Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Oral-B Stages III & Crest and Oral-B Pro-Health FOR ME Cars 2 Viewing Party!

Last week, my boys and I had the opportunity to host a really fun Cars 2 Screening Party thanks to MommyParties and Oral-B. We invited a few friends to join us on Friday afternoon right after school to watch Cars 2 and learn a little bit about some really great Oral-B and Crest products...plus we all got to go home with some free stuff too!

Before the party started, I got all the goodie bags organized. Since I live in a house full of boys, I was glad to see that the majority of our party pack included boy colored toothbrushes and some Toy Story themed items! We did have a few girls coming to the party too, so the Disney Princess toothbrushes were also nice to see. To make sure that the boys and girls each went home with the appropriate stuff {can't you just see a little boy being upset about finding a princess toothbrush in his goodie bag}, I tied the bags up with some cute pink and blue ribbon.
Before the party started, I popped a couple bags of popcorn and sat out drinks for the kiddos. I also made a big batch of Rice Krispy Treats, but for some reason I think the mom's ate more of those than the kids:) Maybe it was because they were too busy watching the movie to come get them! The kiddos hunkered down with their buckets of popcorn and watched {the majority} of the movie. 
 We had 9 kiddos at our party ranging in age from 3 years old {Eli and his little friend Jolie} all the way up to 12 years old {Grant's friend Morgan's big brother} and luckily the movie and the goodie bags were perfect for all the kids young and old!
 We took a little break from the movie to look inside our goodie bags and see what kind of fun Oral-B and Crest stuff everyone was taking home. Each kiddo got an Oral-B Stage III Brush or a Pro-Health FOR ME Brush, a big pack of Oral-B Stages Flossers or Pro-Health FOR ME Floss Picks, a full sized tube of Pro-Health FOR ME Toothpaste, and a sample of Cars II Gummy Vitamins. I also gave out three fulled sized bottles of Pro-Health FOR ME Rinse to the three moms who were there!
 My boys were most impressed with the Gummies, and lucky for us the party pack included a big bottle for the host!

And Eli LOVED the Oral-B Stages Flossers! He insisted on dumping out the entire bag so he could see all the fun colors:) And my boys have been religiously flossing their teeth since Friday when they opened their Flossers:)
We had a great time watching Cars 2, eating popcorn, and learning a little about some great Oral-B and Crest products! Thanks so much to MommyParties for the chance to PARTY!
 **I was provided a Cars 2 party pack thanks to MommyParties and Oral-B in exchange for sharing about our party experience with you! No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.**

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What's His Name?

We are still in the process of getting out all of our Christmas stuff and decorating our house. As we were unloading boxes last night I found one of the boys' favorite Christmas decorations....their Little People Nativity Set! We've had this set for quite a few years, and every year the boys love setting it up in the playroom and reenacting the story of Jesus' birth {and a few other Bible stories that they manage to throw into the mix too}.
So last night I sent Grant down to the playroom to set up the Nativity Set just like we do every year. He left, and Jason & I continued decorating the living room with garland and lights. After about ten minutes Grant came back into the room with two of the shepherds in his hand, and with the most serious face ever he asked "Which one of these is Moses?" Jason and I both started laughing:) After checking with Henry about the man's correct name, Grant remember that it was Joseph who was in the manger that night with baby Jesus and not Moses!
I think somebody may be getting some Bible Story Flash Cards in their stocking this year:)
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Friday, December 2, 2011

Making a List...

I sat down earlier this week and made a list of all the craft/snack/decorating projects that I want to do before Christmas....my list has more than 25 things on it! That means I have to finish at least one project {maybe even 2} every day between now and the 25th for me to get everything crossed off my list! I don't think it's going to happen!

You would think with a list that long I would get busy trying to cross things off...NOPE! I did get our Advent Calendar on the wall. It looks really cute, but it is completely empty:) I also managed to get the boys' stockings hung even though we don't have a tree or even a plan to go get a tree yet! And instead of tackling my list, I worked on something that wasn't even on my list: my front porch that still had pumpkins and footballs all over it!

