Easy Restaurant Dining with Toddlers at BJ’s Brewhouse

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and BJ’s Restaurants, but all my opinions are my own. #DineInOrderAhead #pmedia  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Have you ever been at a restaurant enjoying a meal and you see a toddler in the midst of a ridiculous tantrum? If you live in Southern California there is a chance it could have been my child. Ha. Recently we’ve kind been on a hiatus from any sit down restaurant dining because my toddler isn’t all that cooperative. Truly, I can’t blame here. Most of the time the food takes way too long, when it comes out it’s piping hot so there she is with her plate of chicken fingers and can’t understand why I won’t allow her to dig in right away. Further, she hates highchairs. There aren’t enough coloring crayons on this planet to make her want to sit still in a high chair for the better part of an hour. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Easy restaurant dining with toddlers

I missed restaurant dining and Peighton and I totally deserved a date night. Since Matt’s out of town I thought now would be the perfect opportunity to try out this new thing that one of favorite restaurants is doing. A new app from BJ’s Restaurant allows you to dine in while ordering ahead. I don’t mean just getting your name on the wait list. I mean they will actually have your order so by the time you get there, it’s ready to go into the kitchen to be prepared.

BJs Brewhouse-3-2

The Dine In Order Ahead feature was super easy to use. I downloaded the app, selected ordered ahead for dining in. I was even able to specify the time we’d be there. Perfect early dinner for me and my munchkin.

BJs Brewhouse-7-2

I went through the menu on the app and selected my order. The BJ’s favorite is my family’s favorite too! And of course no order is ever complete without a pizookie! I promptly got a confirmation email telling me that my order had been placed.

BJs Brewhouse-1

Once we arrived, I gave the hostess my name and told her that I had ordered ahead. She led us to our table quickly and soon our server was there bringing our drinks. I was his first customer using the app so we were both excited to try it out.

BJs Brewhouse-5

There was very little wait time so distracting with coloring and cho0 choo trains was sufficient. She was still coloring away when our food arrived.BJs Brewhouse-6

The was good, as always. I can never go wrong with this pizza.

BJs Brewhouse-8

Peighton agrees.

BJs Brewhouse-9

As soon as we were finished with our pizza, our waiter, Daniel brought out our pizookie. It was awesome! No waiting to order dessert. It just came right to us.BJs Brewhouse-10

Clearly this is a big hit with the little one.

BJs Brewhouse-11

Now to my favorite part of all. While Peighton was finishing up the dessert I hopped back on the app to try out  Mobile Pay. This was awesome. Before our waiter could even bring the check (and he was fast) I was able to hop on the mobile pay and pay for our meal including gratuity. It was awesome!

Before we left I had a little chat with Daniel our server. He was so nice. We talked about the ease of the app for both of us I was telling him how wonderful it is for families with antsy kids. We both agreed that it’s pretty much a lifesaver or at least a meal saver.

Make sure you check out the new BJ’s Mobile App.  When you use it for either Dine In Order Ahead feature or the quick Mobile Pay feature, you will save $5 on your order of $20 or more!

BJ’s Mobile App is available for iPhone and Android.

 

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Southwestern Steak Salad with Fresh and Easy

This post is brought to you by Fresh and Easy

Can I just tell you about the double sided coin that is cooking for one (and a half)?

When it’s just me, I usually dread cooking for one. It’s no fun when you have to cook AND clean. ;)

But, I eat so much healthier, meal time is quicker, and because of Fresh and Easy it’s even yummier.

Southwestern Steak Salad

Fresh and Easy Steak Salad-1-7

Fresh & Easy thinks that fresh, wholesome food should be accessible and affordable to everyone. They offer a range of their own brand products and freshly prepared meals, in addition to other favorite top name brands.

Fresh and Easy Steak Salad-1-5

We love popping into Fresh and Easy! The store is smaller and has just what you need without all the fillers. That’s perfect for me because I’m a mama with limited amount of time (I’m sure you can relate) and typically I’m running in with an uncooperative toddler. The small store size ensures that I won’t be rushing around the store looking for my necessary ingredients for more time than I have! Plus their staff is so friendly and available, if I ever can’t find what I need they are there to point me in the right direction.

Fresh and Easy Steak Salad-1-4

Sometimes we run in just before heading to the beach for delicious and healthy snacks to take along.

