Thursday, January 30, 2014

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Teachers

I'm normally the parent throwing together a gift at last minute for our teachers, but I'm determined this year will be different. I've rounded up a few of my top Valentine's Day teacher ideas for this year to share with y'all - and to hold myself accountable!

Jackson will only be at his current daycare until May, so I'm wanting to do more special things for his teachers and the staff. I'm loving the hot chocolate baskets and Starbuck's gift card printable ideas! I have a feeling I'll use a f handful of these posts for other teacher gifts throughout the year :)

What's your favorite item to gift teachers? I'd love to know!


Check out the fabulous ideas below and the bloggers who originally shared these ideas by following the links below each photo!


S'Mores Mason Jar Valentine // A Night Owl Blog


"POP"ular Teacher Valentine // The Taylor House




The Biggest Perk Printable // Skip to My Lou


Hot Cocoa Mason Jar // Lemon Tree Dwelling






Hot Chocolate Basket // Dixie Delights


Thank You "a latte" // Jolly Mom

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chocolate Peppermint BTS Cake

The thing about Christmas leading into Valentine's Day is that you're able to take advantage of every last bit of peppermint in your pantry. My cabinets are still bursting with bits of red and peppermint, so what better way to sweeten up your Valentine's Day than with a Chocolate Peppermint BTS Cake?! This cake is perfection!

I first served this cake for Christmas lunch and have every intention of baking it again to finish off our Valentine's Day menu. Every last bit of this cake was gone Christmas morning before I could even save one solitary piece to photograph. Someone had even licked the pan. It was that good. 


Can I let you in on a secret ingredient to this cake...Oreo. Yeah, you should've know. I kind of have a thing for Oreos. Now read this closely: the Oreos are not optional. My husband had the audacity to question their necessity - just do it, don't question the calorie content.

Thank Cupid and Hallmark for a February Holiday to pair chocolate fudge, peppermint, Oreos and whipped cream in a truly glorious cake. :)


Chocolate Peppermint BTS Cake

recipe via Something Swanky

Ingredients 

1 chocolate cake mix, prepared and baked according to the directions on the box.
1 cup peppermint dairy creamer
14.5 oz sweetened condensed milk
1 jar Smuckers hot fudge sundae sauce
1/4 cup peppermint dairy creamer
1 cup crushed Oreos
8 oz Cool Whip
Andes Peppermint Chips for topping (approximately 1 1/2 cups)

Crushed Oreos for topping (approximately 1 cup)

Directions

Prepare cake according to package and allow it to cool. Use the bottom of a wooden spoon to poke 20+ holes in the cake. Set aside.

Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and 1 cup of the peppermint dairy creamer in a small bowl. Pour over the cake, filling in the holes. Then in the same bowl, whisk together the hot fudge sundae sauce and 1/4 cup peppermint dairy creamer. Mix in 1 cup crushed Oreos. Pour the fudge mixture over the cake, spreading it out as evenly as possible.

Layer the cool whip over the fudge. Sprinkle on the Andes candy bits and crushed Oreos (amounts vary per personal preference).

Cover the cake and refrigerate for 4-6 hours until the sweetened condensed mixture has soaked into the cake and it's thoroughly chilled. Best chilled overnight!


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Monday, January 27, 2014

Life Created Tuesdays Link Party 19

Hai there! Sarah and I are excited to kick off another week of Life Created Tuesdays! 

Each and every week, we're 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 NINETEEN of Life Created Tuesdays with this week's features!

1.  Amy from Delineate Your Dwelling is getting us ready for Spring with this Spring Clipboard Gallery Wall!


2. Dana at This Silly Girl's Life has us craving comfort food with her Easy Homemade Shepherds Pie!


3. Sarah from Nurse Loves Farmer is making our lives easier by sharing how to Teach Your Kids to Put the Right Shoe on the Right Foot!



4. Kid's Activities Blog shared this yummy Very Good Chance of Meatballs Sandwich!




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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Countdown to Valentine's Day

I'm not one to usually jump all over the Valentine's Day train, but this year is different. This year, I caught myself outright telling Brandon I want a massage from the spa around the corner and that I'd get him a gift as well. I'm actively planning teacher's gifts, school friend's gifts and date night menu's.