I took down all the pumpkins and the footballs and added some red and green in their place! I hung up a cute wooden sign that I bought at a craft fair. Then I whipped up a wreath with some red burlap and leftover Christmas fabric. It's not much, but at least it's not still fall decor!
Even though our front door looks SUPER cute now, my list is not any shorter! Plus there is still a ton of other decorating and light hanging to be done! Please tell my I'm not the only slacker who still has a ton of stuff to go to get ready for Christmas!
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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Almonds

December is here. I don't know about you, but for me that means time to put out the Christmas decor, wrap presents, and make lots and lots of party snacks! I am mostly a baker during the month of December, but a party can't just have cookies and cakes:) This recipe for Sweet and Spicy Almonds is perfect for the buffet table at a party, but they would also be really great packaged up and given to one of your favorite people this holiday season...plus they are actually pretty healthy for you too!
 You start this recipe by beating one egg white until it is nice and foamy. Whisk, whisk, whisk until it looks kind of like the the picture below:
 Dump about 2 cups of raw almonds into your bowl with the foamy egg white and toss them around to coat.
 In a gallon sized Ziploc bag, mix together your sweet and spicy coating. I started with 1/4 cup of sugar, and I added a sprinkle of salt, and a pretty good amount of cinnamon. 
 Then to give my almonds a little kick, I added in some crushed red pepper flakes. You could also add cayenne pepper and chili powder like this recipe {Sugar Spiced Almonds} calls for. Honestly you can add any combination and amount of seasonings and spices that you want....play around with it to see what you like best.
 Once you get all your spices added to your bag, pour in the egg white coated almonds. Zip up the bag and give the almonds a good toss to coat them with the sugar/spice mix....this is where the kiddos might want to give you a hand too:)
 Pour the almonds onto a baking sheet and bake in a 250 degree oven for about an hour. You can adjust the time to get the almonds as crunchy as you would like...and make sure to stir them about every 15 minutes so they don't stick or burn.
Let the almonds cool {or sneak a few while they are still warm and toasty} then store them in an airtight container until you are ready to party or you need to give someone a sweet and spicy gift!

What kind of snack foods do you like to make during the holidays?
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Guest Posting at Serenity Now

Today I am SUPER excited to be over at Amanda's place {Serenity Now} sharing my tutorial for a Metal Tin Advent Calendar! This is the first day of Amanda's great new holiday series called A Season of Serenity (Now) at Home....and perfect timing for me to be sharing an Advent Calendar since tomorrow is December 1st! Click over, check out my tutorial, and leave some comment love please. And don't forget to check back with Amanda over the next few weeks to see some great giveaways and awesome guest posts as part of A Season of Serenity (Now) at Home!
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mini Muffins Make Me Smile

And hopefully they will make you and the person you share these with smile too...because this SUPER cute decorated egg carton is filled with Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins!
 I pinned this cute egg carton idea from fiskar.com a few months ago. I was waiting for just the right time to make them, and staff appreciation at church turned out to be perfect time for me to whip up some mini muffins and try them out!
To make these, simply cut scrapbook paper to cover the top and front of your egg carton. The inspiration one only covered the top and left the egg carton writing visible on the front...but I wanted to cover most of the writing up for a cleaner look. The inspiration one also added some cute scrapbook paper and little note inside, but I figured the muffins were a good enough surprise inside without the little note:) I used spray adhesive to attach the paper, but a glue stick would work fine too.
Honestly, I was a little skeptical about the mini muffins fitting into the egg carton when I first got started, but as soon as they were cool I started sitting them in the egg carton and they fit perfectly!
Fill up your egg carton with yummy mini muffins, tie them up with some pretty ribbon or raffia, add a little note, and you have a perfectly cute and edible gift to show your thanks to someone!

Here's the recipe for the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins {from allrecipes.com} just in case any is interested:


Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.
  2. Mix sugar, oil, eggs. Add pumpkin and water. In separate bowl mix together the baking flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.. Add wet mixture and stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
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Monday, November 28, 2011

Miscellany Monday

I have a ton of pictures in my November folder that I haven't shared, so I decided to join in with Carissa this week to share them....even though they probably aren't really blog-worthy!
Miscellany Monday @
lowercase letters
A.
Maybe it's kind of mean, but I think this picture of Eli is kind of hilarious! He was playing under our breakfast room table and somehow got himself stuck under one of the chairs. It's hard to tell from this picture, but his tiny little hiney is stuck under the cross bar of the chair:)

B.
I tried to get crafty earlier this month with the leaves that Eli and I gathered on our walk. It was a major craft fail! I didn't lay the leaves flat to dry out so they were kind of wrinkly and wouldn't stick to the candle well....even though I sprayed them with a generous coat of spray adhesive. My Mod Podge was almost empty and I had to scrap the bottom of the jar, and I really didn't get a full coat on them. They are currently sitting in my china cabinet and I have a feeling they are probably going in the trash can soon!
C.
I only took two pictures of the boys at their Thanksgiving lunch and they are pretty bad.
           Henry the Indian                      &                   Grant the Pilgrim

D. 
We had an end of the season football party for Grant's pee wee team a few Saturdays ago. I made some fun football jersey sugar cookies for the boys with their jerseys numbers on them. They were gobbled up before I could get a decent picture of them, here's a shot of Grant holding his...with a bite or two taken out of the bottom.
E.
I was craving a banana split last week when Jason was working late and I was home alone with three sleeping kiddos, but we didn't have any ice cream or chocolate syrup. So I made the next best thing: a Faux Banana Split with Nutella Drizzle:) I cut up a banana, added a big scoop of Lite Cool Whip, tossed on some peanuts, and drizzled a little bit of warmed Nutella over the top...YUM!
What kind of randomness have you been up to lately?
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving...

