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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The School Run Survival Guide

All parents know about the horrors of the school run. For some reason, as soon as it’s time to leave the house, your kids completely forget how to dress themselves and eat breakfast and some of them seem to disappear completely. By the time you manage to get them into the car, you’re already running late and they’re all screaming and fighting in the back. It’s like running the gauntlet every single morning, but it doesn’t have to be. Some lucky parents have managed to make the school run a peaceful affair, and this is how they did it.

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Get A Bigger Car

I remember going to school in the mornings, cramped next to my brother in the back of our tiny car, elbowing each other all the way there. Kids like a bit of space and the whole journey is guaranteed to be much quieter if you give it to them. Getting yourself a bigger car is the first step to making the school run a million times easier. There are plenty of great companies like auto.loan that can help you find affordable finance for you so even if you can’t quite stretch to a new car at the minute, you don’t have to wait for ages until you get a new one. When you’re looking into buying new cars, think about safety before anything else. If anything bad were to happen during the journey, you want to ensure that the family are safe.

Lay Out Your Clothes The Night Before

One of the hardest parts about the school run is trying to get everybody dressed. If all of your kids spend ages trying to find their uniforms, you’ll never get out of the house on time. The best way around it is to get all of their clothes out the night before, as well as your own. That way, nobody has an excuse for messing about and you can make yourself look great, even when you’re in a rush.

Quick Breakfasts

Giving your kids a healthy balanced breakfast is important, of course, but it can be time -consuming. Try to find breakfasts that are quick as well as healthy. Cereal is usually your best option so you don’t have to mess about with cooking. But be careful because a lot of the breakfast cereals that are aimed at kids are packed with sugar. That’s only going to make them more hyper once you get them in the car.

Bribery

Bribing your kids isn’t ideal, but it works. The best form of bribery is a reward chart. If you give them stickers for brushing their teeth, getting dressed and getting into the car on time, you can generate a bit of competition between siblings. It will inspire them to be ready on time and it will help to reinforce the lesson that good behaviour gets results. Give prizes to whoever has the most stickers at the end of the week and before you know it, you’ll be getting out of the house early.

The dreaded school run can be daunting, but if you follow these tips it can be a peaceful affair.  

Money Disasters and How To Avoid Them


We all need money, and let’s face it, most of us wish we had more of it! It’s what makes the world go round, and we need as much of it as we can get our hands on. Managing your money is full of pitfalls and traps that can easily trip you up, but it’s difficult to know about them because they’re not exactly clear to see, but if you carry on reading you’ll know what to avoid and how!
Poor Credit

One of the biggest things that holds people back with their finances is having a poor credit score. It’s something you need to avoid, but how does it come about? Well, your credit score is representative of how well you are at paying back debts. This goes for your credit card, your loans, your mortgage; everything! The lower your credit score is, the less likely that you’ll be able to open bank accounts and take loans out so you need to get it sorted. Luckily websites like repair.credit exist. These websites are able to help you repair your credit score so that it’s in a good standing, meaning that you don’t have to worry about getting turned down for a loan any time soon.

Going Into Overdraft

Everyone has heard of what going into overdraft is, but what does it actually mean? Well, if you go into overdraft it means you’re spending money that isn’t actually in your account, just like credit cards it’s treated as a mini loan that you must pay back. However, the catch with these is that overdrafts normally have a large interest rate on them, meaning that when you go into overdraft your charged for the ability to do so which can lead you to being in even more overdraft debt. Companies such as bank of internet offer incredibly low overdraft interest rates, which means that if you do dip into it at any point you’re only going to be paying back what you took out, so that you can have time to sort your overdraft out as you won’t be paying back as much.

Only Buy A House You Can Afford

A lot of people jump straight into debt that they can’t climb out of because they get a mortgage that is way too big for them to pay off, just because they wanted a really big and nice house. It can be very tempting to take out the biggest mortgage that you can to buy the biggest house that you can, but you have to think about whether or not you can realistically afford to pay the mortgage back, so think long and hard about this before you commit!

As long as you make sure all of these 3 things are in check, your finances will run perfectly. You’ll not have a big mortgage to deal with, you’ll have a good credit score for when you want to take out a loan or maybe apply for a new bank account, and you’ll not be going into overdraft so you’ll have nothing to pay back to your bank! All of these methods involve saving money, but if you’re looking to save money in particular then read this!