This year, I've set out to be intentional and while I saw successes in this aspect this month, I hope to see even more in February. A big, big part of being intentional means carving out those ten to twenty minutes each day with His word. Over the last few weeks, I've been reading the Fresh Start series found on the She Reads Truth site.




The Fresh Start series challenged us to get into our physical Bibles and out of the apps. Truth be told, I didn't have a physical Bible anymore. Any Bible I had burned in the house fire a few years back. This was just the push I needed to get a new Bible. While I've still been a bit hesitant to really get it messy yet, I'm enjoying having the scripture in written form again outside of the phone.

I'm filling my heart with His truths as we round out January and venture into the second month of 2014. In this week and in the coming month, I hope to be intentional about celebrating those that bring love into my days and joy to my heart.

Stop back tonight for Life Created link party and be looking for a few posts on prepping for Valentine's Day in your home this week...ahem, printables!

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Six on Sunday


ONE


The exhaustion is too much to bear. Jackson has had the worst sleep regression over the last couple months. I've been meaning to post a please send help on how to re-sleep train a toddler, but y'all I'm just.so.tired!

So, here's what I've got (1) he's been in our bed for going on longer than I want to admit a/k/a months. (2) one of us can lay with him to get him to go to bed in his room, but the moment he wakes up in the middle of the night and no mama or daddy next to him all hell breaks loose. (3) We cannot get him back in the bed for the life of us.

Tips? Mom advice? Spare bottles of wine?

via

The above photos are no joke.


TWO


Friday morning graced me with missing my wakeup call by an entire hour (ahem, I was asleep on the couch with the 2-year-old), a freezing cold shower topped off by driving off for work with my breakfast and cell phone on top of the car. It took me until about to the entrance of our neighborhood to realize something.was.missing!

As I made my three-point turn to *hopefully* rescue my phone I witnessed a huge work van drive right down my road. Cue freak out! To my great surprise my phone survived with merely a flesh wound. (if you get that reference, which should be read with a British accent, I love you)

THREE


Truth: I may have had this BBQ Bacon Pizza as more than one meal last week.


FOUR

Last weekend I conducted my first initiation as the new member advisor for my sorority's local chapter. Seeing through initiation is the pinnacle of my advisory position. Last year, I had a prior commitment with the Inaugrual Ball so this was my first one! Holy cow, I have a ton of emotions to spill out onto the keyboard about that weekend! :)

FIVE

Brandon's Christmas gift was tickets to the Jason Aldean concert which finally happened last night and it was so fun! This date night couldn't have come at a better time. Florida George Line opened the show and were ah-mazing - just as expected! I heard every favorite Jason Aldean song, drank a few beers, danced and had a good laugh while people watching.


It was refreshing for my tired self and a nice change of pace from the same old thing.

I love going to concerts with the Hubs!

SIX

This week finished She Reads Truth's Fresh Start series. Of the many series I've read with this community, I'm going to be quick to say this is a top. The scripture, the reflections, the way He moves through this series is something special. I've found myself seeking the scripture of this series for reference many times over the last weeks. 


I highly encourage you take a look at the Fresh Start series if you haven't already read along.  Click the image above or follow this link to find the start of the series. 

Happy Sunday, friends!

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Football Food Ideas for Game Day

Confession: I "watch" the Super Bowl for the commercials and the appetizer spread. 

College football? Yes. 
Professional football? Not so much. 
Am I always up for a good Game Day menu? You betcha!

I put together my favorite gathering of goodies for the big game. From wraps to sliders and dips to spreads - there's a little bit of everything. If you've got a favorite game day treat I'd love to hear about it in the comments! 

Find the links to each recipe below their photos & pin the image above for quick reference later :)


Mini BLT Wraps // The Girl Who Ate Everything




Parmesan Pretzel Bites // Get Off Your Butt and Bake


Chicken Enchilada Dip Roll-Ups // Laura's Sweet Spot


Spinach Bacon Dip in Bread Bowl // What's Cooking, Love?


