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Friday, June 24, 2016

Peanut Butter Pie

I had an easy out for dinner tonight (leftovers!) so I made my husband his favorite pie. This recipe is really easy! You might add extra sugar if you like a sweet peanut butter pie. Chocolate Sauce, Syrup or Shavings are a nice addition to the top of the pie.




Easy and Delicious Peanut Butter Pie

1 premade graham cracker crust- bake according to directions on package.
1 block of Neufchatel Cheese (you can use regular cream cheese) softened.
1 cup of peanut butter, creamy
½ cup of sugar
¾ cup of heavy cream

Mix the peanut butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and heavy cream. Continue mixing for about 3 minutes, until well blended and fluffy.

Add to prebaked pie shell (cooled!) and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Theme Park Thrills Revealed Brought to You By Ebates

This post has been sponsored via product and or money, but you guys know that I am only telling you about this because it is awesome and the thoughts and chit chat are all my own.

The Best Bang for Your Buck. A Comparison of Theme Parks
The Best Bang for Your Buck. A Comparison of Theme Parks Created By: Ebates
Saturday, June 18, 2016

A Life Without Jem Finch

When I was a little girl, I developed a love of reading. I was the lone reader in my family, and I eagerly feasted upon any title that came my way. From magazines to romance novels; if my hands cold open the binding, my brain craved the opportunity. I was reading high school required reading in elementary school, thanks to my older sister. Of all of the books I devoured in my life, none has impacted me like To Kill a Mockingbird did.
I first read the book as a child, in the 6th grade. My sister was required to read To Kill a Mockingbird as a 10th-grade student. I was intrigued by the title as well as the artwork on the paperback novel my sister tossed on the counter with disinterest. I welcomed the challenge of the vocabulary.
When I was a high school student, I frequently would be given the option to pass a title or visit the school library to select one at my reading level. I had read nearly every title we were required to read in the state of Ohio before entering high school. When this title came about, I opted to reread it and complete the project assigned in lieu of the test.
The book touched my heart, it was like poetry for my soul. I liked the book so much I told my parents I lost it so they would pay the damaged/lost fee and I could add it to my collection. I re-read it many times over the years. I encouraged my friends to read the book. I went to book club meetings and dominated the conversations on the title. I joked I may eventually teach a college course on To Kill a Mockingbird.
From those first readings as a 12-year-old child, there was one thing I wanted. I wanted more of To Kill a Mockingbird. Hypothetical conversations like Jeanie in a Bottle: What are your 3 wishes? I wanted more of that book. Throw a coin in a well and make a wish... I want more of that book. Wildest dreams? More of the book!!!
Imagine my bewilderment, my excitement, my dizzying reaction to hearing there was, in fact, more to be had. As a 35-year-old woman, my, however nerdy they may be, Wildest Dreams were coming true. For my birthday that year, a hardback copy of Go Set a Watchman was presented to me. Here, Your Dreams Have Come True. Tread Cautiously.
With my dreams and wishes granted, my hands began to sweat. I wasn’t ready to face the pages of the book. I tucked it on a shelf, resisted peer pressure and pretended nothing had happened. I am skeptical of my dreams coming true. The old adage, Be careful what you wish for flashed before my eyes like a neon sign.
Trying to explain that I was not ready to have my love of Atticus squashed was difficult. How do you explain to someone that Atticus Finch has been your fictional husband for 23 years and you just can’t risk it without sounding like a crazy woman? That is how I felt. It wasn’t until I began to read Go Set a Watchman did I realize maybe Atticus was like my fictional husband when I was filled with hopes and dreams of being a respectable adult, but really, it was Jem Finch that stole my heart as a little girl. To find that Scout had grown up presented new opportunities. I was excited to have a picture painted in my mind of all of the characters I love so dearly again.
My picture of Jem was painted; it crushes me still. That cute little southern boy that enacted epic tales with his sister and Dill, that boy that had his arm badly broken at the elbow when he was nearly 13; that boy that inspired my love of southern accents grows into a man to fall dead on a sidewalk.
Immediately I was faced with a reality I am still not ready for. I was to go through the rest of my days, living a life with no Jem Finch.
I get it, I really do. Jem Finch isn’t a real person in my life. I don’t need a fictional husband as an adult. I have an awesome real-life spouse.
The book that tells the story of Jem and Scout as children had taken place before I was even a thought in the mind of a living person. By the time I had my heart stolen by both Jem and Atticus, had they been real people, they would have both been elderly men. But, in the imagination of a child and again in the imagination of a woman, both were real people that shaped so many parts of my life. From what I named my children to my views on racial equality, before I even knew what that truly was. I looked for qualities that both of these characters possessed when I chose my own honorable, intelligent husband that oozes boyish charm.
I have to admit, I didn’t finish Go Set a Watchman. I closed the book with a few pages to go. I tucked it back onto the shelf with a heavy heart. I couldn’t have the closure of finishing it. I felt the reality of adulthood slap me in my face. Sometimes your dreams do come true and you discover that you have had your heart stomped on in the process.
As I try to come to terms with living a life where there is No Jem Finch, I realize, maybe the contents of the book that made me feel like my heart had been broken by my heroine wasn’t important. What was important is that someone knew enough to save her first attempts at an epic story. What is important is that Go Set a Watchman reminded me of how much I love To Kill a Mockingbird, and why I have historically loved this book.
I am eventually going to read Go Set a Watchman in its entirety. I initially planned to wait until my heart was ready to face the absence of Jem Finch in print and imagination. Now I know that when the time is right, and I am ready to say goodbye to Jem, that I will thank Harper Lee, where ever she may be, for opening up a new world to me where there will always be a southern boy that is fascinated by football magazines and that loses his pants on a fence on a summer’s night; there will always be a boy that takes me back to the days when I was a carefree student, devouring literature and indulging my imagination for discovering the world. In that world of my imagination, there will always be a girl that reminds me a little of myself as a child. There will always be a man that will fight a losing battle for his children. All I need to do is open the pages of a book and I will be transported back to these characters I love so dearly.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Irresistible Me; Irresistible Wand

