Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween with the Workmans!

What a fun and eventful Halloween this turned out to be!
This is the first year we've all dressed up. Last year, Bubba and Little Dude did, but with a fun change of events, my mother-in-law didn't like how her costume fit, and I got it to wear to our party!

Batgirl, Thor and Iron Man

We even made Thor's hammer ourselves...and frankly we like it a LOT better than the store bought ones.
I mean, lets take a moment to appreciate it. Its the perfect dimensions. Its cut to size for him. It looks pretty close to it. And it was less than $5 to make.
Can't beat that!

At the Workman family party we trick-or-treated door to door, had tons of candy and treats and enjoyed seeing everyone in costume! What a great looking group we have!
From left to right; Elephant, Gnome, Pirate, Firefighter, Ninja Turtle x2, Thor, Iron Man, Pregnant Skeleton, Lady Bug, Basketball, Lumberjack, Witch, Lumberjack, Flash Gordon, Batman, Mr. Incredible, Deer, Greek Goddess, Gamer, Clark Kent, Superman, and Lois Lane.
This was actually only half of the group...this is the group that could stand still long enough!

Later, at my in-laws, the kiddos got to pick their pumpkins! Grandma and Grandpa actually grew enough pumpkins for them all, but decided they weren't big enough, so bought a bunch more and stored them in the pumpkin patch (Grandma and Grandpa are the cutest!)

And then the carving began! Little Dude wanted nothing to do with the gooey ooey stuff! He loved scooping it out with the spoon though and was a big helper...at least for a little bit!

The kiddos with their pumpkins, before the adults could finish theirs!
Aren't they all cute? I love these kiddos so much!

And finally, the finished product for pumpkins for our family!
Clockwise from top left, Mason's pumpkin, Rachel's pumpkin, Amanda's, Bubba's, Mine, Momma-In-Law's, Cory's, Steven's, CJ's and in the middle is Carrie's.
At least, I think that is who they belonged to
What a busy and fun holiday it turned out to be! 

Dr. Scholl's Active Series Review

Hey Blog, Bubba here.I was pleased to receive this product through Influenster. They came at a perfect time - my sneakers were wearing thin and work days on my feet were getting awfully long. I spend a lot of time on my feet during the day. Whether it be at work, running errands with Dani and Little Dude, or running at the gym, I'm always on the go. 

Unlike most insoles packages, these ones were easy to open. I didn't need a PhD to cut them into the size I needed. They fit very well in my shoe AFTER you take out the old insoles. 

Much to my surprise, the support that the insoles have given me have helped tremendously with aches and pains in my feet. With me always running, the three types of support in this insole helps cushion the impact and allows me to run faster, and longer.   
Thank you to Influenster for allowing me to try out this product. You've saved my feet (and my wallet, so I don't have to buy new sneakers)!

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes

Monday, October 28, 2013

September Birchbox Review

I absolutely love getting both the Birchbox and the Ipsy Glam Bag, because they come staggered during the month...allowing me to really enjoy both boxes/bags and their contents. This month's Birchbox did NOT disappoint to say the least! 

Seriously though, they wrap the boxes up so nice and pretty. It is really hard not to love just looking at them when you open them up.

I was honestly very unsure of what to think with this product, having never heard of a cleanse & polish or Liz Earle. I was excited when I read the super-easy two step directions.
The product seemed very all-natural, and actually reminded me a bit of my grandmother, who always knows the best skincare products. I couldn't stop thinking "I've got to tell Grandma about this one!"
It worked GREAT. Not only that, but the day I tested it out, I had a chemical burn my face and it totally helped with the redness and painful feeling! I'm in love with this product!

Per the description on the Birchbox website, it says this is long-lasting, non-sticky lip gloss.
So I put it to the test.
In the end, they were right...but not at first. When I first put the lip gloss on my lips were super sticky, and felt heavy and over-glossed. It took about five minutes before the gloss didn't feel as thick and my lips quit sticking to everything, but once it was settled, I LOVED the color and how long it lasted! 

I grew up on Chapstick products, so I was really excited to get a product that I know and love in this month's box as an extra. Chapstick is so affordable, long-lasting and easy to find and replace. Here in Utah, when the winter comes, my lips need some Chapstick!