Fresh and Easy Steak Salad-1-6

Then sometimes we run for dinner supplies. I love their ready to cook pre-seasoned meats. The yummy carne asada is perfect for my southwestern steak salad! And this creamy cilantro dressing is my all time favorite. What’s awesome about Fresh and Easy is that if it has the Fresh & Easy name on it, it’s guaranteed to be free from artificial colors and flavors, transfats, high-fructose corn syrup or any other hidden nasties that are out there. How awesome is that? It feels good to have brands you can always trust.

Fresh and Easy Steak Salad-1-3

Since there is nothing better then fresh produce – I can pick up everything I need for my southwestern steak salad in one place!

In addition to the fresh meat, they also offer fresh bread and fresh fish that is delivered fresh every day!

And for the days when cooking just seems impossible, they even have ready to go meal time solutions. Try the enchiladas. They are a fav!

Fresh and Easy Steak Salad-1-2

My southwestern steak salad was the perfect summer salad. Packed with fresh veggies from Fresh and Easy, romaine lettuce, cilantro, red onions, avocado, and black beans. Topped with the savory and lean carne asada and the creamy cilantro dressing. It’s one of my go to meals for summer! Fresh and Easy Steak Salad-1

If you are in AZ, CA, or NV be sure to check out where the nearest Fresh and Easy is located and check it out! You won’t be disappointed!

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Fresh and Easy. All opinions and love expressed for Fresh and Easy are truly my own. Thank you so much for supporting the companies that help keep Making Home Base going. You can see my full disclosure here.

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Dog Silhouette Wall Decals from Walls Need Love + Memorial Day

Have I ever told you how much my little Peighton loves dogs? Like LOVES dogs!!! We don’t have a dog. A lot of people we know have dogs and she associates them by their dogs. When we are out and about and she sees a dog she has to stop and talk to them. “Hi, doggy!” Even when Face Timing with my mom she insists on seeing the “doggies” and will say, “come on, doggy” with her arms stretched out as if she’s going to give them a hug right through the phone. She just loves them so much and it’s the sweetest thing. So naturally, when it was time to give her room a makeover we had to include “doggies” somehow! So with some help from Walls Need Love, Peighton got a Gold Dog Silhouette Wall in her room!

gold dog silhouette wall_edited-1

Ya’ll know how much I love temporary wall treatments (I wrote a whole blog post about it here). They are perfect alternatives for renters and homeowners. I especially love these wall decals.

walls need love

We are in the process of giving Peighton’s room a makeover. It’s coming along really nicely but we had this wall with the closet that we didn’t paint and it was looking kind of sad.

I though the dog Silhouettes would be a perfect option for this wall because it would take the attention off the big ol’ ugly closet.

dog silhouette

I’m really loving gold right now so the gold “doggies” was pretty instinctive. I’m putting in gold accents in the space here and there so the gold dogs will fit right in. When I got the parcel from Walls Need Love the dogs came on these nice big sheets.

gold dogs

I ended up cutting them down to easily transfer them to the wall.

gold silhouette dog

I started on this little sliver of wall and moved over along the top of the closet, then down the other side of the wall. I was able to complete the entire wall in about a half hour. It was such an easy application!

silhouette dog wall

Here’s a little sneak peek of how things are coming along in the room make over.

Memorial Day Walls Need Love

To celebrate Memorial Day, Walls Need Love is have a great sale! They are offering 15% off PLUS they will be donating 5% of the total sale  to one of my favorite charities, Fisher House. Fisher House is a non profit organization that provides lodging at no cost for military families who have a family member undergoing treatment at a nearby medical facility. Fisher House is a tremendous blessing to many military families all around the country. It was a no brainer when Walls Need Love asked me what my favorite military affiliated charity would be. So not only do you get an awesome product, you get to help out a great cause! That’s a win win if you ask me!

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Check out some more of my favorite Walls Need Love Products:

WP74-Pixel_Diamonds-01_large

Geometric Removable Wallpaper

d45_1__Anchors_large

Anchors

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Chevron

f90_1__SanDiegoChalkboardSkyline_large

Skyline Chalkboard Decal

What are your favorites from Walls Need Love?? Share with me in the comments!

Walls Need Love provided me product for this post but my love for Walls Need Love is true and all opinions are my own.

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Mocha Banana Smoothie

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Nestle, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia  #BreakfastEssentials http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Mocha Banana Smoothie

Breakfast.

It’s soooo good for you!

