Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Rice Krispie Nests with Kendra from The Things I Love Most

I am so happy to welcome Kendra from The Things I Love the Most to share her Easter Rice Krispie Nests with you today. Check out her blog for some awesome posts on food, and homeschooling! I especially love this post where she breaks down what a day of homeschooling looks like for them.

My name is Kendra and I blog over at The Things I Love Most.  I am a stay at home mom that loves to blog about the things that I love. You will see all sorts of posts on this blog from exercising and fitness to food and budgeting to homeschooling and religion. I have a wonderful husband & five beautiful kids that I love so much!! You can read more from me here or follow me on facebook here!

With Easter coming up I wanted to make a yummy treat for my family party!  I am a lover of all things chocolate, and Cadbury eggs never disappoint. My husband is a big time Rice Krispy fan.   So together we came up with this fun recipe to combine our favorite treats into one!

First off to start you have to have some really cute helpers like this one...

Easter Rice Krispie Nests


  • 1 bag of marshmallows
  • 3 T butter
  • 1/2 Vanilla
  • 1 brick of White Almond Bark {melted}
  • 1 bag Coconut
  • 1 bag of favorite egg shaped candy {Cadbury Mini Eggs, Reese's Eggs or Jelly Beans}
Color 1 bag of coconut with green food coloring by squirting 3-4 squirts of food coloring into it and mixing it with a fork...
Make Rice Krispies as directed on the back of the Marshmallow bag.
1 Bag marshmallows
3 T Butter
1/2 t Vanilla

Melt butter and then add marshmallow, melt for 40 seconds increments until marshmallows are all melted.  Add vanilla.  Pour over Rice Krispies and stir....{with all 3 of your kids helping you!}
Spoon Rice Krispie Treat mixture into muffin tin or mini muffin tin {we did some of each}  Put in freezer for 2-3 minutes to set up and cool off.
Melt White Chocolate Almond Bark in microwave for 30 second intervals until melted.  Drizzle chocolate on top of "nest".
Quickly put on coconut and eggs.  You may need to dip the bottom of the eggs in chocolate to get it to stick on top of the coconut.
I hope you enjoy this yummy treat, and have a wonderful Easter!  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Smore's Cupcakes and Recovered Lampshades- You're Invited Link Up Party

Another week has come and gone which means that we get to start a new link party! Of course we had fun looking through all of the projects that were linked up last week. Thanks to everyone that participated and we really hope that you will link up again this week! The features for this week were picked by Jonie from Just Between Friends. You're invited header 2 Things have been busy over at my house, but we have been having fun getting ready for Easter. We LOVE bunnies at our house so of course that means that we needed some bunny projects over on the blog. I made a bunny decoration for my mantle, and I also tried my hand at amigurumi for the first time to make my daughter a little bunny. Easter stuff
Now on to the features! I really had fun picking them this week. Click the links below the pictures to be taken to the tutorials for each. Don't these all look amazing?! Link party features 2  
Now on to this week's party! We would love fro you to link up any projects that you have been working on.
You're Invited Invitation & Rules

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Beautiful Turkish Jewelry with Hande Made It- A giveaway

One of my very favorite things to do in my spare time is peruse Etsy for fantastic handmade gifts and jewelry. I love the unique flair these artists can bring to the table and I love supporting small businesses. One of my favorite recent discoveries is Hande Made It, a jewelry shop, full of bright colors and ethnic pieces. 
 The shop owner, Hande, is from Istanbul, Turkey. While study here in Colorado, Hande discovered ETSY and was able to fulfill a childhood dream of having a handmade shop.

One of the things that sets Hande Made It apart from other ETSY shops is their beautiful Evil Eye pieces. The Evil Eye charm is deeply rooted in Turkish culture and the neon colors found in the shop are Hande's own style. The Evil Eye charms were first created to stare back at the eyes of harm and is meant to protect and bring prosperity to the wearer. All of the colors in the bracelet have certain meanings:

  • Turquoise: warding off evil eye, protection
  • Blue: protection, good fortune, peace, truth
  • Green: life, virtue
  • Yellow: hope, joy, happiness
  • Orange: warmth, energy, balance
  • Red: energy, strength, passion
  • Pink: romance, love, emotional healing
  • Purple: spiritual power
  • Indigo: third eye, balance
  • Black: repelling negativity
  • White: purity, holiness

My absolute favorite piece is the Evil Eye. While the Evil Eye is deeply rooted in Turkish culture, it reminds me of our time living on the border in Texas. We often had people graciously offer to ward off evil for us and wearing this bracelet reminds me of that time. These pieces are bright, colorful and have held up really well to wearing.
Hande has graciously agreed to allow one of you to win some pieces from the shop! Use the rafflecopter below to enter for your chance to win a $20 giftcard!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Four Easy Steps To Organize Your Photos with Adrian of Adrian's Crazy Life

Today I am thrilled to welcome Adrian from Adrian's Crazy Life to share some of your tips for organizing her photos. Check out her blog for some fantastic posts on organizing, parenting and finances. I personally love this piece about 10 life hacks she has discovered for her life. So leave her some comment love and check out her blog for some more fantastic posts. 

