Things Bloggers wished you knew, but probably won’t tell you

I am so grateful for YOU today. If you have been following along this month, then you know I challenged myself to find something I was thankful for every single day.

Today, it is you!

You who come back day to day and read these musings.

You who come for a recipe you found on Pinterest and stay a while.

You who have been with me from the beginning.

You who are the reason I come back and share my heart and my life with you from day to day!

In case you’ve been lurking for a while, and not really interacted with me, change that today! I want to hear from you! You know how delighted bloggers get with people actually talk to them? Well, lots of delight happens!

Bloggers wish you knew

Some things that bloggers wished you knew:

1. Leave comments – Did you know that I personally read every single comment. I try to respond to every one as well. Sometimes, I have formed friendships with people from my comments that have turned into email pen pal relationships! In most of my posts, I ask a question. So if you don’t know what to say, then just answer the question. Oh that is so delightful!

2. Interact with others – Often times, people will leave comments giving me ideas of how to do things differently. This is a way for conversation to start! Don’t just comment to me, talk to other people! They usually get an email saying that you commented back, so it makes it even more fun!

3. Facebook – Did you know that I have a Facebook page? I am actually way more active on my page than I am on my own personal account. I have some people that leave comments for me quite frequently and I have grown to love hearing from them. I’m not really sure what I would do if Tausha or Lisa stopped talking to me on my page!

4. Share – Unless you are a blogger yourself, you probably don’t realize the power of you sharing. When you share something you read from my blog, you are doing more for me than you can imagine. Let’s say you liked this cinnamon roll recipe (it is amazing), and you decided to share it on Pinterest. Well, you now opened my blog up to people who might never have read it! One of my closest friends (hey Belinda!) shared a post on Facebook, and it received four times the normal amount of views. Sharing on social media is a small thing you can do to make a HUGE impact on a blogger.

5. Hang out for a while – Did you know I have been blogging for almost four years? There is a LOT of information back there in the archives! Play around the blog for a while, kick up your feet with some hot chair and make yourself at home.

What bloggers really want

Alright friends, there you have it. A list of things bloggers wished you knew, but probably won’t tell you! But the main thing you do that delights me, is showing up each day! Thanks for reading, thanks for supporting and thanks for walking with me on this journey!

25 Acts of Service Ideas for Advent

Over the next few days, I am going to be sharing with you some ideas I have for our Advent celebration. These are all leading up to me sharing with you each week my “lesson plan” (once a teacher, always a teacher) of our advent activities.

25 Christmas Service Activities

I know that I want to do everything I can to instil a heart of service in my children. I want them to know that life doesn’t revolve around them, and folks, that is a very difficult thing to do around this time of year.

Therefore, we are starting a tradition of doing an act of service each day. This could be something as small and typical as giving each family member a hug. Or it could be something as big and uncomfortable as giving out treats to the workers at the grocery store.

acts of service

Check out my list of service activities and come back the rest of this week to see some other advent ideas. Then, make sure you swing by here on December 1st, to see our advent plan for the week where I will give you more details on how they all tie together and how to effectively do them as a family!

What are some service projects you have done or want to do as a family?


Life is like a box of chocolates – Mrs. Cavanaugh’s that is

You’ve heard the phrase, “Life is like a box of chocolates.” right?

If you haven’t, then here you go:

Well, life really IS like a box of chocolates. Sometimes, you bite into one that is just nasty. Other times, you take a bite and are taken away to a chocolatey paradise.

Some days, life is like a dream come true. Other days, life gives you that one piece of chocolate in the box that no one wants to eat.

The day that Mrs. Cavanaugh’s chocolates came was like a dream come true. I was able to taste them so I could tell you my thoughts. (I know, sometimes this blogging thing is just SO hard).

Well, here are my thoughts.




This is actually how I eat my chocolates.


Is there another way to do it?

If so, I am unaware of it.

These chocolates were so tasty, and they do make the perfect treat for the holidays. I have a few Mrs. Cavanaugh’s chocolate bars that are going in stockings as a gift this year.

If you want to try them yourself, you can Buy 1 lb Get 1 lb FREE of Mrs. Cavanaugh’s Chocolates by using the promo code: usfamily2014

Have you tried Mrs. Cavanaugh’s chocolates before? I hadn’t heard of them before now, but I am so glad I had the chance to try them. Now, if only someone would send me a gym membership to review…

If your life were a box of chocolates, how would you describe the season of life you are in now?




This entry was posted in Reviews.

Thankful Tablecloth

Teaching kids to be thankful isn’t an easy task.

Especially toddlers.

Toddlers are naturally selfish by nature. It’s okay, that’s normal for them.

That’s why any way to get out kids to be thankful and think of others is a winner!

This Thankful tablecloth has been so amazing for our family.

How does a Thankful Tablecloth work?

First, I went to the store and purchased a disposable, plastic tablecloth. I am not planning on keeping this for future Thanksgivings, so I was okay with disposable.