Apple Dessert Recipes to Fall For

It is only August, but we have picked our first apple of the season and now I have all of the symptoms of seasonal obsession. I MUST MAKE ALL OF THE YUMMY APPLE THINGS!




If you too suffer from seasonal apple obsession, you are going to adore these tips for picking the best apples and these awesome apple recipes I am crushing on this year.

Tips for Picking the Best Apples

  • Pick apples from the outside of the tree first, as these will be the ripest.
  • Select apples that are firm to the touch.
  • Fragrant apples are also a good sign of freshness.
  • Avoid bruises, nicks and apples that have fallen to the ground, as these may have insects feasting inside!
  • If an apple isn't quite ripe, it won't ripen more after picking. 



Now that you know what to look for in apples as you are picking them, let's get on to more important matters, what to make with these lovely apples!


Baked Honey Crisp Apples
Crockpot Baked Apples This is perfect for dessert on crazy busy days.
Apple Butterscotch Snack Cake
No Bake Caramel Apple Cheesecake
Baked Apple Chips These are perfect for healthy snacking!
Apple Cheese Danish
Heirloom Apple Cake


Which of these recipes will you try first? I think it has to be the Baked Honey Crisp Apples for me! They look perfectly delectable! We made a really cute apple tree window cling last year you might want to make your own.




Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Be Impulsive to Save a Life





As a busy mom, my time to volunteer for my community is at an all time low, but my drive and need to help is stronger than ever. With small children in my care and a packed schedule, my opportunities to make the world a better a place often fall within the walls of my home.



If you are like me, you might be struck by an urge to Be Impulsive from time to time. Blood donation is the ultimate way to be impulsive and change the world, for people in need of life saving blood.




Did you know that every 2 seconds, a transfusion of blood is needed? Donated blood helps save so many lives; pregnant women and babies, patients with major illnesses and accident victims to name a few.


It is a fact that one of seven people entering the emergency room needs a blood transfusion. With such a need for life saving blood, there is always a good time to donate.




Blood can be donated every 56 days. That means 6 times a year you and I have the opportunity to save 3 lives. In addition to donating blood you can also donate plasma, which has the same lifesaving effect and is in even greater need. Plasma contains important proteins and nutrients which help treat severe
burns, traumas, blood clotting disorders, organ transplants and premature infants.


This year, as the kids go back to school and busy parents find a moment for themselves, please let me urge you to take a few moments out of your day and do something good, for people in your community. How can YOU get involved? Find out at BeImpulsiveRSVP.com. #BeImpulsive."Be Impulsive and donate blood. Be Impulsive and help to save a life.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

My Little Pony Fluttershy DVD Release and Giveaway!

My 3 year old Harper is a serious My Little Pony fan! She loves the cartoons and the toys!
When we got a chance to watch the latest from My Little Pony, Harp was ecstatic!


Thanks to Shout Factory for providing us an advance copy of the dvd.


Not every Pegasus pony in Equestria is the same. Just ask Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. While Rainbow Dash is bold and daring, Fluttershy is quite reserved and caring. But that’s what makes Fluttershy such a wonderful friend to everyone around her, whether they’re her pony friends, like Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Applejack and, yes, even Rainbow Dash , or her non-equestrian friends, like Angel the bunny. Join in for five adventures that feature everypony’s lovably quiet Pegasus, Fluttershy.

This was a great way to introduce the subject of differences to my daughter before she enters preschool. We discussed how both Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash are different, yet both wonderful. This was a fun way to get our pony fix and talk about life on a level Harp could understand.

My Little Pony – Friendship Is Magic: Fluttershy carries a suggested list price of $14.98 and is now available for pre-order at amazon.com, amazon.ca, and shoutkids.com.

My Little Pony – Friendship Is Magic: Fluttershy is coming to DVD on September 12 in the U.S. and Canada from Shout! Kids in collaboration with Hasbro Studios.


If you feel lucky you can enter to win a dvd! This giveaway is open to US residents 18 and older.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lazy Mom's Day Guide

The kids are back in school and moms everywhere have been busy; we have had schedules to coordinate, supplies to gather, clothes to purchase and of course, all of the cleaning that is needed after a summer with the kids home! It is exhausting! That's why September 1st is the official Lazy Mom's Day. We have earned it, and we are going to enjoy it!