I still haven't tried this product yet, but I do have to say, its BIG. I am really excited to give it a shot here soon!

Oh my goodness, this perfume is DIVINE. I usually wear something really teenager-ish (I'm not proud) like Roxy or Hollister, but I LOVE this scent! It's taken over as my new favorite for work!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sponsor Spotlight: Mr & Mrs Crafty RVing

Biography of Jorge and Evielynne Sanchez
Jorge & Evielynne Sanchez consider themselves to be the luckiest two people on the planet. We know of many people who would agree. In fact, just ask any customer of their fantastic love child on Etsy, MrsCraftyRVing.com. That is right… Jorge & Evielynne Sanchez are the driving force behind what is fast becoming the most popular Party Favors (Crafts and Hobbies) websites on the planet, along with their other children, the Barbie Emporium, (.com) and Christmas101.

Of course, getting to this point in their lives was not all peaches and puppies. Not ones to complain, very few have been privy to the difficult road they have traveled to bring their passions to ecommerce, the perfect forum with which to share their love of crafts with the entire world. Boil some water, drop a chamomile teabag in a cup, and lend us an ear. Here is how your favorite Party website came to be.
Jorge and Evielynne met a little later in life and are so grateful that they did. Evielynne, the Army brat who moved constantly as a child, loves living life settled down. Jorge, who moved to the USA at age four from Cuba, is an avid pilot, sewer extraordinaire, and loves whatever Evielynne loves. Together, they make one fantastic team. Ever since the day that Jorge, who was sewing items for an arts and crafts website, said aloud… “I can design and make these much better than this.” The idea of working for themselves rather than someone else set into the backs of their minds.
Jorge had always been good with his hands but a severe condition called Rheumatoid Arthritis very often prevented him from being able to lift so much as a gallon of milk. Evielynne, who could not sew herself into a paper bag, made up her mind that she would help her man follow the dream that formulated into both of their minds and immediately began to learn to sew. With Jorge as her initial teacher, it was not long before she was sewing up a storm, which is saying a lot.

With so many wonderful designs and ideas in their creative minds, they went to work and soon had so many items in their arsenal that they decided to open a website and sell on their own, rather than someone else getting the lion’s share of the money and all of the credit. www.etsy.com/shop/mrscraftyrving.com was born of love, determination, and a desire to make it on their own… together!
One of Jorge’s many talents is design. Realizing what a gold mine idea they were sitting on with MrsCraftyRVing, they separated his gift for creating, designing, and making clothes for Barbie and company, (The Barbie doll) and the website www.etsy.com/shop/barbieemporium debuted with incredible results. Teaming with the incredible social commerce website Etsy was one of the best moves they could have made and their business soon took on a life of its own.
There was one problem though… they still had excessively much wonderful product for a single website to handle. The solution…(?) they separated all of their fantastic Christmas ideas and opened to incredibly popular website… Christmas101. (.com) If you hold the spirit of Christmas in your heart the way Jorge and Evielynne do, check out www.etsy.com/shop/christmas101
Evielynne spent a lot of time teaching herself the art of sewing, taking online lessons in sewing from Crafty-Sewing, Joann’s, and even YouTube.com. Always the artistic type and loving the arts, in her youth she danced for Disney! Thinking outside the box, she purchased and ran a construction clean up business and won the prestigious “A Happy Home is a Clean Home” award. There is simply veryr sewer… Jorge!
Jorge worked for a well-known company out of Miami Florida in the Food Brokering industry for 20 years winning numerous awards and bonuses for his outstanding work there. He is a pilot, and using those skillful hands, he designed and upholstered the interior of his Cherokee 180, single engine plane. He has his pilot’s license with an instrumentation rating.

Together, their hard work and persistence has paid off as they have surpassed their 4000th sale on the websites. This is a great milestone and one for which they have been looking forward. You can celebrate with them on their FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/MrsCraftyRVing which is loaded with information and wonderful tips and ideas. As successful as they have been, it pales in comparison of the love that have for each other. Together, there is nothing that this talented pair could not accomplish. Stop by FaceBook and give them a shout. They love to talk to new friends. In fact, it is their customer service skills that make them so tremendously popular, that… and the high quality, awe inspiring, tremendously creative work that they do.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Crockpot Frito Chicken Bowls

Truly, what is better than a crockpot dinner during the cold weather?
I'm telling you, not much.
Today I want to share with you a new found family favorite around here. Crockpot Frito Chicken bowls, and trust me, they are delicious!