This conversation has been sponsored either in product or payment but all opinions and chit chat are my own.

Sometimes I hang around the house in leggings and a t shirt. Sometimes I get all dolled up and remind my husband of the lovely lady that he married, before we became Mom and Dad. Lately, I have been paying so much attention to my hair! It is hard not to get all wrapped up in hair styling when you have a Sapphire curling wand from Irresistible Me at your fingertips.

This is maybe the best curling wand ever. It is by far the most impressive unit I have ever used. My basic little wand can never satisfy my hair care needs now after bring introduced to the Sapphire Wand. Let me tell you why this product has become my go to hair styling tool.



First, it is just lovely to look at. Compared to other wands I have had, the color of this one alone is eye catching. Second, this wand is a complete tool for my life. It isn't just a one size fits all kind of barrel for the wand. There are 8- yes, you read that right- 8 attachments for this wand to give you flexibility in achieving the styles of your dreams.

I am really crazy for the roll that all attachments fit into. It makes keeping my hair styling tools orderly and contained for easy access when I am ready to style. No longer do I have to sift through cords and various different models of products to find what I need. Changing up my hair style is now as easy as picking a wand attachment and going with it.





I love that the wand indicates when it is ready to be used and that you can adjust the temperature setting if you wish. This is a big bonus for me. It makes using this Curling Wand from Irresistible Me a breeze.

Additionally, the included glove which protects my wrist is pretty amazing. I love that not only does this company want you to have gorgeous, irresistible hair, but they want to keep your hands and wrist safe from those occasional accidents that could happen when using a hot appliance.

While the unit is pricey, retailing at about $200, really it is like, an investment in quality hair styling products that will change with your style over the years. The unit is easy to operate and offers women a whole new level of styling at home.

I have been messing around with all of the attachments in my spare time. Lucky for you, I am going to be back again next week to share a few hairstyles with you that I created with my Irresistible Me Sapphire Curling Wand. Stay tuned for a glimpse of my hair!


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Perfect Dish for Summer Sauteed Corn and Squash

Sauteed corn and squash makes for the perfect addition to any summer meal. It is delicious enough to make a meal on its own! Made with fresh and simple ingredients, this dish comes together in a matter of moments and is going to get rave reviews from anyone that samples it!