This year, why not give yourself a break while keeping the kids busy? I have the scoop on a few awesome products that are perfect for this special day!


From feeding to snacking on the go, making bath time less stressful and of course, all important play time! I have the scoop on the best things for Lazy Mom's Day! Thanks to my friends at Brilliant PR for sending products or compensation to inspire this Lazy Mom's Day Guide! Affiliate links may be used.

Snack in a Box has become a must have for my purse. I love that I can pack 2 snacks, one for each kid in this sturdy container. It prevents smashing and it is easy to open! 

Dinner is so much easier when you make it fun. Marcus & Marcus has that covered! The offer amusemats for fuss free dining with tiny ones. I LOVE that the mats are soft and durable, and also easy to clean. My daughter loves to have lunch with her amusemat and make it a fun affair.

If you are heading out and about for a lazy afternoon lunch, you can carry all of the important stuff while looking great without breaking the bank, ZipIt is reversible, meaning you can switch between looks! It has a built in laptop case and a lifetime warranty for under $40.





If you need to relax and want the kids to be happily entertained, Gears! Gears! Gears! Motorized on the Move Set is perfect! This set from Learning Resources lets your kids build their own working car! This is so much fun and encourages learning! You can get lost in the pages of a book while the kids are busy creating the car of their dreams!

If the fun of cars hasn't wore off yet after that building session, You can offer them a fun roll of roadways or train tracks with this one of a kind play time option. It needs basically no clean up and you can roll out a road and reposition it as desired! This is such a fun way to play cars! We love both the hot wheels and Thomas the train tracks options!

If the kids need a little leaping action, the Learning Resources Leap & Launch Rocket is sure to send them into an orbit of fun! This is a great educational option for kids 3 and older.  Budding scientists get ready to blast off! Young learners will enjoy countless adventures in early space science while building gross motor skills with this perfect first rocket. Can you make the rocket land on the sun or moon target? Just stomp on the wide, “leap-on” launch pad featuring adjustable navigation, and see how far the rocket can go. My kids absolutely loved this and wanted to leap long after the day was done!

When playtime is over, Soapsox is ready to help get the kids into the tub with no fuss. These soft and friendly friends also help scrub, making bath time a fun affair for all!



I hope that on Lazy Mom's Day (September 1!!) You get a chance to relax and celebrate this well earned and deserved day! What is your ideal way to spend this chill day? I would love to hear about it in a comment!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Financial Fools Confess So You Can Learn From Their Mistakes!

I won't be naming any names in this post, but suffice it to say there are some folks out there that are a bit less than brilliant when it comes to managing their finances. For them, this is not good, as bad money management can get you into all sorts of trouble. However, there is a silver lining, because we can learn from their mistakes, thus avoiding them ourselves, or at least minimizing the negative impact that they may have. Keep reading to find out more.

“I don't budget” - S. C, Ohio

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S’s problem is quite a serious one, not only does she not have a general idea of where her family's money is going each month, but she doesn't keep a check on their actual spending either. S feels like their financial situation has got too depressing, and while she and her husband both work full time, all of their money is taken up with bills, leaving nothing for fun stuff. This has caused her to avoid managing their money because she feels that this will further depress her mood.

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The issue here is that S is letting her emotions about finance take over. She feels it's a bad situation, so she avoids it. But what she is actually doing is blocking herself from improving. As she is paying no attention to where her money is actually going. In fact, by keeping a closer eye on what she expects, and then actually does pay out, she could cut her family's spending and reclaim finances that can be used for fun activities and little luxuries. Something that is much more likely to relieve her depression around money than just ignoring it is.

“I don't pay much attention to my taxes” - B. D, New York State

B is a busy self-employed salesman. He travels with his job and rarely gets to spend any time at home with his wife and son. So when he is there, he tries to dedicate as much time to them as possible. Unfortunately, that means that other important home tasks like keeping good financial records and filling out accurate tax returns can be neglected.

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The problem with this is that although B is making a good income and spending as much time with his family as he can, he is putting their financial future in danger. This is because by not keeping proper records he is risking filling out his tax return wrong. Something that can lead to dire consequences, such as being accused of fraud and even having a criminal case brought against him.