What You'll Need:
2-4 frozen chicken breasts
1 can chili
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 can tomato sauce
1 bag fritos
1 pkg taco seasoning
Cheese (as desired)

How to do it:
1.In a crockpot, mix chicken, chili, beans, corn, taco seasoning and tomato sauce in a crockpot. Cook on low for 5-6 hours, or high for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally (if possible).
2. At about hour 5 on low, or hour 3 on high, remove chicken, and shred it. Return to crockpot and stir well. Let the rest finish cooking for another hour.
3. In a bowl, place a small layer of Fritos on the bottom. Add crockpot mix, and then top with cheese and more Fritos. Serve while warm and enjoy!

P.S. This meal freezes really well too (without the Fritos on the bottom), so freeze some for leftovers! 


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Toddler Activity: Bathtub Paint

It's really no secret that I have a little boy who loves to be outside.
And we all know that it's fall, and its getting cold out.
And we live in Utah.
And its already snowed, TWICE.
And that means, we're inside a lot more.
And honestly, little dude does NOT like it.

So we've been working hard to find some fun activities for our little dude to try!
Like this Bathtub paint!

How to do it:
Mix shaving cream and food coloring in a muffin tin. Stir with your finger or a spoon, then paint!

Some secrets to success:
Keep it off the grout. It WILL dye the grout, but not the tiles or the inside of the tub.
As long as its stirred well, it will NOT dye the baby. If they do get it in their hair (like Little Dude did!) use Dawn dish soap and warm water, it will come right out!

I'd share more photos, but they weren't really "blog friendly," if you know what I mean. He had a blast painting the tub, and himself! After it was done, we drained the tub and used the shower head to rinse him and the tub down. He's actually asked to do it again since then, so we know we have a fun activity for winter now! 

Have you ever tried this before? Did it work for you?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Varsity Voxbox Review

I hate to say it, but there is really nothing more fun than getting a Voxbox in the mail! It's always a surprise, and the goodies inside are always worth the anxious wait! Here's what came in the Varsity Voxbox! 

Airheads Extreme Bites - Rainbow Berry
These are fantastic! I love Airheads, but rarely get to enjoy them, so these fun, bright and tasty little treats made a big impact on some long nights catching up on blogging!

NYC- Big Bold Plumping Gloss
NYC Gloss? YES PLEASE. I actually really like NYC lipsticks and glosses and purchase them fairly consistently. I was really excited to see this fun shade in my Voxbox! It went straight into my purse where I've been using it daily... needless to say I LOVE IT.

Tide Pods
I was really excited to try this out! I usually use dollar store detergent (because we can and because our washer doesn't take a lot of detergent anyways) and I used this on a load of Brayden's clothing just to REALLY test it out. I was shocked and how good his clothes looked afterwards and how good they smelled! I have GOT to go try some more!

Confession: I use the same old facewash every morning, and have for the last two years. I was really getting tired of using the same stuff, but it worked AND it was affordable. Why change?
And then the Clearasil Refreshing Superfruit wash came in this box. And I washed my face with it (btw, a little bit goes a LONG way! I got three washes per packet of the sample!), and fell in love. It's great on my sensitive skin, it smells amazing and even better- its cheaper than my usual brand at the store!

I really want to write a great review on these nail dresses, I really do, but they simply weren't that great for me and my busy lifestyle. They took twice as long as other nail stickers/dresses to put on, didn't nearly last even that evening, and the following morning (all I'd done was sleep!) I had to replace two of them. While I loved the style and pattern I just wasn't sure about these as a purchase in the future!

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mani Monday: Kiss Nail Dresses

I received these Nail Dresses in a Voxbox from Influenster. I was so excited to try them out, because I'm kind of bored with my polishes as it is .Nail stickers and dresses have seemed so easy and so fun, so I was stoked to try them!

That being said, I was really disappointed in the quality. They didn't file down nicely, didn't stay on (this is the next morning, and they're already chipped and flaking off!), and didn't look clean. I ended up using the whole package just to get a semi-clean looking mani. 

That being said, from a distance they sure look fun! 