Each family meal time, we talk about what we are thankful for. Originally, I was nervous that every day would be the same thing. However, I’ve been pleasantly surprised that we have come up with new stuff each day!

We leave a permanent marker at the table so we are ready to write anytime an idea comes up.

At meal times, we go around and talk about things. Usually, those things end up being something that happened that day.

My toddler has started just saying, “Mommy, write that down.” Every time we talk about what we are thankful for.

If you are looking for a fun and meaningful Thanksgiving tradition. This is something you can start today.

We started November 1st, but you could easily just do it the day of Thanksgiving and have everyone write down what they are thankful for.


Kid’s Turkey Felt Activity

I know. I know.

You are frantically running around the kitchen making sure you baste the turkey, check on the rolls (that aren’t rising as much as you want), switch out sides from the oven, set the table to look like a magazine and somewhere in there, find time to get fixed up for the main meal.

Turkey felt activity

Meanwhile, your children are hanging on you. Their little fingers are in every dish. Their constant questions, (“Mommy, what’s this? Mommy, can I have some?”) are about to drive you up the wall.

What’s a mama to do?

Well, here’s an idea!

Turkey felt activity (2)

Make a Kid’s Turkey Felt Activity

Grab some pieces of felt.

If you are a mama of young ones and you don’t have some felt lying around, go right now and put it on your list for Santa. I’ll wait.

Turkey felt activity (4)

Are you back? Okay, let’s get started!

Cut out a turkey shape. I didn’t use a pattern. I’m not that kind of mama, but if you are, I know the internet is probably full of turkey patterns.

Turkey felt activity (5)

Then, cut out your feathers from a variety of colors. I used three colors. That was enough for us!

Now, you can be done, if you want. Your kids have a turkey shape and feathers to play with.


You could add to the fun with more colors and shapes.

Turkey felt activity (6)

I cut out more shapes from the same colors. Then, this activity can go a few ways for stimulating their brains (and keeping them busy so you can work!).

Kid’s Turkey Felt Activity 3 ways

1. They can sort the shapes by color on the feathers.

Turkey felt activity (7)

2. They can sort by shapes on the feathers.

Turkey felt activity (8)

3. They could create patterns from the feathers. For example: have them make the feathers in the pattern of red, yellow, green, red, yellow, green, etc. Or you could come up with different patterns, such as; red, red, yellow, yellow, green, red, red, yellow, yellow, green.

Turkey felt activity (1)

These three activities will keep your children busy, and within sight so you can get things done.

Turkey felt activity (9)

She got so excited about sorting the shapes, that our turkey lost his eyes. They went with the circles!

What things do you do with your kids to keep them out of the kitchen while you work?

Oh and if you want another idea, did you see this cute Turkey Hand print craft from yesterday?

Family Christian Stores Black Friday Promo


It’s that time of year.

Everything goes on sale for RIDICULOUSLY amazing prices!

You know how much I love Family Christian stores, right? I mean, they have pretty much everything you could ever want.

I mean, except groceries. And chocolate bundt cake.

But, they have awesome deals going on this week.

Check these out!

$3.97 Veggie DVDs

Select Veggie Tales DVD’s are only $3.97. Seriously, you could add mondo to your collection for nothing!

$5 What's in the Bible DVDs

This is my new favorite series (Stick around, because rumor has it, I get to give one away in a few weeks!) I am going to be buying some of these for my husband kids. The What’s in the Bible DVDs are only $5!

50% off select Bibles. Shop now >

I am so excited about this one! I can’t imagine giving a greater gift than a Bible!

Proceeds from all sales the week of Nov. 22-30 go toward the fight against Human Trafficking. The goal of Family Christian Stores is to raise $150,000 to rescue those enslave in human trafficking. Find out more here!

Family Christian Stores allowed me to share these great deals with you, as a blog ambassador for them. In return, I was compensated with a gift certificate, which I will use to get some more DVD’s!

This entry was posted in Reviews.

Turkey Handprint gift bags for Thanksgiving

Giving cookies to neighbors is a very Christmas type activity.

But who says that you can only give cookies out at Christmas time?

Turkey Handprint gift bag, great for kids

I knew that I wanted to do something a little special for the ladies that watch my kiddos while I go to Bible study. I mean, those ladies faithfully change the diapers of my little guy and wipe my little chica after she goes. So, they need to be celebrated and thanked.


My favorite way of saying, “Thanks” is probably via food. I love to cook and I love to have people over.

Since it might be awkward for me to invite these ladies over to my house (since they don’t really know me, and they might think I’m just using them for their diaper changing abilities) I decided to make some cookies for them.


I made some AMAZING cookies. Seriously, ya’ll, these cookies are dangerous. I want them out of my house NOW, because I keep eating them. I think the first day I made them, I had around 20 cookies. I have learned that I have zero self control when it comes to chocolate and peanut butter. But…I digress.