Obviously, the answer is for B to pay more attention to his taxes and get help with any areas that he is unsure of.  Happily, he can arrange a free initial consultation with a top IRS tax attorney to do just this. Allowing him access to the most up to date advice and allowing him to avoid issues with the law in the future.

“I don't save ” - M. P, Michigan

M is a single mother of three that lives in Saginaw area of Michigan. Times are tough for M, and she is someone that has trouble making ends meet. Especially, with three mouths to feed, and three back to clothes. M's eldest son Jon works part time, as well as studying at college. Helping his mom out as much as he can, but it's often only enough to balance the books at the end of the month, not leaving anything to put away into a saving account.

The problem with this is that it causes M a lot of stress as she feels that her family is living hand to mouth. So if anything costly did happen, she wouldn't know where to find the money to pay for it.

The solution here isn't an easy one, it's not that M is frivolous with her money, she just doesn't have enough to survive and save as well. One possibility is for M to take on extra work, something that allows her to work from home. So she doesn't have to leave the kids alone, but still, has a little extra coming in that can be tucked away for emergencies.

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Another option is for M to look at where she make some savings on her grocery bill. Ways of doing this include planning out daily meals, shopping the offers, and even using coupons to build a stockpile of food that costs next to nothing. Then she can use the money she hasn't spent on shopping to start a saving account.



Thursday, August 24, 2017

Leap!


Check out the brand NEW trailer from The Weinstein Company’s  LEAP!, featuring Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit song from the soundtrack, “Cut To The Feeling.”

In LEAP! 11-year-old orphan, Félicie has one dream – to go to Paris and become a dancer. Her best friend Victor, an imaginative but exhausting boy with a passion for creating, has a dream of his own - to become a famous inventor. The two friends flee their orphanage in pursuit of their passions. But Félicie quickly learns that talent alone is not enough, but determined to succeed, Félicie finds her mentor in the tough and mysterious school custodian, Odette who, along with Victor’s encouraging friendship, help her reach for the stars.

This charming animated comedy will inspire the whole family! Parents, kids, anyone who has ever dreamed of following their heart will fall in love with LEAP!. The entire cast captures the spirit and humor of the story and the music will have you dancing all the way home!

Make sure to get your tickets early!

LEAP! opens in theaters nationwide on August 25th and stars Elle Fanning, Nat Wolff and Maddie Ziegler alongside Mel Brooks, Kate McKinnon and Carly Rae Jepsen.

#LeapMovie

 This sponsored post is brought to you by The Weinstein Company and coordinated by Wendy’s Bloggers 
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Best Toy Finds at the Bookstore

In my part of the world, the hot days of summer have passed and I am eager for fall! Strolls in the freshly fallen leaves, hay rides, hot cocoa and of course curling up with a good book and a blanket.
The kids and I love to head to the bookstore to find something exciting to read, but these days I am finding bookstores aren't just for books! They have some of the cutest toys there too!

My son has discovered something fabulous at Barnes and Noble! Thanks to my friends at Brilliant PR for providing samples or compensation.




The Crazy Scientist Lab sets by The Purple Cow will turn any summer afternoon into crazy fun. Choose from lab sets like Water Gel Science and Young Detectives, which both come with more than a dozen cool kid-friendly experiments and the materials needed for hours of fun. MSRP: $20. Available at www.BarnesandNoble.com These are perfect for my inquisitive child and keep him busy learning, experimenting and discovering.

Harper loves all things animals, so naturally she was drawn to the Peekaboo Barn™ from Educational Insights gets little ones working together in this farmin’ fun game. Take turns with the barnyard spinner to see which sleepy animal needs your help to hit the hay. Say the animal sound out loud and MOO-ve your animal to the barn for bedtime. Beware, if you spin the rooster, your sleepy animals might wake up! Help all of the animals to bed and win. Includes a 3D barn, 8 farm animals, and easy-to-learn instructions.  For Ages 2+.  MSRP: $24.99 www.BarnesandNoble.com We loved that this was easy to play, making it perfect for her to play with friends and that it has so many cute as can be farm animals included! 

This fall, will you head to the bookstore with your kids? I will be looking for titles to keep me company until spring arrives again, so we will likely make a few visits. I am sure my kids will discover books to fuel their imaginations and toys that bring the story to life on each visit! I hope we can share them with you!