But… it’s so hard for me. Breakfast foods aren’t my favorite. I always am underwhelmed by the options but I know I need to eat. I usually chomp on some toast while making a “real” breakfast for my daughter in the mornings just to get something in my belly. When I was pregnant with P, I was so sick that I couldn’t eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I snacked on crackers and peppermints. Early on in my pregnancy someone recommended I try Carnation Breakfast Essentials, if I could stomach it, because it’s packed with nutrients.

I tried out Carnation Breakfast Essentials and was able to mix the vanilla into a strawberry banana smoothie. I loved that even though I wasn’t able to eat much I was still getting some good vitamins and nutrients.

I’m back on the Carnation Breakfast Essentials wagon now that I’m a busy toddler mama. This time around I’m getting bit more creative with my smoothies.

Banana Mocha Smoothie

My favorite drink ever is a mocha banana smoothie. I love iced coffee, especially in the summer time and this drink is a nice little blended coffee with a twist.

Breakfast Essentials Banana Mocha Smoothie

I grabbed the Rich Milk Chocolate flavor of Carnation Breakfast Essentials from Safeway along with some bananas.

breakfast essentials mocha banana smoothie

I added in some cold brew coffee, the packet of Carnation Breakfast Essentials, and ice.

Mocha Banana Smoothie

This Mocha Banana Smoothie is such an easy and delicious way to get in those nutrients for the day and so refreshing! Some days I even leave out the coffee  so I can share with my little girl. She thinks it’s such a “treat.”

Mocha Banana Smoothie
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c. cold brewed coffee
  • 1 packet of Carnation Breakfast Essentials Rich Milk Chocolate
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 c. ice
  • ½ c. of milk or half and half (optional for a creamier smoothie)
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

You can find more Smoothie Recipes on Carnation Breakfast Essentials’ website or by finding them on Facebook.

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Whole Wheat Pizza Dough and Unplugging Around The Family Table

This post is brought to you by the J.M Smucker Company. All opinions are completely my own.

Have I ever told you how much my family loves pizza? My husband considers himself some type of pizza connoiseur. We love trying different pizza joints around town in the never ending quest for the perfect pie. I also love to make it at home. I’ve probably tried a few dozen different pizza dough recipes over the years before I finally settled on my favorite, and it’s even whole wheat. I know, I know. Please don’t click away – you HAVE to try it.

bread machine whole wheat pizza dough

Although I always try, between my husband’s hectic work schedule and my utter exhaustion after a day of chasing a toddler; it’s sometimes difficult to sit down together as a family for a meal. Toss in the constant need to feel connected and we may barely have a conversation! I’m so guilty of scrolling through Instagram through dinner!  As connected as we are to social media we are missing out on that with our families!

After signing the Disconnect to Reconnect pledge it was time to put away those mobile devices and focus on family around the dinner table.

And if there was one meal that gets my family to sit down and enjoy each other’s company it’s good ol’ fashion pizza. It’s something that my picky two year old won’t protest making meal time much more relaxed.
Whole Wheat Pizza

Smuckers is challenging families to Disconnect to Reconnect.

Disconnect to Reconnect is a movement to get families to unplug at the table for at least one meal, once a week. Put down the electronic devices, and turn off the television and enjoy a meal together. For me, it was about being present. My daughter will soon turn two and I’m reminded so often of how quickly time is passing. I want to soak up every moment I have with my sweet family. I don’t want to miss out on precious memories because I was zoning out on my phone.

disconnect to reconnect

So will you take the pledge with me? Will you pledge to live in the moment and Disconnect to Reconnect? Will you agree that the email messages and tweets can wait?

Head over to PowerofFamilyMeals.com and take the pledge.

Disconnect to Reconnect Giveaway-2

Smuckers is offering one winner this incredible Breakfast For Dinner Prize Package which includes:

  • Presto Jumbo Cool Touch electric griddle (1)
  • 7-piece kitchen utensil set with stand (1)
  • Family Talk conversation game (1)
  • Smucker’s Strawberry Natural Squeeze jam (1)
  • JIF Creamy Peanut Butter (1)
  • JIF Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (1)
  • Folger’s Classic Roast (1)
  • Hungry Jack Breakfast Syrup (1)
  • Hungry Jack Complete Pancake and Waffle Mix (2)
  • Martha White Banana Nut Muffin Mix (2)
  • Crisco No-Stick Cooking Spray (1)
  • Martha White All-Purpose Flour (1)

Use the rafflecopter below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway details:
The giveaway will run from April 29, 2014 through 12 midnight (PST) May 5, 2014. The winner will be selected randomly using the Rafflecopter widget and will be emailed promptly after.  The winner has 48 hours to respond and claim the prize before a new winner is selected.  Giveaway is open to US residents who are 18 years or older.

