Monday, April 14, 2014

Life Created Tuesdays Week 29

Welcome back for another week of Life Created Tuesdays! 

Each and every week, I'm so excited to see you join us in sharing a bit of your life created. Whether it be a recipe, tutorial, life lesson, blog tip, or roundup galore, we want you to share with us. Come here, or It's A Vol, every Monday at 9:00 p.m. EST to link your latest posts with the Life Created link party.

For those of you joining for the first time, don't be shy! We are here to create a community! Check out your fellow bloggers' posts and leave a comment on what you love. We're here to build each other up!

Let's kick off week TWENTY NINE of Life Created Tuesdays with this week's features!

1. Blair from The Seasoned Mom shared her zesty Dijon Chicken Salad!


2. Bonnie from the Pin Junkie shared this delicious Greek Salad!



3. Amy from Delineate Your Dwelling shared these beautiful Gold Striped Easter Eggs!


4. Bridget from What's Cooking in the Burbs shared these yummy Chicken Caesar Club Wraps!


 You can tell we were hungry this week!

If you've been featured feel free to grab a "featured" button for your page or sidebar!


Rules & Regs
1) Please link back to either Sarah or me in the form of a link or the button below. We work hard for y'all so we really appreciate it when you link back!

2) Please link directly to a specific blog post and not your blog's main page.
3) NO giveaways or shop links. Period. End of discussion. Violators will be removed.
4) Posting here implies that you give permission for your blog post (including photos) to be featured the next week. We will NEVER remove a watermark or pass your content off as our or own and we will always provide a visible link back to your blog.

5) Posting here gives permission to be added to the Life Created email list. This is one email that goes out every week once the link-up is live. If you do not want to be added to this list but still want to link up please email me or Sarah.


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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mornings with #QuakerShakes

This post was created in partnership with Quaker. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I often tell people that mornings as a parent are more of a marathon than a sprint. Each morning hits in a phase much like what I'd imagine would be something similar to how a runner would mentally prepare for and execute a marathon.

My favorite point in the morning marathon? That moment I've clocked in at work, taken a deep breath, brewed my coffee and bring a bit of breakfast to my desk. It's those first ten minutes of the work day, I take slow and allow myself a bit of breathing room, praying room and a few minutes savor breakfast.

Mornings with #QuakerShakes #sponsored

When Quaker contacted me about their newest breakfast option, I was a pretty excited. They're now offering Quaker Breakfast Shakes in three flavors - chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. I've always been a fan of a morning shake.

For the sake of convenience, it doesn't get much better. BUT THEN, Quaker went and made these shakes packed with whole grains and protein to fuel you for the rest of your day. Yes, please.

Mornings with #QuakerShakes #sponsored

The taste of a shake can be hard for some brands to get right, but Quaker has outdone themselves. The chocolate shake may as well be chocolate milk and the strawberry is my official new favorite strawberry drink!

Mornings with #QuakerShakes #sponsored

How are you fueling your morning marathons?

Hop over to my Morning Ideas for Parent's Pinterest Board for more tips and tricks for making it through the morning, and do yourself a favor by grabbing a $2.00 coupon before picking up your Quaker Shakes. :)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Simplify with Logitech Harmony & Best Buy

Logitech Harmony & Best Buy #sponsored #HarmonySmartKeyboard
Today's post is created in partnership with Best Buy. 

In our house, we tend to collect almost every new gadget that comes along. It's been this way since I met my husband eight years ago. So, when I heard Best Buy was exclusively selling the new Smart Keyboard Logitech Harmony Remote, I knew we'd need this. 

For years I've been attached to our Logitech Harmony remote and thought the keyboard would be well worth trying. Thankfully, I was right. You see, we don't use the television as just a television anymore. Having just a remote doesn't always cut it. And for a mama who's usually trying to tap out the name of the latest movie demands from my three-year-old, I'm normally working under pressure. 

Oh how I love the chance to type out our searches on a keyboard and not the remote!


Logitech Harmony & Best Buy #sponsored #HarmonySmartKeyboard

Gone are the days of a basic remote with a Smart TV and Apple TV. The keyboard allows quick searches and a touchpad that comes natural to the every-day smart phone user. Logitech's keyboard offers full Harmony control experience for TV-connected Internet and home entertainment devices. Along with the keyboard is a Harmony App which makes your phone a universal remote. 

My husband pretty much requires that hubs be able to tuck behind the wall along with the rest of our devices. And again, Logitech fits the bill. The hub for the Smart Keyboard can be controled behind cabinets or walls via IR, RF, USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi. Bam!

Logitech Harmony & Best Buy #sponsored #HarmonySmartKeyboard


Cue happy home synchronization! 