Monday, August 21, 2017

A Day at Malabar Farm with the Kids

A few Sundays ago we decided to re-visit Malabar Farms in Richland County, Ohio. We have been numerous times in the past, but it seems that since the kids were born our visits have grown fewer and further between.

As a Louis Bromfield fan, I love to not only check out the house but also to stroll the scenic, Pleasant Valley farm.  The property has a lot to offer, making it a destination that can appeal to everyone.

When we arrived, we had to visit the playground area. The kids were entertained by the large tractor, slide, and swings. After a few moments of leg stretching and playing, we took a walk to the barn, where we petted cats, cooed over baby goats and checked out some lazy cows.



From there we admired the house, from outside.



We strolled to the Pugh Cabin and continued back to the cave formation.  The walk was ideal on a late Sunday afternoon as traffic was minimal. As a parent, I truly appreciate a walk in the woods, so this was one of my favorite parts of the adventure.



The kids were tired upon arrival of the gift shop. We chatted up the lobby bird, strolled the shop and picked up a snack of fudge.

Snack excluded, this was a completely free adventure. They do not charge admission to visit the grounds of Malabar farm, but the house tour does hold a fee.



If you go, plan to drive to the top of nearby Mount Geez for a breathtaking view of Plesant Valley. Stop by the cemetery on the farm to pay your respects to Bromfield, and don't forget to check out famed Pugh cabin from the film, the Shawshank Redemption. You might also want to peek at the infamous Ceely Rose house.



You might also enjoy this guide on activities in the Richland County area for kids.

Making Lunch Healthy and Fun for Kids

School is back in session and that means I am as busy as ever, my duties every day include packing lunches and planning snacks. Last year I lost my steam early on into the school year and fell into a rut. It is easy to grab a few lunchables and consider lunch done.



This year, I start off with a renewed goal of making better choices for my family. Lunch is an important part of the school day and I want my son to fuel his growing body and be prepared to learn. Packing healthy options is vital to his development! Providing good choices for my preschooler is also important.

I have a few great products to share with you, thanks to my friends at Brilliant PR and Stoneridge Orchards that are helping us to take back our lunches and make them healthier. These are all great ways to make packing a lunch easier and offering healthy choices more fun.

My son likes to take a bottle of apple juice in his lunch, but I have a confession. I am one of those parents that waters down juice. Drastically. I always have, and I will for as long as I can get away with it. That means that a prepackaged juice is a no go in our lunches. I turn to the Drink in a Box to keep him hydrated while limiting the sugar my son gets from his drink. I love that this is a durable and sturdy option that keeps his drink secure and leak free and it is so much better for the planet than adding 5 juice bottles to the trash each week.

We also love the snack in a box for reducing waste and keeping things secure and smash free. This is a sturdy, food safe box that holds 2 snacks. This is a good size for kids and helps me to save a ton of baggies each week!

For Harper who still has lunch at home with me,  Marcus & Marcus Divided Plates are a great way to keep portions kid sized. The plates are super flexible, unbreakable and easy to clean. Harper loves her Marcus & Marcus dishes for meal time!

Harp loves to help in the kitchen, so when she saw the Learning Resources Little Sprouts Smoothie Maker Set she was excited to try it out. After playing for a while she told me she wanted to drink a real smoothie. Getting so many nutrients in her growing body is always a win. We now have a routine, she makes a smoothie for me while I make a real smoothie for her. This is so much fun to play with that kids will never know you are laying the foundation for healthy eating with cool toys!



Lunch should always include something deliciously sweet. We love the dried offerings from Stoneridge Orchards. The kids love the blueberries while I can't get enough of the chocolate dipped varieties! These are a perfect way to indulge and feel zero guilt.


When packing lunches I offer small portions and a variety of flavors. As my kids are small, a few mini twist pretzels, a few dried blueberries or cherries, a few apple slices, and a half sandwich are more than enough to fuel them for a few hours. How do you keep packed lunches healthy? Give me the dish in a comment!




Monday, August 14, 2017

School Bus Snack

This easy school bus snack is the perfect way to welcome a new school year!

This post contains affiliate links.



Back to school is an exciting time for both kids and parents! This year my youngest is excited to begin her first year at preschool! My oldest, he says he must be most excited about lunch or the bus, he can't decide. I appreciate his honesty.