Now for recipe Whole Wheat Pizza Dough:

whole wheat pizza dough

 

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Author: 
Cuisine: Pizza
 
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough in the bread machine makes two small pies or one large pie
Ingredients
  • 1 c. hot water
  • 2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. active dry yeast (bread machine yeast)
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredient in bread machine according to directions.
  2. Set your bread machine on the dough cycle.
  3. Once it's finished divide the dough into two balls and place in two oiled bowls.
  4. Allow dough to set for 10-15 minutes before preparing your pizza.
  5. Prepare your pizza with desired toppings.
  6. Bake pizza for 7-10 minutes at 500 degrees on the lowest rack for a crispy thin crust.
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Furniture Makeover – Print Center from a Media Cabinet

This post is sponsored by DecoArt. All opinions expressed are completely my own.

I am soooo excited!

I finished a MUCH needed project and I’m sharing it with you today. It’s a before/after, furniture makeover, upcycle all in one.

My new Print Center from a Media Cabinet

DIY Print Center

Since I got my new desk my printer and Silhouette have been stashed in my dining room. I would have to pull it out, place it on the dining room table just to print. It got old fast. I had a vision for a print center where I could store my printer, Silhouette, and accessories. before and after print centerThen a few weeks ago while pursuing our (new) favorite thrift shop I spotted this old media cabinet. It wasn’t anything special but it was a perfect size and I knew I could make it just what I needed in a print center for my workspace.

Before getting down and painting this bad boy, we had to take off those doors. The cabinet doors came off, and we filled the holes with a little wood filler. Gave the whole thing a nice good sand and got ready to paint.

Chalky Paint Americana_edited-1

This project was a little more fun then usual because I got to try out a new (to me) paint line by DecoArt. The Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint. It comes in tons of beautiful colors with lovely names like Everlasting and Yesteryear. For this project I went with a light gray, Yesteryear and a fresh white, Everlasting.

DIY Print Center Makeover

The paint goes on really smoothly with great coverage.

We ended up adding a shelf inside for extra storage and drilled a couple of holes in the back for cords (not pictured).

Chalky Paint Furniture Makeover

For protection, I brushed on Americana Decor Creme Wax.

Chalky Paint Creme Wax

The Creme Wax isn’t like anything I’ve used before. It has a creamy liquid consistency but blends beautifully. A little tiny bit goes a long way. I’m not sure I’ll be able to go back to “regular” wax after this. I love it.

Furniture Makeover Print Center

This furniture makeover turned out better than I imagined – it’s the perfect print center for my workspace. It allows me to keep my print/cut tools handy without taking up valuable desk space.

If you want to try out the new Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint it is now available in Home Depot and Michaels stores. It is also available for purchase online at homedepot.com.

You can also visit the DecoArt Chalky Finish website for more information or check out more DecoArt Chalky Finish projects here.

For more furniture makeovers check out:

Painting Furniture - Mint Painted Nightstand

The Mint Nightstand

DIY Accent Table From A Wire Basket

DIY Accent Table

Two Toned Nightstand White and Wood

The Two Toned Nightstand

Linking up to some of these parties: Savvy Southern Style, My Repurposed Life, Not Just A Housewife

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Personalized Stationary Giveaway with Oubly.com

Hi friends! It’s a happy Friday, indeed :)

I’m happy to be talking about stationary today. I’m might be a little bit obsessed with stationary. I can’t help myself when I see cute stationary, I always find a way to justify buying a few more notecards or notepads. Anyone else do that? I also love browsing cute paper shops, and finding fun paper stores online. Recently, I discovered Oubly and I got lost in all of the beautiful products! From notecards and invitations to beautiful business cards – they’ve got great stuff.

personalized notecard_edited-1

I settled on a simple monogram notecard because I’m weak in the knees for any kind of personalized stationary ;)

oubly walkthroughOrdering online was pretty simple and streamlined. I selected my monogram notecards and personalized them with the font of my choice (tons of choices). I had the option of adding an image to the back of my notecards but opted for a nice clean look and kept them plain.

oubley

Less than a week later these babies were on my doorstep. Super fast (they are also located in California)!

oubly

oubly notecards

They were packaged really well, and covered in plastic wrap so they weren’t damaged at all during shipping. They even slipped in a few stickers which aren’t pictured here because I have an almost two year old, enough said.