Summer is here you guys! I have never been so happy to hit the farmers market! After a long winter with access to a sad selection of fresh veggies, to see food grown with care and pride inspired my stomach and my menu planning.



I made the easiest dish for dinner last Sunday. It was a lazy summer day. The kids had been playing outside most of the day and I turned to my farmers market finds to create dinner. This recipe is so easy you guys it makes only 3 ingredients and the prep time is minimal, so you can spend more time making summer memories.



Chefs notes:
Use real butter. Butter is something that should not be sacrificed in any kitchen. I firmly believe that using butter to cook is healthier than turning to some scientifically created food like substance. Butter- just do it guys. 

At the last moment, I tossed roughly chopped fresh parsley into the veggie mix to add a splash of green and a little extra flavor. This is optional



Ingredients

1 yellow squash
2 ears of corn on the cob
2 tablespoons of real butter
parsley to taste (optional)


Directions

Shuck your ears of corn 
Cut the corn from the cob
Chop the squash into chunks
Heat a skillet at a a medium heat setting
Add butter
Add corn and squash
Add parsley if desired
Sautee for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. When your squash is tender you can remove from the heat and serve.



I served this along with garlic roasted asparagus for a delicious dinner that was extremely delicious and healthy. It offered a colorful plate packed with summer veggies! This is one of the many ways we love to enjoy summer squash.




 I would love to hear how you enjoy summer squash!


This dinner was so economical. It is one of the many examples of the reality that you can eat wholesome and healthy foods even on the tightest of budgets.  I always hear people claim that it costs too much to eat healthy. Recipes like this dispell that myth. While I didn't add meat to the meal- you could easily do so if you desired.

Summer squash {1/3 of a pound} In stores squash sells for $.99 to $1.59 a pound in my area. I paid 50 cents for the squash at my farmers market.
Corn was on sale for 12 cents an ear. I used 2 ears for a total of 24 cents.
Figuring butter into the equation would be about 15 cents for the amount used in this recipe.
Asparagus was on sale for $1.49 a pound. I used 1/2 a pound with this meal for .75 .

Seriously, this was one of the best dinners I have eaten in a week and I served this to 2 adults for a total of $1.64. We both left dinner incredibly satisfied. This is a completely healthy dinner that is budget friendly for proof that eating healthy is not as expensive as everyone wants you to believe.

You might also like this Easy Berry Parfait Recipe for a quick and scrumptious dessert!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Huggies Little Snugglers Special Savings at Sam's Club #SecondHug


Harper is learning to use the potty, but she is only 2, and her enthusiasm waivers at times. Life moves pretty fast when you are a 2-year-old with an entire universe to discover! With that in mind, you will understand why we haven't completely made the move to training pants exclusively. If we are on the road or if it is bedtime, we turn to a trusted friend, Huggies Little Snugglers, to keep her comfortable and dry. Potty training is an adventure, with many pit stops along the path. I know that as she grows and understands the cues her little body gives her that she will master the task like a champ!

When we are traveling by car and at bedtime, we turn to Huggies Little Snugglers, a brand we know well and trust to provide our little snuggler with a #SecondHug. There is no better time to try this brand if you haven't already. Let me tell you why:


If you buy any two packages of Little Snugglers diapers and/or Natural Care wipes between 5/9/16-6/30/16, and snap a photo of your receipt and email/text it to Huggies@ by 7/15/16. You will receive a code and instructions within minutes to get your $10 Sam’s Club e-gift card. Talk about instant gratification!



Being a Sam's Club member certainly has its perks with special saving events like that! Diapering is expensive, but smart shopping pays off, with $10 e gift cards!



I love that Little Snugglers are available in a sizes from 3-5 to fit growing babies who need strong yet gentle protection from leaks and wetness. Pairing Little Snugglers with Huggies Natural Care Wipes is a great way to protect the delicate skin of our child.

Don't wait, if you need diapers, and face it, we always need diapers, this is the time to stock up and earn those $10 e gift cards!
Thursday, June 9, 2016

Making Home Smell Divine With Gel Esscents

This conversation has been sponsored either with product or payment, but the opinions and chit chat are all my own.