...from my three little turkeys:)
I hope you all had a {family} {food} & {fun} FILLED day!
I ate so much at lunch that I am skipping dinner, and I think I may not be hunger for breakfast in the morning either....unless I burn off all of my lunch shopping till I drop tonight with all the other crazy Black Friday {even thought it technically starts on Thursday now} shoppers!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Scrapbooking Made Easy! My Memories Suite Giveaway!

This giveaway is closed. Congrats to Kim at Today is My Someday!
I've shared a ton of different crafts on my blog over the last few years....mostly because I love being crafty. One craft that you've never seen on my blog though is scrapbooking. I've done a few paper crafts here and there, but the only scrapbooking I've ever done was for my kiddos' teacher {and they didn't turn out all that great}. I'm not sure why I never fell in love with scrapbooking. Part of me thinks it's because I don't have the patience for the precise cuts and small embellishments that are needed to make a scrapbook page really great. My days of  avoiding scrapbooking were over the day I downloaded My Memories Suite!
My Memories is the number one selling digital scrapbook software on Amazon, and from just a few minutes of opening the program I could totally tell why. It is so easy to use, plus there are no sticky glue fingers, unevenly cut paper, or small embellishments rolling all over your floor! Everything is digital...just click, drag, and drop! Besides making SUPER cute scrapbook pages, you can also make a ton of other things too. I am seeing birthday invitations, Christmas cards, and even photo book pages made with this awesome software!

Here is a screenshot of the software just so you can see all amazing features it has...and so you can see the really cute scrapbook page that I made of Eli! One of my favorite features of My Memories Suite is that your fonts aren't limited like some of those other online companies. You can use any font that you have downloaded on your computer! See the SUPER cute font I used with my page....by the way, it's called Elise and it's from kevinandamanda.com:)

The generous people at My Memories Suite have agree to let me give away the My Memories Suite software to one of my lucky readers! Just in time for holiday too!

To enter: 
Mandatory Entry: Visit the My Memories website and choose your favorite digital paper pack or layout.

Check out the My Memories blog. Leave a comment and/ or follow them. 

Like My Memories on Facebook.  

Follow My Memories on Twitter @MyMemoriesSuite

Be a public follower of Random Thoughts of a SUPERMOM on GFC.

Follow me on Twitter @SUPERMOM_Kellli
Tweet this giveaway with a link to this post and include @SUPERMOM_Kelli and @MyMemoriesSuite in the tweet. Can be done daily.
Sample tweet: Check out this SUPER scrapbooking software giveaway from @MyMemoriesSuite and @SUPERMOM_Kelli http://tinyurl.com/7weh9sl #giveaway

Make sure to leave a separate comment for each entry and include your email address if it's not visible in your profile. This giveaway will end Wednesday, November 30th at 12:00 noon CST. I will use random.org to select a winner and the winner will be notified by email. 
I was not paid for this review/giveaway. I did received a free download of My Memories Suite to facilitate me in this giveaway.
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Friday, November 18, 2011

Gobble, Gobble: Turkey Waffles

Yesterday I admitted my obsession with crafty kids shirts, so now it's time for me to admit that I am just a little bit obsessed with fun waffles too! The first waffle I made was a rainbow waffle to celebrate St. Patty's Day. It's fun to have a colorful breakfast to help celebrate a holiday...but once I started I couldn't stop. I've shared some just because waffles {cupcake waffles} and a whole lot of holiday ones too {candy corn and jack o lantern}.

I have been brainstorming Thanksgiving ideas for a while now. It's amazing how hard it is to come up with a good waffle idea for a holiday based around food:) I tried to make Cornucopia Waffles with an abundance of M&M's, but all that did was make a huge mess of the waffle iron. So I decided to give Turkey Waffles a try instead. Now I know the name makes them sound kind of gross because seriously who wants savory turkey hiding in their waffles! Don't let the name scare you off...there is not a trace of real turkey in these fun and colorful Thanksgiving waffles:)
I started with the usual suspects...and my usual helper:) 
**waffle mix, food coloring, and Eli**
 Mix up your waffles according to the directions. You will need four waffles total to make two turkeys. By the way, these are sharing waffles...two people per turkey:)
*Start by making one plain waffle.*
*While that waffle is cooking divide your remaining batter into three bowls.*
*Add green, yellow, and orange food coloring each into one of the bowls and stir to combine.* 
*Cook the three colored waffles and then get ready to assemble.*