One of my favorite things about Oubly though, is that they are eco-friendly and their products are made in the USA – huge perk in my book.

stationary

These are probably my favorite notecards. The paper is think and sturdy but still smooth, and the brown envelope gives a rustic feel, I like it.

notecards

Oubly.com has been so kind to offer THREE of my readers a $30 credit to their store so you can purchase some fabulous notecards (or anything that’s catches your eye)!

You can also connect with Oubly.com via Facebook and Twitter and stay updated with all their new products.

Enter in the rafflecopter below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Master Bedroom Progress and Plans

I’ve been working on our master bedroom for what feels like forever now.

A year ago I mentioned it in my home goals and I ended up going in a total different direction than what I had originally imagined. I’ve never felt really comfortable sharing my bedroom “in progress” because honestly there wasn’t much to show. Now that we’ve gotten a bit of progress going, I’m going to share a little today!

Master Bedroom Decor

I always thought that I wanted lots of bright colors in my master bedroom. I was headed down that route with the mint nightstand but it never felt right so I started backing off and going for more neutrals. I decided on this white quilt from IKEA which I love. It’s really comfy and I can brighten the bedding up seasonally with a throw!

Sunburst Mirror Bedroom Decor

Finding the perfect piece to hang above the bed was a huge challenge. I searched high and low for something perfect and I was just about to DIY something when I found this beautiful Kenroy Home Reyes decorative mirror from National Builder Supply. They have a ton of awesome products for the home! I love their large collection of home decor items. They have many more beautiful mirrors and I love their selection of lighting. Don’t forget, renters, lighting is a great way to change things up in your rental! Not only do they offer great home decor items, they have much more from kitchen sinks to shower faucets and much more!

Mirror and Master Bedroom Decor

I’m pretty obsessed with my mirror and I think it looks fantastic over our bed. It’s just the right size and I love that it’s a little bit glitzy while the rest of the space is more neutral.

blue dresser

And for a pop of color, you’ll remember my blue dresser from when I showed you the monogram photo clipboard.

I love this blue so I want to find some accessories that can tie together the blue and neutrals. I picked out a few fabrics that I’m loving here:

fabric picks

I have one I’m leaning towards and of course it’s not the same one my husband is leaning towards. Ha.

Going forward here’s what we have planned: 

Pick a fabric lead for pillows and possibly curtains

Hang a small gallery wall on the blank wall

Find the perfect rug

Get a bed skirt!

Hang oversized family photo

So be sure to check back soon because I’ll be sharing all of these projects here on the blog! Oh, and do you have a favorite of those fabric choices? Please leave me a note and tell me which you are leaning towards!

National Builder Supply provided me with the Kenroy Home Reyes mirror but my love for it is totally true and all my opinions are my own.

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Industrial Pipe Jewelry Organizer

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Cooking Light and Real Simple, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #FreshandFab http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Last week was the first of Spring. Here is California it’s felt like Spring for quite some time but hopefully the rest of country is finally starting to thaw out. Since Spring is officially here that means I’m officially starting the annual purge and organization. Last week I picked up one of my favorite magazines, Real Simple and got super excited about the household cleaning guide article! DIY Industrial Pipe Jewelry Organizer

After reading through all the awesome cleaning tips I was inspired to get organized! I used their cleaning tip to cleaning jewelry and realized how much of a MESS my jewelry organization has been! So when in Rome, or when in Spring, ORGANIZE.

Jewelry Organization

 During nap I sat down with my favorite snack and indulge in some “mama” time. Which included reading these two magazines and drinking a diet coke. Hello relaxation. Do you ever do that?

So much awesome inspiration to be found. Delcious recipes perfect for Spring, and tons of cleaning tips also perfect for that Spring deep clean!

About that jewelry organizer! I am loving the look of using industrial pipes in your home. I’ve seen them used as book shelves and tables, and I thought it would be really cute to try it out as a jewelry organizer.

It turned out lovely and it’s probably one of my favorite projects ever!

Industrial Jewelry Organizer

industrial jewelry hanger

Here’s the supplies you’ll need. Please don’t feel like you have to know anything about piping before you start a project like this because I sure don’t. I just went into Lowes and stared at the pipe section for a good 20 minutes and laid every thing out on the floor of the plumbing aisle until I got the look I was going for!