Do you like nail stickers and dresses? 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Baked Cinnamon Toast

I've been struggling to find a great recipe for breakfasts at home with Brayden. He's going through a phase where each day is a different food he doesn't like, so making meals is always a gamble. I found this recipe for baked toast on Pinterest (I wish I would've saved the pin so I could link it, her tutorial is so much better than mine!) and thought I'd give it a try.
Ohh boy, did he LOVE IT. 

Baked Cinnamon Toast

What You'll Need:
Bread (I do about 4-5 slices at a time
1 stick of butter (softened)
Cinnamon & Sugar 

How to do it:
1. On a baking sheet, lay out your bread. Spread your softened butter over each piece of toast
2. Sprinkle with Cinnamon and Sugar
3. Broil for 5-6 minutes
4. Remove from oven, sprinkle more Cinnamon and sugar over the top, if desired. Let cool, cut in halves, and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

5 Ways to Let Your Toddler Help in the Kitchen

Lately I've been letting Little Dude help me in the kitchen more. He gets his own specific task that I try my hardest not to interfere with, usually stirring something or dumping out bags for me. He loves helping out and actually gets crabby when I don't let him help! I've found through some trial and error what really works for him and what doesn't, and maybe it'll help with your helpful toddler too!

1. Put on an apron and make it official. Then, tell him how handsome he looks.
For whatever reason, this really makes him happy and excited to start cooking! Also, it protects the clothes, not completely, but every little bit helps.

2. Give him his own tools. We use a cheap spatula and an unbreakable bowl for him. Knowing those are his and mommy or daddy isn't going to steal them gives him a sense of security. His tools are his and he really focuses on his task at hand.

3. No matter how messy the outcome will be, let him help and make that mess. In the photo above he tried to help me fill the cupcake liners, and it turned out to be a terrible mess! (He loved it, so between you and me, I loved it too!) We usually let him have his own corner of counter space to make a mess out of. Our home should be sponsored by Clorox at the rate we're going, ha ha!

4. If its safe to test out, let him test it out. He's tested out some things I never would, but it was safe to eat (disgusting, but safe) and he wanted to. I firmly believe that letting him explore using as many senses as possible only enriches his experience. Even if that does mean hes tasting mayo with seasoned salt or pre-egg cupcake mix.

5. Turn on some music and have fun! Slacker Radio has the BEST stations for kids, so we usually turn on something for him, but while we wait for cupcakes to bake or while mommy needs to clean up we have a dance break! It comes as a lifesaver when your helper wants to keep helping and has to wait!

What tips do you have to add for toddlers helping in the kitchen? 

Monday, October 14, 2013

On Glasses and Frames (GlassesUSA.com)

Something you may not know about me, is that I am as blind as a bat. I've worn contacts for years, but honestly, it's time to switch things up- so when I heard about GlassesUSA.com, I was excited to find a great company, where I could really have some fun with my new look! 

The thing is, glasses weren't really my thing until now. I'd always hated them, or how they made me look. Also, with my lifestyle as a teen BMX racer, I really didn't want to risk breaking my lenses or not having clear vision on the track. But now, I'm a mommy, and glasses are truly a lifesaver for middle of the night needs! 

One of the big perks about GlassesUSA, is that when Bubba found out he needed eyeglasses earlier this year, we were able to calm his nerves about his new look by using the Virtual Mirror feature on their website, and have some fun too!
And boy, did we ever have some fun- use the tool below to try it out for yourself!

The one thing we found that we really liked about the website, was that their variety of eyeglasses frames was fantastic! They had so many different styles, shades, colors and variations of what you could do with the glasses, like as turning them into sunglasses, added scratch protection, etc. AND it is all very affordable!

It was great to shop and only have the glasses on his face,
we knew exactly what we wanted!
We've had our experiences elsewhere, we've done the eye testing, and we've had the fun of waiting weeks and weeks, undergoing testing, doctors offices trying to up-sell us on more expensive frames. These guys don't do any of that, you can shop at home in your pajamas, and they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee! After spending sometimes with GlassesUSA, we really can't seem to find a better place for prescription glasses!

On top of them having a fantastic website, they've also shared a promo code with you all so you can get 10% off any order - use promo code BLOG10
(and if you're really wanting an out-of-this-world deal, check out their clearance sale, and their special promos!)