It seems like between the smells that come with kids, pets and cooking my house can take on some funky odors! If it isn't the smell of onion sauteeing or the smell that arrives after a child comes home from sports practice sweaty, things can get... interesting in the department of aroma in no time!

I am not a fan of aerosol air freshening products. I also don't dig incense. I love to melt tarts, but since moving last year, I have had to give that luxury up. There is not a single outlet in this house that is safe for my warmer with the kids grabbing at any and every thing!

I was ready to throw in the towel and admit defeat against odor. I mean really, what can a woman do? Opening windows is great when the season allows, but there are some odors that want to linger. Then I got to sample a few of the luscious fragrances that Gel Esscents has to offer.




First, you can use this in an electric warmer or you can use this product in a tealight burner like I did. Both offer great results. Second, gel is such a better option because you don't have to chip at hardened wax and the gel comes out of the packaging easily and it comes out of the warmer or burner easily.


The first day I used Gel Esscents, I honestly didn't think the melts were working. I had been hanging out working in my dining room and lit the tea light in that room. When I dashed up stairs and back down, the aroma I couldn't detect earlier was in the air and it was amazing. It was Beach Linen scent and it smelled divine.

I used 8 tealights, an entire box and the fragrance was still going strong, which is impressive. Finally I pulled the gel out and switched for another scent, this time Green Tea and Lemongrass. Again, it was nothing short of incredible smelling. Again, I used 8 tealights and the gel still had a strong fragrance. These little squares of fragranced gel are nothing short of awesome. They are long lasting in ways no other product I used in the past could hope to be.

If you are looking for a great home fragrance product, I highly recommend Gel Esscents. The 5 fragrances I tried were great, they have made my house smell divine, no matter what odor might be lurking from kids, animals or cooking! Connect with Gel Esscents to learn more or to order.




Wednesday, June 8, 2016

New Adventure With Harper As We #TrainTogether




You guys, can you believe my little Harper is 2 already?! It has gone by so fast. It seems like one day she was my crazy haired baby and then I blinked. Now she is a gorgeous little girl with long blond hair and a laugh that could be argued as one of the most delightful sounds anyone has ever heard. As she is growing from a baby to a preschooler, her interest in using the potty has as well.

This has been completely amazing to me, as her older brother had no interest in potty training at the age of 2. I am thrilled to embark on this journey in Potty Training with Harper, as she is an eager traveler who thinks wearing Pull Ups is pretty cool!




Pull Ups has offered me a partnership to take the guess work out of training my little girl to use the potty. This is a fantastic resource for parents and children that are embarking on the journey of using the potty.

Let me Tell You About the Pull-Ups® Potty Partnership:
The Pull-Ups® Potty Partnership is a personalized, comprehensive program that is tailored to work with your child’s unique personality, on their schedule and according to how they learn. The key to success in potty training is working with your child’s personality, not against it.



Pull Ups are a great option for families that shop at Sam's Club because they are available in huge packs at big savings! While you are at Sam's Club make sure you get Cottonelle Fresh Care Cleaning Wipes to help your potty trainer effectively clean themselves up before that victorious flush of the potty!


I highly recommend that  any potty raining family  try Pull-Ups® and Cottonelle® FreshCare® for themselves. You can visit your local Sam’s Club® and purchase any two Pull-Ups® Training Pants and/or Cottonelle® Fresh Care® Flushable Cleansing Cloths between 5/31-6/30/16 to receive a $10 Sam’s Club e-Gift Card. As a bonus make sure you visit the sweepstakes landing page where you can enter to win a $500 Sam’s Club® gift card just by uploading a family photo!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Updating My Studio Space With MyLoViews

This conversation was sponsored, but the chit chat, opinions, and views ring true regardless. I only endorse products I think you will want to know about.

As a writer and a digital influencer, I am constantly looking for ways to engage with my awesome audience and to appeal to new fans too. Earlier this year I set goals and have been pouring hours each week into learning, improving and growing. I realized that the weakest link of my game plan lied within my photos. I couldn’t tell you why I had never applied any effort to making my photos look awesome; I guess it was one of those things I always planned to get to later.