Start by cutting the plain waffle in half and the colored waffles into quarters.
Lay out the colored waffles in a turkey tail pattern starting with the outside ones{green here} and working your way in. Lay the half plain waffle on top of the turkey tail and adjust as needed. Use one of the leftover yellow quarter waffles to make a beak for your waffle. I simply cut off the pointed edge and added it on top of the plain waffle. 
What kind of fun foods are you making to celebrate Thanksgiving this year?
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pilgrim and Indian Initial Tees

I have shared countless times about my slight obsession love of crafty kids' holiday shirts. I'm actually starting to think that maybe I should start a support group, but I might be the only crazy member! Anyway, with Thanksgiving only a week away, I decided to take advantage of our little sick day yesterday and get some sewing done on the boys' shirts for this year. I knew I wanted to attempt a cute turkey face shirt for Eli {I'll share his shirt later after I figure out how to add the eyes without making the turkey look crazy}, but I wasn't quite sure about what to do for Henry and Grant. I stumbled across a Pilgrim initial tee on Etsy earlier this week and as soon as I saw it I knew my boys were getting Pilgrim and Indian shirts this year:)
I won't bore you with all the details{and a million pictures} of how I made these shirts...you can go back and check out one of my other step by step tutorials if you like. But just so this isn't a single picture with a ton of rambling, I will share a quick rundown of how I made these.

**Print out each kiddos initial {mirrored} and attach it to orange and white gingham.**
**Cut out the letters and attach them to some orange felt.**
**Sew the letters to the felt with a zig-zag stitch and then cut around each letter leaving an orange border.**
**Use spray adhesive to hold the letter to the shirt, then stitch around the letter to attach it.**
**Make the pilgrim hat and indian headband out of scraps of felt. **
**Use spray adhesive to hold them in place and then sew them onto the shirts.** 

Really the hardest parts of this project are deciding which font to use for the letters and getting the proportions of the hat right so that it looks like a Pilgrim's hat and not a crazy top hat:) For those of you that don't sew, you could also make this no sew with some ultra hold iron on adhesive! Except for the new white long sleeve shirts, I used all materials that were in my craft stash making these shirts cost around $5 each. Not too bad for two SUPER cute Thanksgiving shirts!
Weekend Bloggy Reading
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Monday, November 14, 2011

Using Actions for Photoshop Elements to Edit Your Photos

I've had a DSLR camera for a few years now, and having a nicer camera {even though mine is the the bottom of the line Nikon D40} really has improved my photos. Besides the fact that the quality of the photo is better, having a DSLR makes me think out the composition and lighting of my photos a lot more than when I simply used a point and shoot digital camera. But having a good camera is only the first step in taking great photos...you also have to know how to edit pictures to get the most out of each shot!

There are more than a few editing programs out there, some are outrageously expensive and some {like the one I have} are more affordable. I use Photoshop Elements for all my editing. I bought it when we got our new laptop a few years ago, and I think it cost somewhere between $80 and $100. The only problem with photo editing programs is you really need to know how to use a them to get the most out of them...and it can be quite complicated to figure out!

My biggest help in using PSE to edit my photos was when I discovered Actions! And even better I found some really awesome FREE Actions! I've downloaded free Actions from two websites {and I'm sure there are lots more out there too} : The CoffeeShop Blog and The Pioneer Woman. Having these actions has really helped me improve my pictures! I love all the different options that both of these websites provide, and I love the different feel you can get just by clicking a few buttons!

Just to show you what Actions can do for your photos, here are a few straight out the camera shots along with some shot that I edited with the free PSE Actions that I downloaded. I am not an expert with these by any means, and I honestly can't remember the names of the Actions that I used for each picture. I usually just click an Action and see how I like it with the photo. If I don't like it, I just click undo and start over. These next three photos were all edited with The Pioneer Woman Actions, but you can see some photos that I edited with The CoffeeShop Blog Actions HERE.

                             SOOC                                                                              Edited with PSE Actions



{{Can you tell I like taking pictures in this spot!}}
I'm sure there are a few professional photographers cringing at my overeditednotverygood photos, but I think they look pretty great for a self taught phtotographer with SUPER squirmy kids! IF you are looking for a way to edit your photos without blowing the bank {or blowing your mind}, check out PSE. The abundance of free downloadable Actions totally make Photoshop Elements worth the initial cost.

{FYI I wasn't paid to share any of this with you even thought I know it sounds kind of like a sales pitch:) I really have been having a ton of fun editing my picture {including the photos that I used with my Thankful Photo Decor} with these free Actions lately and I thought you might want to know about them too!}

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