To take their excitement to a new level, we made a delicious and easy school bus snack to the delight of the kids!

This is so easy you guys! The kids can build these and they will love munching on them too!



Ingredients:
1 to 2 teaspoons of yellow frosting, any kind will do!
2 Nilla Wafers
1 Graham Cracker
4 Rice Chex pieces


Instructions:
Spread the frosting on the graham cracker
Add the Nilla Wafers as the wheels for the bus


Add the Chex cereal pieces as the windows


Enjoy!


This was a fun way to get the kids involved in making their own snacks and we might have played with our food just a little!

Do you have a fun back to school snack idea to share? I would love to hear about it in a comment!


You might also like this fun handprint fish puppet craft.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Rev Up Your Engines With Mickey

My kids have been head over heels for Mickey Mouse from the moment they laid eyes on him. We are seasoned in the fun of the Clubhouse, the Bowtique and the classics too! When my kids got a peek at Mickey and the Roadster Racers, to say their engines were revving for more is an understatement!

We got to preview the latest DVD Start Your Engines and the kids were speeding off to new adventures with familiar friends from the first scene.



Join your favorite characters – Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy  – and their high-speed transforming Roadsters as they compete in thrilling races stretching from Hot Dog Hills to Hawaii…and all the way to London, England!  You’ll meet the world’s greatest spy, zoom through the skies in a revved up hot-air balloon race, and even return the Queen’s stolen Royal Ruby!  It’s all about great friendship, teamwork, a little competition and humorous high-spirited adventures!

This dvd contains a total of 7 fun fast paced episodes {this includes the bonus episode!} The dvd runs for 72 minutes of Mickey Mouse and the Gang style fun that gets kids revved up for racing fun. The plot of the cartoons are light hearted and fun and they offer a great escape as Mickey and the gang travel the world in their hotrods!

You can find this fun title in stores starting on 8/15.

Do you watch Mickey and the Roadster Racers with your kids?
Friday, August 11, 2017

Help Buying a Second Car

As my children grow, I realize that the days of lazy afternoons at home, feeling content with coloring or building a fort are fewer and farther between. The kids are busy; there are practices, games and appointments, play dates and parties to make it to. Errands to run and of course, events to attend.

We had always prided ourselves on being a one car family. It worked for us when the kids were tiny and mommy was their entire world. But these days, being a one car family is a big inconvenience! The time has come for us to consider a new car, one that is roomier and easier on gas, and of course that can handle all of that running!

This post has been sponsored by cars.com, but the chit chat is all mine!

Mom! Can we buy this one?!


Buying a new car is a big deal! It can be an overwhelming big deal too! As soon as you step foot on a car lot, you know that they want to sell you something you might not want. That alone can deter the bravest shoppers. With those 2 growing kids, shopping for daily needs can be tough, let alone shopping for a major purchase! Car shopping seems to make me anxious. Can you tell!?

When I got to know cars.com, a lot of my worries subsided. I can actually shop for a car on my terms, from my house.  This is a game changer to say the least. There are so many ways to find the car of your dreams on the site. From new and used cars, to a color, make, or style. You can even narrow it down by distance. If I don't want to drive more than 20 miles to get our new family car, I don't have to!

We are still dragging my feet  browsing, it has been 7 years since we bought a car, so maybe we are out of practice. If you have any tips for buying the car of your dreams, please leave a comment. If you have used cars.com   let me know how it helped you find a great deal on a great car!
Wednesday, August 9, 2017

How to Rock a Hurricane Like a Boss

This most may contain affiliate links.

Hurricane season is here and many of our readers are in the path of the latest storm. While it is a major pain in the hiney to face a tropical storm or a hurricane, have no fear wonderful people. I am going to share a few of my tips to help you handle this hurricane and any others that come your way like a boss in reasonable style and comfort, given the situation.



Stock Up!
Ok, I know the experts are going to say buy things like bottled water and tuna fish, but come on people. Drastic weather calls for comfort. Instead of getting in a fist fight over the last cans of spam on the store shelves, let's get real. No one wants to eat spam in good weather, let alone terrible weather. Buy all of the pop tart's, granola bars, cold cereal and snack cakes you can get your hands on. Buy soda, booze and single serve fruit juice drinks. Buy candy, coffee singles that are like tea bags, and shelf stable milk. Buy the damn doritos and bean dips like there is no tomorrow.