Back to the gift bags for thanksgiving.

After cooking off four types of cookies, I put them in little baggies to keep the different kinds separate. Then, I got out these brown paper bags.

Turkey Handprint gift bags (2)

I used the paint colors I had on hand, cause that’s the kind of mama I am.

I painted the toddler’s palm and fingers and then had her print her hand on the bags.

Turkey Handprint gift bags (1)

They turned out so cute!

I then added a little message, and viola! Adorably fun turkey hand print gift bags for thanksgiving!

How to get some Me Time over the holidays

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Weave Made Media® and Sunset® Magazines, and The Hershey Company®, but all my opinions are my own. #weavemade #HolidayMeTimeMags


The holiday music is playing already in every store you enter. You haven’t put up your Christmas lights and your neighbors give you the evil eye about it every time you get your mail. Your children are fussy from all the relatives. The relatives are fussy because, well, that’s family. AND, you forgot to thaw the turkey.

Holiday Me Time

Ah…the holidays.

Our favorite time of year.

Our most stressful time of year.

Why do you need some Me Time over the holidays?

If the above paragraph didn’t sound familiar, then maybe your form of holiday madness comes in different forms. No matter who you are or how you celebrate, the holiday craziness WILL get to you at some point or another.


So, as a mama or a daddy, or a grandparent, or a single adult living alone, how do you survive the craziness. Or better put:

How do you get some Me Time over the holidays?

Here are just a few ideas of ways to get away and remember the reason we celebrate.


1. Unplug. Stop the barrage of social media. You can’t tell that your sister’s house looks prettier than yours if you aren’t stalking her photos on Instagram. You can’t tell that your best friend had more fun with her family than you did with yours if you aren’t checking Facebook statuses.


2. Take a time out. This is my person favorite. I used to think time out was such a bad thing. Then I became a mommy and realized how amazing it is to have mommy time outs. And what’s a good time out without chocolate and some light reading? Good news! Right now, if you shop at any Safeway stores, they have a coupon to save a dollar with purchase of one PEOPLE® or Sunset® magazine and one REESE’S®, HERSHEY’S® or other selected King Size bar.  The digital coupon is available through the Safeway Just4U online portal 11/21/14 – 12/19/14 (while supplies last). Click here to get your Tom Thumb Coupon!


3. Don’t focus on outdoing. How many times do we try to outdo each other? It’s common for mommies,

Mom 1: “Junior started potty training when he was ten months.”

Mom 2: “Oh, that’s nice. My little button NEVER wore diapers. She came out of the womb potty trained.”

It’s common among men;

Man 1: “I’m benching 290 [pounds] right now.”

Man 2: “Yeah, I would like to bench 500, but I’m only up to 495 right now.”

It’s just how we are, it’s our human nature. One way to de-stress this holiday season is to not get caught up in the comparison or outdoing each other trap. It just isn’t worth it.

What about you? What do you do to de-stress? Are you like me, in that your way to de-stress involves some me time with some chocolate and a favorite magazine? Or do you have a different way! Please share you idea in the comments!

Thankful Challenge Day 23 – 18 weeks pregnant

This week, I have my next sonogram. Incidentally, it is also the first time the doctor will have seen me this pregnancy. That is one of a few reasons why I am having to break up with my OB and find a new one. Although I LOVE my doctor, there are just too many horror stories coming from the office and I just don’t want to be one of them.

Here’s hoping I find someone just as great!


18 weeks pregnant checkup

How far along? 18 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: None. That isn’t a good thing. It’s still from the stomach bug, although if you read last week’s post, then I guess I could say I gained back those five!
Maternity clothes? Absolutely! Although, when I do wear them, you can’t really tell I’m preggo and when I don’t, then it’s like “WHOAH BELLY!”
Sleep: I have been sleeping like a baby now that our bed heater is on and I am warm. It’s the getting OUT of bed that’s the hard part.
Best moment this week: Having a sonagram and seeing our little one
Miss Anything? Running hard. I like to run where my heart rate goes crazy, but I can’t really do that when I have two hearts beating inside me.
Movement: Not much, I’m ready to feel this baby movin and groovin
Food cravings: Hot cocoa – I would probably be craving that even if I wasn’t preggo, though.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope
Have you started to show yet: The verdict is still out on that one. What do you think?
Gender: Not going to find out
Labor Signs: Not at all
Belly Button in or out? In (Like I said last week, I really only leave these questions in for those other preggo ladies that like to check out pregnant stats. I know the rest of you non preggo people really don’t care nor desire to know the status of my belly button, so just move along to the other questions!)
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy and Delighted! Thanksgiving is this week!
Looking forward to: Eating for TWO at Thanksgiving. (Although, guys, you really aren’t eating for two when you are preggo. Matter of fact, you need MORE food after the baby is born and you are nursing. Just sayin.)