Logitech Harmony & Best Buy #sponsored #HarmonySmartKeyboard

The Smart Keyboard Logitech Harmony remote is available exclusively at Best Buy from March 23 - June 21, 2014. To learn more about Logitech Harmony at Best Buy check them out on Twitter @Logitech @BestBuy #HarmonySmartKeyboard

Disclaimer: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free. Opinions are my own.


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Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Magic of a Nap

There are some moments every mother holds dear to her heart. And, I think, one we can all agree on is how angelic our children appear during sleep. Mom after mom for decades now seem to dote on the beauty of a sleeping child.

Sure all the high-fiving begins as you celebrate a victorious battle of getting said child down for their nap or night of sleep. But the heart-bursting, love-filled moments come a bit later.


Like on a quiet Saturday afternoon when your usually no-napping toddler allows you two entire hours of nap time to get work done around the house. It’s that moment you look around, check the clock and realize you’re going to have to wake him up.

Prayers are sent up right then and there because as my grandmother will tell you, never wake a sleeping baby. In my house, this 100% applies to toddlers too.


As I snuck in to check on J, to see if by some grace he really was still asleep, I came upon the ideal afternoon sun beaming on my baby. My three-year-old baby. Funny, that’s how I’ll always see him - as my baby. And so, in true mom fashion I ran for my big-girl camera because in this instance the phone just would not suffice.

I managed to snap three photos before his little eyes creased open with a side-shot that could only be inherited from his mama. Oh no. Deep breathes. I’d woken the angel. And? Well, y’all, it’s not always a pretty sight when this kid wakes from a nap. To put it nicely, he’s typically in a bit of a "mood" when he wakes from naps.


But to my surprise, that side shot turned to an ear-to-ear smile and a "whatcha doin’ ma?" Oh how I love this boy and how he calls me "ma." Not mom or mama or mommy - ma.



He proceeded to do a few somersaults on the bed and reached for a couple books that sat on my night stand. His request to read him the Curious George book which mistakenly wasn’t put away was just too sweet to deny. And then in a split second, George was tossed aside for Grover. Crazy kid.




On that spring Saturday my sleepy boy took me by surprise and woke just as angelic as he slept.


And, in a sad turn of events, I've realized in the course of writing this post my baby isn't even technically a "Toddler" anymore but a, ahem, "Pre-Schooler." Oh gracious, I think I'll hold onto the toddler title for these last few weeks leading up to starting our new pre-school this summer!

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Peanut Butter Easter Bird's Nest

Today’s easy-to-create Peanut Butter Easter Bird’s Nests will be a fun treat to add to your Easter menu whether you’re baking with kids or adults in mind!

Peanut Butter Easter Bird's Nest #recipe

The idea of Bird’s Nests have been floating around since the first hint of Spring, which while the weather has been determined to hold us back, the grocers are more than happy to provide us with Spring candies. Pinterest is filled with plenty of versions of this Bird’s Nest, and I must say they turned out easier, tastier and cuter than I’d ever imagined!

Four ingredients, just four, that’s all you’ll need to create this finger-lickin’ dessert. Chow-mein noodles, peanut butter, melting chocolate and your choice of chocolate Easter eggs. We opted for mini Reeses’ eggs because (obviously) we needed more peanut butter.

Peanut Butter Easter Bird's Nest #recipe

Baker’s Tip: I used to depend solely on Wilton’s Chocolate Wafers for recipes such as this, but have learned that they’re much harder to work with than springing for some actual baking chocolate. My Kroger had in stock Ghiradelli Baking Wafers which I heated in a makeshift double-boiler and it was infinitely easier to work with than the Wilton wafers.


Peanut Butter Easter Bird's Nest #recipe

For even easier preparation, line a muffin tin to fill for allowing your nests to "set." This helps create a nicely formed nest! However, if you don’t have a spare muffin tin, you can certainly form these nests and let them set individually on parchment paper.

Peanut Butter Easter Bird's Nest #recipe

Hope you enjoy these Peanut Butter Easter Bird’s Nests as much as we did!

Ingredients

12 oz bag Ghiradelli dark melting wafers
1/2 cup peanut butter
12 oz bag chow mien noodles
Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs for topping the nests

Directions


Spray muffin tins lightly with Pam and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside.

Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter together in a double boiler. Slowly stir the chocolate wafers and peanut butter until it's a smooth mixture. Then fold in the chow mien noodles.

Drop by spoonfuls into the prepared muffin tin and mold into nest shapes. Place the Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs on the nests before the chocolate has time to set. 

Place them in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to allow them to set up more quickly. I recommend serving at room temperature.   


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