Hi!  It’s me, Meredith from over at merelynne. com.  I wanted to gush about my upcoming wedding.  Everytime I start talking about my November 2nd wedding my face lights up.  I absolutely cannot wait to marry my best friend and start our lives together.  I keep hearing from so many that our lives will change once we say “I do,” but I am having a hard time believing it.  We live together, pay bills together, and have two dogs together already.  I just do not know how a little piece of paper and a massive party will change us, but I guess we'll find out.

I always dreamed of my perfect wedding, just like most other girls out there that loved to be a bride for every. single. Halloween from the time you could remember or was that just me?  I imagined a fairytale wedding that looked vintage, casual and welcoming for friends.  Then I started looking on Pinterest for wedding ideas, which was great but still sooo bad at the same time.  I got overloaded with projects that I wanted to do and bring to life.

Here I was 9 months from the wedding date with an overwhelming cloud of ideas.  I had to pick the ones that meant the most, leave some to side and then get help.  I love, love the idea of a DIY wedding, but I am not afraid to pay someone else for that DIY feeling.  Here’s what I decided was important to me:

- if I was keeping it after the wedding then I wanted to make it or have someone I personally know make it; or
- if it was going to cost too much to buy it then I made it.

That’s it!  That was my conditions.  

With less than 2 months to go, here’s what we’ve made or will be making it as it gets closer:

- candy bar as our favors in our wedding colors (navy and eggplant);
- a wooden letter “R” covered in pearls for our cake table;
- a letter “R” covered in twine for the welcoming table that was made by one of my bridesmaid; and
- welcoming bags for out-of-town guests.

I love graphic design (and am an amatuer) and thought it would be therapeutic to design our own programs, menus, rehearsal invites, and thank you notes.  

Now, here’s what I paid for:

- banners for our chairs that say Mr. and Mrs. and with our wedding date from Etsy;
- our food and cake (I am not about to attempt to cook for 100 people, no thank you!);
- wedding coordinator to help me and everyone else stay on point on the big day;
- florists and linens that are designing gorgeous tables with mason jars filled with flowers for our centerpieces; and
- the best photographer that I could find in my area, I mean seriously him and his wife are geniuses.
I do not know about you or your friends if they were/are planning a wedding, but for me it made sense to DIY the projects that are important to me.  Now, my fiance really does not care as long as he has his infamous entrance song that he cannot wait for.  For me, I wanted easy.  I know that I stress easily and can become a little bit of a bear.  I kept a lot of things simple like letting my bridesmaids select their own dresses and hiring help.  

I have a lot of wedding tips and ideas over on my blog, merelynne.com and would love any more tips that I can get my hands on.  Right now we are juggling making sure we get our food selections in on time, RSVP counts finalized, and our vendors paid.  All of that is enough to make my head spin!


Isn't she the best? I just love Meredith and am so excited for her upcoming wedding AND to see all the photos and excitement from it! Congrats lady, and thanks for guest posting with us- we just love having you!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Easy Shrimp Alfredo

Sometimes you just need an easy-peasy dinner. This recipe looks fancy, but frankly is just as easy as they get! I did do some altering to the easiest version, so I'll give you BOTH recipes today!

What you'll need: 
Easiest Version:
Pasta noodles, fettuccine, linguine, or angel hair
Alfredo Sauce

How to do it:
Easiest Version: 
Boil noodles in a pot. In a skillet, start to cook the shrimp.
Once they're cooked, add the pasta sauce and mix pasta, sauce and shimp well. You're done!

Easy Version:What you'll need:
Pasta Noodles
Alfredo Sauce
Lemon Pepper & Lemon Juice

How to do it - Easy Version:
Boil noodles in a pot.
In a skillet start to cook the shrimp. Add lemon pepper and lemon juice. Once cooked, you're going to create a sauce for the shrimp.
Pour a tiny bit (about two spoonfuls) of Alfredo sauce into the skillet. Add 1/2 cup milk and 1/4 cup flour, and mix well with a whisk. Once all the flour is dissolved, you should have a thick sauce. If its too thick, add more sauce or milk, if its too thin, add more flour.
Once everything is cooked, mix the noodles with the rest of the Alfredo sauce, and then top with the shrimp.
Serve and enjoy!