Photo credit
A while back when my husband and sons were off camping, I took advantage of a rare weekend alone to tackle a big project I'd been putting off for a looong time - organizing my zillions of pictures!

Normally, I would advise someone to tackle a project like this in stages, but I know myself and I also know that with a tedious job like this, my best bet is to do it in one large chunk because otherwise I can let a project like this drag out for weeks, or months, or years...

In my house, photos and other personal mementos are probably my largest source of clutter. I'm pretty sentimental and we have lost pretty much all of our older relatives so these items are the only things I have to remember them by.  That makes them especially precious to me, so I am willing to take the time to organize them properly.  

It is a LOT of stuff and it takes up a fair amount of space in my house. However, since it is so important to me, I am willing to forgo other types of clutter to make room for it. 

I keep it all in a large cedar chest and three large Rubbermaid tubs that fit neatly into the closets in several rooms. So, even though it is technically clutter, it is fairly neat and organized clutter.  It is also well-protected from dust, water damage, and bugs.  

So, it's a big, ugly job, but I'm definitely off to a good start. First I got all of our older pictures out of those old-style magnetic albums that were ruining them. That was a heck of a job right there, I'll tell you!  PS:  Dental floss is very helpful for gently peeling pictures off those old magnetic pages.

My best tip is to send them all off for professional scanning. There are lots of companies that do this and it's more affordable than you think.  I've used and and was happy with both of them.  You never know when a fire or a flood might damage all those irreplaceable paper photos.  I'm also a digital scrapbooker, so I love having access to all these older pictures in digital form.  

Step one - Get rid of of all the negatives and throw away all the paper envelopes that were taking up a lot of room. Yes, I hear you gasp, but I know perfectly well that I'd never go back and go to all the trouble of figuring out negatives to get reprints of anything made from them. Even though the quality isn't perfect - scanned copies are much more useful these days than negatives.  And besides, the last thing I want is MORE paper pictures, so I felt comfortable in decluttering them.

Step two - get rid of the darn duplicates! Lord in heaven, who ever came up with that particular marketing scheme? I had 4 or 5 copies of some pictures - ugh. And don't get me started on all those dozens of little wallet sized school pictures we'd amassed over 25 years of school pictures. While you're at it, get rid of the blurry shots, multiple shots of basically the same scene, and just plain bad photos.  

Step three - sorting the pictures is the biggest job. The first thing you have to do is decide - Do you sort by event, by date, or by who is in the picture?  Some people are real sticklers for sorting things in date order, but that isn't all that relevant for me, so I went with who is in the picture instead.  I settled on a few basic categories:
 - Immediate family
 - Extended family and friends
 - Pets
 - Pictures of "stuff" or places like the zoo
 - Everything else

My husband loves to take pictures of "stuff" - animals at the zoo, fancy cars at car shows, sunsets, flowers, you name it. My policy is that if it doesn't have a picture of my kids in it, I'm not all that interested. But they are his and he loves them, so they can live in their own little section.  

Step four - this is more of a long-term project.  Get them into albums, scrapbooks, frames, etc.  What is the point of keeping all these pictures if you aren't going to do something useful with them?  

So the basic strategy is this:

 - Determine your priorities and set aside some time
 - Choose a storage method that works.  Safe from damage, easy to get to, out of the way of daily life.  
 - Pick an photo organizing scheme that makes sense to you and implement it  
 - Find the treasures and get them out in the open.  Scrapbook, albumize, or create a great photo collage of the memorable, meaningful pictures you love.  

What are your best tips for organizing your photos?
Adrian of is the mother of three mostly grown sons.  She is also a decluttering expert who has worked in the financial industry for more than 20 years.  She shares her wisdom on organzing, parenting of teens/tweens, personal finance, and many other topics on her blog  Stop by to pick up some new ideas. 

Sophie La Girafe and $500 Amazon Giftcard Giveaway!

Welcome to the Sophie la giraffe Board Books Giveaway! Hosted by Thrifty Nifty Mommy & Viva Veltoro and sponsored by DK Publishing!
With more than fifty million sold, Sophie la girafe, the wildly popular toy from France, is a fixture in nurseries all over the world. A favorite among moms, Sophie la girafe is a popular shower gift, and has garnered praise from parents everywhere. Now comes the first ever licensed Sophie la girafe books— the perfect accompaniment to the winsome toy!