After 5 years or so, I realized that if I didn’t work on this photo situation, it couldn’t possibly get better. One rainy weekend, with a well-laid plan I set out for a big name home improvement store with a detailed supply list and a course of action; eye-catching photos were in my future. I am a semi DIY kinda chick after all. I left the store disappointed. 3 hours in store and countless trips to one side then the other, repeat. I conversed with 13 employees who all told me what I wanted, what was advertised in the flyer and online, simply didn't exist. I came home with squares of plywood; so not what I wanted. My DIY backdrop dreams were not being fulfilled.


I made do. My photos got a little better. I felt okay with the quality, but not satisfied. A few weeks later, a company called MyLoView contacted me to feature one of their wall murals and it was like a light clicked on in my head. This was the solution I needed to make my photos better. Bloggers, photographers, anyone needing to make their space a little more beautiful, take note. This is a game changer in making your space look awesome and your photos pop with a signature look.


I selected a mural from MyLoView and measured the wall I wanted to apply it to. I sent all of this info over to the customer service agent, who helped me select the best finish for my purpose and a few weeks later, a stunning wall mural arrived at my door.






My husband applied the mural, which arrived in 2 pieces to my studio wall and I was in business. This was easily applied for a great look. It literally only took him a few moments and he didn’t require assistance from me to complete the process. The black brick design I selected was ideal for my photos, it eliminated a lot of my shadow issues as I am still working with my lighting set up. The mural looks fabulous. I am overly happy with the way it looks on my walls.


I think that this is one of those ideas that anyone who wants to make their space look great or anyone that takes photos should consider, in a matter of moments, you can truly transform any wall in your home or office to make a statement or to complete a signature look.



The selection offered by MyLoView is impressive, to say the least. Deciding on one wall mural was easier said than done. So many backgrounds would have looked great in my photos.


If you need to make your space look new and improved or better, if you are looking to make an affordable decor update or if you need a solution for your blog or social media photos- hop on over to check out the offerings from MyLoView you will definitely find a few options that you are going to adore!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Makeup for Busy Moms

This conversation has been sponsored, via product or payment but all opinions, chit chat and ideas are my own.


As a busy mom, sometimes I feel like I have to sacrifice sometimes. You know the joke, 'It's the house or me. We both can't look good at the same time.' That rings entirely too true in my life some days. As an example, last week when I attempted to style my hair my sweet little 2 year old climbed atop a counter and found a bottle of honey in a cabinet... I might have looked halfway human after 5 minutes with my curling wand, but my house was an entirely different and sticky situation.





When it comes to my makeup routine, time is always of the essence. With active little movers and shakers in the house and limited patience, I need products that make my skin look amazing without requiring a detailed regimen. I am kind of a wham, bam, thank you ma'am kind of woman. Not that I wouldn't love to devote 30 minutes to getting ready for the day, but life moves fast.

Mineral Hygienics is my go to makeup these days. Not only is it a matter of steps for a polished look, but geez you guys. Have you ever tried this stuff? It is incredible. Let me tell you why.


I have fair skin. I burn fairly easy for a few weeks in the spring and early summer, but then I am fortunate to develop a nice tan. However, it doesn't seem that I tan evenly. My high cheekbones generally catch all of the rays. My skin tone looks a little blotchy and uneven at times.

With 2 shades of Mineral Hygienics, I can even out my skin tone. I love that these are natural products and even better- for my high cheekbones- this makeup offers natural, chemical-free protection from the sun and those damaging rays!

After adding my foundation tones in the appropriate places, I follow up with a cool mineral enhancer, which adds a pop of pretty color to my cheeks. A quick brush with silk translucent and my face is silky, even looking and picture perfect.

Even on the busiest of days, this is a few moments I can spare for myself. As a mother, I feel it is important to look and feel confident. While sometimes it is nearly impossible to get yourself dressed and get your makeup on, it really makes a difference in how we feel as mothers. When I am dressed in a nice outfit and I get a little dolled up, my attitude is positively impacted. I feel like I can face the world.

If you are a busy woman, this is one makeup brand I insist you try. After receiving my starter kit, I tossed all of my other foundations. I finally found the perfect one for my skin.

Want to give this makeup a try? Why not apply coupon code SILLYSARA to your order?