Mini Cheese Ball Bites // Five Heart Home


Creamy Cajun Shrimp Dip // Lambert's Lately 


BBQ Beef Sliders // The View From 510


Chicken Fajita Queso Dip // Inside BruCrew Life


Personal Veggie Dippers // Spearmint Baby


3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Dip // The View From 510


Cannoli Cream Dip // Cooking & Beer

And if that's not enough, be sure to check out my top appetizers for Cookout Season. Because let's get real, any appetizer is good year-round :)


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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

BBQ Bacon Pizza & Other Need-to-Know Bacon Tips

BBQ Bacon Pizza #BaconLove #sponsored
This post was created in partnership with Bi-Lo. All opinions are my own.


BBQ. Bacon. Pizza. Pretty much a triple threat. Am I right?

I spent about a year working in a restaurant that had killer pizzas, and in our downtime we all but perfected the art of pizza-making. Lord knows the many, many combinations we tried. The one result that's stuck with me through the years though has been our BBQ Bacon Pizza. Simply satisfying for the Southern soul. Ya know?!

After serving up a batch of my Crockpot BBQ Chicken Sliders earlier in the week, I save the leftover pulled BBQ chicken for a Friday night pizza treat. Win, win for the entire family, especially considering the men in my home could live solely on pizza. 

Let's get onto the details of today's recipe!

Really, it's hard to mess this up folks, and it's all dependent on the #BaconLove!




Shop Bi-Lo for the best deals in bacon this month during their Everybody Loves Bacon Event. I usually shop their Carolina Pride brand, but opted for the Oscar Meyer this week as it was just over five bucks after tax. Cue happy grocery budget :)

Now, something you need to know once you get your bacon home. Bake it, don't fry it.

This was a game-changer in our kitchen. I truly loathed the act of frying bacon and am thankful for an easy way to get bacon back into our kitchen. Just follow these simple steps!

How to Bake Bacon in Pizza #BaconLove

Take a cookie sheet, line it with aluminum foil or parchment paper and place the bacon out in strips. Put the sheet into a cold oven, then set the oven to 375 for 25-30 minutes. Remove the bacon from oven and set out on cookie sheets to drip the oil. 

I gave this baking bacon method a try last year and am now hooked! No messy clean up and the bacon is perfection each and every time. Just ensure you don't pull them before their turning a golden brown. If you prefer a crunchy bacon, the more golden the better.

Happy bacon baking, friends & find more bacon tips and recipes on their Destination Bacon Pinterest board or by following @BILOSuperSaver and #BaconLove on Twitter!

BBQ Bacon Pizza #BaconLove #sponsored

BBQ Bacon Pizza


Ingredients

1 prepared pizza crust
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cups pulled BBQ chicken (we use this Crockpot BBQ Chicken Recipe)
1 cup chopped bacon 
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
optional: chopped red onion

Directions 

Preheat oven to 450.

Coat crust lightly with olive oil. Place in oven for 3-4 minutes just to get it toasting. Remove from oven.
Layer with shredded BBQ chicken. Then mozzarella cheese. Next up, bacon, and last but not least the shredded cheddar cheese. For you onion lovers, dice up a red onion and sprinkle over top.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

linking up with Wake Up Wednesdays, Lambert's Lately, Inspire Me Please Weekend Hop, Link Party Palooza, Uncommon Designs, Marvelous Mondays, Home Stories From A to Z

Monday, January 20, 2014

Life Created Tuesdays Link Party 18

Welcome, welcome! We're kicking off 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 The View From 510, 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 EIGHTEEN of Life Created Tuesdays with this week's features!

1. Robyn from Simply Fresh Dinners shared her 20 Minute Marinara!

2. The Pin Junkie shared this Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup!



3. Blair from The Seasoned Mom shared this Martin Luther King Jr. Day Activity!


4. Cami from Titi Crafty shared 10 Winter Crafts for Kids!




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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