Baby Touch and Feel: Sophie la girafe: Sophie’s Busy Day
Babies will love exploring and discovering different textures—from bumpy, scaly, sticky, and shiny—as Sophie la girafe interacts with them on the page, making this a perfect way for encouraging tiny fingers to explore and young minds to develop.
Baby: Sophie la girafe: Colors

Packed with bright, lively pictures, and large, simple text, all the colors of the rainbow come alive in this board book. An ideal gift for new parents, this book will stimulate children’s recognition of objects, as well as encourage talking and naming skills.
Peekaboo! Sophie la girafe: Peekaboo Sophie!
With fun flaps that open to reveal colorful pictures of Sophie la girafe and her friends, Peekaboo! Sophie la girafe: Peekaboo Sophie! invites children to their favorite game of peekaboo with baby-appropriate touch-and-feel elements, and large appealing flaps for little hands to flip.
My First: Sophie la girafe: Let’s Get Counting
In this colorful board book, babies will be introduced to the world of numbers and counting, filled 
with bright, playful images of Sophie and her pals Gabin, Josephine, Kiwi, Lazare, and Margot.
Baby: Sophie la girafe: First Words
Packed with bright, lively illustrations and large, simple text, babies can discover the world around them. An ideal gift for new parents, this book will stimulate children's recognition of objects, as well as encourage talking and naming skills.
Sophie La Girafe: Touch and Feel
Meet Sophie, everybody's favorite French giraffe, and all of her friends — Gabin, Josephine, Kiwi, Lazare, and Margot, in this delightful new board book.
We're giving you the chance to win the complete Sophie la girafe series. 10 winners will be selected to receive a copy of each of the six featured books. One grand prize winner will also receive a $500 Amazon gift card!

This giveaway is open to residents of the US who are 18 years of age or older. Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EDT 4/29/13. Enter using the Giveaway Tools entry form below. Good luck!
Disclosures: Thrifty Nifty Mommy, Viva Veltoro, and the participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfilment. I have not been compensated for sharing this giveaway. Sophie la girafe: ©Sophie la girafe. Modèle déposé / Design patent
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Monday, April 14, 2014

Getting To Know You Questions with Tony's Pizza

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Tony’s Pizza, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #tonyspizzeria”
My absolute favorite weekend activity is to have a pizza and game night with friends. There are few things better than good friends, fun and good food. We especially love this kind of date night when we are just getting to know another couple. It is low pressure and with Tony's Pizza from Walmart, it is easy to throw together. 

My only complaint is that sometimes when you are playing intense boards games, all you really learn about a person is whether or not they are good at Risk. I created this fun set of 50 questions to go through, while we are eating to help us all get to know each other a little better. I have actually started leaving the questions on our dinner table for nightly conversations because I love learning more about my family and the jar is cute too! 

Question Jar

 You will need:
  • a glass jar with lid
  • a glass candlestick holder
  • wooden knob
  • hot glue
  • spray paint
  • a printout of the 50 "Getting To Know You" questions
  • chalkboard label and chalk
  • The Tony's 75 cents off two pizza coupon (while supplies last), to help you buy pizzas for your own get together. 

Print out the questions for your jar, found here. I have found that it works best to print the questions on card stock, so they are a little sturdier and last longer. Cut apart each of the questions and fold in half and add them to the jar.

Hot glue the wooden knob to the top of the jar lid. Spray paint both the lid and the candlestick in the color of your choice. My candlestick needed two coats of spray paint before it looked just the way I wanted it to.

Add the chalkboard label to the side of the jar. Prep the label by drawing all over it with chalk. Wipe it clean and add the title.

We usually pull out the questions as an ice breaker and as a good game to play while we eat, because not everyone has to be actively involved at once.

We used to buy Tony's Pizza all the time, but we haven't purchased them in awhile. I was pleasantly surprised at the new and delicious changes they have made to their recipe. The crust is crisper and the other ingredients are delicious as well. My 5-year-old ate half a pizza all by herself. The pizza was perfect for our game night – no running out just before our guests got there to pick up the pizza and no tipping a delivery man. It made the whole night go smoother to be prepared beforehand.

What games would you play while enjoying your Tony's Pizza?
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Giveaway: KitchenAid Mixer

There are few things more essential to a cook who loves to bake than a great stand mixer. Kitchen Aids are so incredible that my sister who decorates cakes actually has two! Today I’ve teamed up with a few of my favorite blog buddies to bring one of these amazing mixers to you one of you!

This giveaway is brought to you by the 10 amazing bloggers pictued above. You can check out all of their blogs by clicking on their photos. Then enter for you chance to win a KitchenAid 5qt mixer of your very own!
Entering is super simple. Just follow the instructions on the rafflecopter below! The giveaway will run from now until Friday at midnight. You have lots of entries which means you chances of winning are kind of awesome! I hope one of you win & just know that my fingers are crossed for you! Giveaway available to U.S. Residents 18 years and older.
// a Rafflecopter giveaway
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