Kiss Your Ice Goodbye
Accept that ice is going to be something you want, but don't have. Do not stand in line at the gas station for an hour for a bag of ice, just will yourself to go without it. I once paid $10 for a bag of ice and got a handful of laffy taffy as my change. Never again. Ice ain't worth $10, no matter how hot it might be outside.

Run, Don't Walk, to the Sporting Good Store
No, I am not crazy. But I am going to give you a tip to help you keep your cool. Buy as many cooling towels as you possibly can. There are these great ones out there by Mission that will make life feel a little cooler in the sweltering temps while you wait on your power and beloved air conditioning to return.

Dust Off the Board Games
In 2004 we lost power for a week during a hurricane, 2 weeks later we lost power for another week during a second hurricane. We played board games with reckless abandon. We battled it out over every game we could get our hands on and somehow we survived a week without electric, air conditioning, television and gasp even our phones as charging them was nearly impossible.

When In Doubt...
Fondue
Get your booty to the hardware store for denatured alcohol right now if you have a fondue set. If not, Get. One. Now. You can heat soup, make ramen noodles and even brew hot coffee if you have a handy dandy fondue set. You will be the envy of your friends and neighbors if they get a whiff of some hot soup, oatmeal or whatever cooking. If they smell your hot coffee, look out  cause you might just become block president or something if you are willing to share. I am not certain, but I would be willing to guess that in a pinch votive candles would heat a fondue pot nicely if you can't get the Denatured Alcohol easily.

What are your pro tips for riding out the storm? Do tell so that everyone can hunker down with minimal annoyances and maximum comfort!
Tuesday, August 8, 2017

8 Awesome Ways to Eat Hot Dogs

Hot dogs and summer time are a match made in heaven. This year, your options aren't limited to grilled, boiled or baked! I have rounded up 8 Awesome Ways to Eat Hot Dogs that I know you are going to love!

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I love a good hot dog! From a sloppy chili dog to a simple grilled dog with peppers and onions! I started checking out some of my favorite blogs to get hot dog inspiration and what I discovered is a total game changer in the dog department!

From pineapple topped dogs to a mouth watering pizza recipe; this collection of recipes is sure to please hot dog fanatics all summer long!

Firecracker Hot Dogs
Buffalo Wing Hot Dogs
Cheesy Hot Dog Tartlets
Fried Hot Dog Sliders
Mexican Style Dogs
Chili Cheese Dog Pizza
Hawaiian Hot Dogs 
Philly Cheese Steak Dogs



Which of these recipes sounds the yummiest to you?

Homemade Rice Pudding

This rice pudding recipe comes together in about 35 minutes and will impress your family in ways that the pre packaged variety of this classic dessert could only dream of!


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If you like rice or pudding, you are going to love this recipe for homemade rice pudding! It comes together easily and creates a deliciously economical dessert that your family will love!

I usually purchase Rice Pudding in a container and feel content with it, but a few days ago, I was inspired to try my hand at making it myself. The process was simple and the results were marvelous!

Cooks Tips

  • I used long grain rice. If you have another variety, feel free to use it and adjust the cook time.
  • You can use raisins or craisins in this recipe if you like. 
  • I like to top my rice pudding with cinnamon, brown sugar makes a sweet addition too!
  • This dessert serves deliciously both warm and cold!
  • If you like it cold, store in a sealed container for up to 3 days, if it lasts that long!




Ingredients:
3/4 cup uncooked white rice
2 cups milk, divided
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Bring 1 3/4 cups water to a boil in a saucepan; stir rice into boiling water. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

In a clean saucepan, combine cooked rice, 1 1/2 cups milk, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat until thick and creamy, 15 to 18 minutes.

Stir in remaining 1/2 cup milk and beaten egg; cook 2 minutes more, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.

Top with cinnamon or raisins if desired. Serve warm or cold, per preference.




More Yummy Rice Pudding Recipes

Pumpkin Pie Rice Pudding {Tastes of Lizzy T}
Hawaiian Rice Pudding {Shaken Together}
Mexican Chocolate Rice Pudding {This Silly Girl's Life}