A block of wood. I actually used wood I already had and since I didn’t have one single piece large enough I ended up putting two small pieces together making about a 5 inch square.

1 – Black Steel Pipe 1/2in x 10in

2 – Black Steel Pipe  1/2in x 6in

1 – Black Steel Pipe 1/2in x 5in

2 – 1/2in Black Tees

3 – 1/2in black

1 – 1/2in black flange ( I couldn’t find a black steel flange so I got the galvanized metal and sprayed it flat black)

DIY Jewelry Organizer

Here’s a little secret. I messed up and you can see that here. When I bought my flange I accidentally purchased a 3/4in flange instead of a 1/2in. I had already spray painted it so I couldn’t exchange it for a 1/2 in. The flange was the most expensive part so I ended up just buying a bushing which connects two pipes that aren’t the same size. It has two size threads. So if you were to get the proper size flange you wouldn’t have that top piece that you see in this picture.

Nevertheless, it worked out. To start building the jewelry organizer I first attached the flange to the wood block with four screws. I ended up also spray painting the screws to match the black flange.
industrial jewelry organizer Now assembling the pipes. This is really simple. I started from the top with the first tee and attached the two 6in pipes to either side of the tee. Then I connected the largest piece of pipe to the bottom of the tee. This gave me a giant tee. Then I connect the other tee connector to the bottom of the longest pipe. I connected the 5in pipe to it to create the arm for the bracelets. Then I connected the last pipe to end of the tee. Then I connected the whole thing to the flange piece. Lastly I screwed on all the caps to give it a finished look.

My explanation is probably way more confusing than the actual assembly. Super easy. The last step was to wipe the whole thing down because the pipes were filthy! My hands were black with an oily film from the pipes so before I added my jewelry I made sure to clean the whole thing really well.

DIY Industrial Jewelry Organizer

 My favorite part is that you can totally customize this all you want. If you want an extra arm for bracelets you can add that. Or if you want it be smaller or larger – it’s totally up to you!

DIY Pipe Jewelry Organizer

It really is absolutely perfect as a jewelry organizer! I can see all of necklaces and bracelets really clearly.

If you are ready to get down and dirty with spring cleaning and organization you have to pick up the April issues of Real Simple and Cooking Light! What’s perfect is that Target is offering a $5 gift card when you purchase BOTH Real Simple and Cooking Light! It’s like getting two for one! AWESOME!

Sharing this project at some of these link parties: Not Just A Housewife

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coverLove Review & Giveaway

coverlovegiveaway Friends!

I’m so glad you are here today. I get to share with you a handmade business that I’m absolutely loving right now.

A couple weeks ago I asked my Facebook community where they loved to buy decorative pillows. Let’s call it a bit of research before writing this post, where I shared with you guys MY favorite places to get decorative pillows.

Courtney (a fellow mil spouse) shared her Etsy shop, cover Love, where she makes customized luxurious pillows (and more)! I clicked over to check out her shop and immediately fell in l o v e. I included it in my post about pillow favs because I thought you all would love her shop too. Turns out, you did! So Courtney and I got together and decided to offer a giveaway!

coverlove giveawayCourtney was kind enough to send me my very own coverLove pillow. I kind of agonized over which one I wanted because really, they are all so cute! I finally settled on the ticking stripe fabric monogram pillow.

And can I just tell you, cover Love includes a VERY nice luxurious synthetic down pillow insert with ever cover. I was so darn excited when I opened my mail box to see a big ol’ package when I was just expecting a pillow cover (that’ll teach me to read the whole description). The quality of the whole thing is top notch!

Courtney doesn’t just over pillows though, her shop has other customizable products like tea towels and baby onesies.

Check out these amazing picks that I love.
il_570xN.483404482_ehq8

Personalized Distant Hearts Map Pillow
il_570xN.509717153_7ixv

Personalized Postmark Pillowil_570xN.544048618_eici

Personalized Coordinates Tea Towel

Be sure to head over to cover Love and check out all the fabulous things she offers. She has so many custom options!

Now how about winning a…

$35 credit to cover Love GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No purchase necessary. To enter, participants must use the Rafflecopter form above. This giveaway is in no way affiliated, administered or endorsed by Etsy, Facebook, or Pinterest. The giveaway closes on February 16 at 11:59 pm PST. The winner will be notified via email. Winner must be 18 years of age or older and a US resident in order to win. Prize is valued at $35. Winners are responsible for paying any necessary taxes on winnings.

