin some of our favorite post to Pinterest! 
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