Friday, June 3, 2016

Luvs is Offering Sweet Savings for Parents

This conversation has been sponsored, but I only endorse brands that I use, like and believe will resonate with you guys!

After 6+ years of diaper duty, I am quite experienced and in the know about everything diapers!! Whenever one of my friends or relatives is expecting, I offer 2 bits of unsolicited advice. The first is to stock up on wipes now. Just start buying them by the case, because goodness, you will use about 9.8 million wipes as your baby grows! The second bit of advice I offer is to buy a good quality diaper at a good price.  Luv's is the brand I always recommend to other parents.


There’s no way around it, parenting is expensive! But Luvs is offering great money-saving opportunities for parents with little ones. Here’s how to save:

Visit http://www.coupons.com/brands/luvs-coupons/ to access a Luvs coupon of $2 off any one diaper pack. Print the coupon at home and use it at any mass, discount or grocery stores where Luvs Diapers are sold.

Download the free Ibotta app, available on iOS and Android, and search “Luvs” to unlock an exclusive $3 rebate:

Now is a great time to try the Luv's brand! Especially considering this budget friendly product is packing an even bigger punch in terms of savings! Knocking $2 off the total of your diapers is no joke! Adding an extra $3 rebate into the equation makes the savings even sweeter!

With large stretch tabs, ultra-leakage protection, a money-back guarantee and multiple high-value coupon offers, Luvs with NightLock provides high-quality features for less cost than premium brands.

Something that we have always loved about Luvs as a family is that the diapers seem to be cut just a touch wider than other brands. This might seem insignificant, but it is anything but that. It is actually incredible for parents. Think about this.... with a little wider cut, your child doesn't need to go up a size as soon as you might with other brands. As an example, my 2 year old is ready to potty train. We are working on using the 'big girl potty' but she still has accidents at night, instead of shelling out more money on night time pants, we use Luvs at bedtime. The last time we used a competitve brand, I had to buy her a size 5 to accomodate her, but the diapers were a little big. She needs a size 4 in Luvs for a perfect fit. This is great because as you know or will discover as the diapers get bigger, the quantity is smaller per package.

Experienced moms know that there is no need to spend extra money on diapers, Luvs has baby and your budget covered with a great product at a great price.

Because I want to see your diaper budget go as far as it can, I have teamed up with my sponsor to bring you the chance to win a $100 American Express card!! This giveaway is in no way sponsored by or endorsed by any social media network or third party app. To win, you have to be 18 or older and reside in the USA.
Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Donut Balls

Sometimes you want something incredible for dessert, but who has time to whip up something from scratch and then bake something?! I mean it is summer. Why heat up the house when you can create these sweet, easy and pretty little treats in no time at all.




These were a huge hit with my family. My husband could not believe I made these with store bought ingredients. I will definitely be making these again- in different flavor combinations for sure!

Donut Balls

Ingredients:

1 box of donut holes (about 30) I used glazed original
1 tub of Cool Whip, thawed SAVE the CONTAINER! YOU will use it again!
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon of milk
1 box of instant pudding mix I used French Vanilla 

Instructions:

Mix the milk and the pudding mix, it will be kind of like a blob of pudding. 

Add the Cool Whip and blend well. I used a low setting on a hand mixer and mixed for a minute or so. 
Return the pudding mixture to the Cool Whip container and place it in the freezer for 10-20 minutes.
Make a thin slice on one side of the donut hole.
Then slice in half. 
The slice that is cut on both sides becomes the bottom, separate the 'tops' and 'bottoms'. 
Repeat until all donut holes are ready.
Remove the mixture from the freezer, place a dollop on the 'bottom' section of the donut hole, gently pressing the 'top' section on the pudding mixture.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

These are pretty , easy and delicious!
Next time I will try chocolate pudding and donuts!

You might also enjoy this easy Berry Vanilla Parfait Recipe!


Thursday, June 2, 2016

Berry Vanilla Parfaits {Easy Patriotic Parfaits}

This easy recipe requires no baking and is a perfect sweet treat with berries, sponge cake and ice cream. So easy to assemble anyone can make this scrumptious dessert that combines 5 simple ingredients.