Disclosure: I was given a pillow to review. All opinions are 100% my own.

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Home Goods Gift Card Giveaway!

Happy Monday friends!

Because it’s a Monday….

and because I just love you guys so much…

and because I want you to meet my awesome blog friends…

I teamed up with some of the best blogs around to bring you a fun giveaway! $325 to Home Goods! And ps. my Canadian friends can enter and win!Home Goods Giveaway

Follow the Rafflecopter below to enter! Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Crock Pot Cheesy Tortellini Recipe

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Barilla, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #JoytotheTable  http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO.

I LOVE my crock pot. I use it to death in the winter months. I just love be able to dump the ingredients in and letting it do all the work for me! Ya know?

One of my favorite crock pot meals is Cheesy Tortellini. I’ve made it for years and my family loves it. Crock Pot Cheesy Tortellini It’s easily one of the tastiest meals ever. Cheesy tortellini with sweet italian sausage, in a cheesy tomato sauce. What more could you want? The best part? You can totally hide in a bunch of healthy vegetables for the kids (and husband)!

tortelliniYou can find this Barilla Tortellini in the pasta section. I love the three cheese and the cheese and spinach varieties. Can’t go wrong with either one.tortellini pastaTo make, I added all my ingredients except for the Barilla Tortellini into my crock pot and let it cook on high for about 4 hours. Towards the end of the cook time, I boiled the tortellini separately until it was cooked al dente.
crock pot tortellini Then I stirred in the tortellini…
slow cooker tortellini and cheese. mmm… cheese.Cheesy Tortellini

I always serve mine with a little extra cheese on top. More cheese is better I say.

Crock Pot CheesyTortellini
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Package Barilla Tortellini
  • 1 Package Italian Sausage
  • 1 Jar Pre-made pasta sauce
  • 1 8 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz package of mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup sliced mushrooms
  • ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped onion
Instructions
  1. Cook italian sausage until brown, drain fat.
  2. Into crock pot, mix together, cooked italian sausage, pre made pasta sauce, crushed tomatoes, mushrooms, green bell peppers, and onion. Cook on high for 4-6 hours.
  3. Near the end of the cook time, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add in Barilla Tortellini and cook according to package directions. Once cooked to al dente, strain water.
  4. Stir tortellini and mozzarella cheese into crock pot. Allow to cook for another 10 minutes and then turn off and serve.

Currently, Barilla is offering $.75 off the purchase of ONE (1) package of Barilla® Tortellini in stores. For more recipes or to learn more about Barilla you can visit them on Facebook.

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Gold Glitter Christmas Sign

This post is sponsored by Plaid. As always all opinions are 100% mine.

Gold Glitter Christmas SignI’m continuing my holiday decorating today with some gold and some sparkle with some help from Mod Podge!

My crush on gold has spilled over into my holiday decor and I’m super excited! I’m thinking gold, silver, with the traditional Christmas red this year. I’ve been working on little projects here and there and I can’t wait to get it all together. Today, I want to share this Gold Glitter Christmas Sign and how I made it!

Gold Glitter Christmas Sign

Supplies:

Mod Podge Sparkle

Paint Brush

Gold Spray Paint

Dollar Store Tray

Letter Cutouts
Mod Podge Chirstmas Sign

Instructions:

First, spray paint your dollar store tray gold. Once it’s dry you are ready to adhere your letter cut outs. For the letters you can use stickers, or simple letters cut from card stock like I did. To adhere the letters to the tray, brush a light layer of Mod Podge to the tray and gently press your letters into the medium. Brush another layer of Mod Podge over top of the letters to secure them. Follow those steps with all remaining letters. Allow it to dry about 15 minutes, then brush a layer of Mod Podge over the whole tray. This will give the whole tray a nice glittery shimmer. For more sparkle, you can brush on another layer after another 15 minutes of dry time.

That’s all there is to it. When it dries you’ll have a beautiful sparkly gold glitter Christmas Sign! Christmas Decor Sign I love the “Fa La La La La La La,” it’s so festive don’t you think?
Gold Christmas Sign

For more crafting inspiration be sure to check out Plaid’s blog and Facebook. You can also sign up for their newsletter.