Unless you spend time in my company on holidays, you wouldn't know this secret fact me. On a holiday, I take a nap! I feel drained after all of the preparations usually and my husband is home on every holiday known to mankind, {hooray!} so there is an able bodied adult to keep our little ones happy.

On Memorial Day, I really wanted to have a nap. I shooed the family out the door for a round of frisbee golf and the house was quiet. As I looked around, I realized it was now or never. I attacked the closets, the massive amount of blankets and the aftermath of a what feels like a constant toy tornado with a vengeance. I folded laundry, sorted out items we no longer need for donation and tidied up my office/studio.

As I smiled and surveyed my impromptu cleaning spree I realized I had not made dessert, and my family had let me know several times they wanted cake. Luckily I had 3 slices of sponge cake left over from a recipe I made a few days prior and a few other simple ingredients on hand.



Ingredients
1 pint of strawberries, cleaned, destemmed sliced
1 pint of blackberries, cleaned
1/4 cup of white sugar
Vanilla Bean ice cream
3 x 2" thick slices of sponge cake, cut into 1" cubes
1/4 cup of water


Directions
Add your strawberry slices and blackberries together in a bowl
Add 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of water. Gently stir.
Layer 3 or 4 cake cubes into a pretty glass or parfait bowl
Add 2 small scoops of ice cream {I used a cookie dough scoop for the perfect size}
Spoon berries and a little of the sugar water/ juice mixture over the cake cubes and ice cream
Add 2 more cake cubes to the glass
Serve immediately as the cake will get saturated with the liquid for a delicious flavor infusion
Repeat until the ingredients are depleted.

This recipe will serve 6.


This was the perfect easy patriotic parfait to make for Memorial Day. I will definitely be serving this to guests on the 4th of July and Labor Day as well! Actually, strike that, this is going to be one of those easy recipes for the hot summer months that I add into my rotation without a doubt!

What is your favorite no bake dessert recipe to serve in the summer months?

You might also enjoy this Fruity Waffle Recipe made with Gerber Baby Food.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

My New Favorite Wipes: Bloom Baby

If there is one thing in regards to parenting that I am practically an expert on, it is diapering! I have wiped a baby's bottom thousands of times now. Early in the morning, in the middle of the night, in weird places like the trunk of my car and just about in every situation one can imagine.

I thought I had used every brand of wipes under the sun, but recently I had the chance to try out Bloom Baby Wipes, which was a new to me brand.

We usually use a name brand Giant. I had no complaints because they stacked up well against the other options I always saw in stores.

Then Bloom baby enters the picture. I admit, I am usually skeptical of... well, everything. I am a creature of habit on some things. I buy what works best for my family on our budget. I don't bend to save money, I don't compromise at the pressure of advertising and media influence.

So, when a box of Bloom arrived for my family to test out. I thought, well... I can always use them for hands and faces.

See, creature of habit. I had decided before using them that they were not going to be the same as my standard option in wipes. But, I am fair. I had every intention of trying them. I also had no intention of changing the brand on my shopping list.


Upon opening the package, I thought the wipes looked thin. They were fragrance free. Immediately I noticed how much bigger these wipes are than my standard brand. I also nodded in approval at the generous size package. I usually get 56 wipes per pack... 80 wipes is quite a few more diaper changes and general wipe downs per pack.

When the time came to change Harp's booty, I grabbed the Bloom wipes. To my pleasant surprise, these wipes cleaned BETTER than what I use! I used fewer wipes. 

The true test of if a baby product can get my thumbs up is how it is on Harps skin. I have to be careful of what diapering, wiping and bathing products I use with her as she is prone to get a rash upon any change in routines. 



Bloom Baby Jumbo Wipes were gentle on Harp's skin. They cleaned all of the messes that come with kids like a dream with fewer wipes than the national brand that I formerly used. I was so happy with Bloom Baby Wipes after using one case of them that I made a trip into Sam's in a neighboring city to pick up another case. Now, that tells you this is a good product if I am willing to go out of town to buy it when I need it!

Any parent or caregiver will want to learn more about Bloom. They are safe for baby and made with 99% natural ingredients, they clean exceptionally well. We are definitely going to keep using Bloom, long after the diapering years.