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Holiday Desserts: Coconut Marshmallow Brownies

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and its client.

Brownies are probably my absolute favorite dessert. I make them way too often. It’s bad. But they are sooooo good. Now that I’ve pretty much perfected my favorite recipe they are great to whip up for different events. This year I created a special holiday dessert to take along to a holiday party. Coconut Marshmallow Brownies. I love the coconut and chocolate combination! And since coconut flakes kind of look like snow, it gives the dessert a festive feel. Wouldn’t you agree?

Coconut Marshmallow Brownies with secret ingredient #coffee

The best part about this take along dessert is that I bet you have the majority of the ingredient in you pantry! Anything you’re missing you’ll easily be able to find on a quick trip to Walmart!

#kraftessentials #maxwellhouse coffee marshmallow brownies #shopThe major players here are Baker’s chocolate, cocoa powder,  Maxwell House coffee (the only brand I drink!), Kraft Mashmallows, Baker’s Coconut Flakes, and vanilla beans. See the recipe below to view the full list of ingredients!

#shop #kraftessentials coconut browniesOnce the ingredients are all whipped up it yields the most delicious batter. The brownie batter is so rich with a secret ingredient *cough* coffee *cough*! The coffee really gives a rich flavor and brings out the chocolate!

coconut marshmallow brownies

5.0 from 1 reviews
Coconut Marshmallow Brownies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
 
Use every day ingredients to make the perfect holiday take along dessert.
Ingredients
  • Brownies:
  • ⅓ cup cocoa
  • ½ C. brewed hot coffee
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
  • ½ C. plus 2 T. vegetable oil
  • 4 T. butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
  • Seeds of 2 vanilla beans
  • 2½ C. sugar
  • 1¾ C. flour
  • 1 t. salt
  • Frosting:
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • ½ bag (10 to 10½ ounces) Kraft mini-marshmallows
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ bag Baker's Coconut Flakes
Instructions
  1. Brownies:
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and brewed coffee. Stir in the chopped chocolate until melted.
  4. Mix in the oil, butter, eggs, yolks, sugar, and vanilla. Stir together until the batter is smooth.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
  6. Combine the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients carefully. Stir together until the mixture is completely incorporated.
  7. Spread brownie batter into the prepared pan.
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool completely before frosting
  10. Frosting:
  11. Combine the cream, marshmallows, confectioners' sugar, and salt in a large saucepan.
  12. Heat over medium-low heat, continuously stirring until marshmallows are melted.
  13. Pour the mixture into the bowl and refrigerate until completely cooled.
  14. Remove the frosting from the refrigerator and beat it on high speed, using your stand mixer or an electric hand mixer scraping the sides of the bowl. Beat frosting for about one minute or until the frosting is smooth. The frosting will be thin.
  15. Set aside at room temperature for about 30 minutes and it will stiffen up enough to spread.
  16. Spread frosting over top the brownies. Top liberally with coconut flakes

And of course, you’ll want to make an extra batch to keep at home because they are simply irresistible.#shop #kraftessentials brownies

You can see more about my shopping trip to Walmart here.

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Decoupaged Runner with Martha Stewart Crafts

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Blue Print Social for Martha Stewart Crafts by Plaid.  Of course, all opinions are 100% my own.

So yesterday I talked about Thanksgiving and showed you my simple fall centerpiece. Well today I’m looking forward to Christmas. I know, you are thinking I’m crazy. But listen folks, there are only SIX weeks left until Christmas. That means we’ll be hearing Christmas music and finalizing our holiday menus really soon! So bear with me today as I get a jump start on some holiday decorating with Martha Stewart Crafts! I used some fun doilies and decoupage to make the cutest runner for a holiday centerpiece.

Decoupaged Runner for A Holiday Centerpiece
For this project you’ll need:

A wood board (scrap is fine) sanded and stained

Martha Stewart Doilies

Martha Stewart Decoupage Matte FinishDecoupaged Runner for A Holiday Centerpiece

After you’ve sanded and stained your board, and allowed it time to dry. You can pick out the doilies you want to use and prepare them. There were several to choose from in the pack, you’ll have to poke out the little bits that are still attached. Don’t worry, this went quickly.

Then you can space them out on your board. I liked like the look of some of the doilies folded over the edge of the board so I did that with the larger ones.  Once I figured out exactly how I wanted them placed, the board was ready for decoupage. To adhere the doilies to the board, I painted a bit of the medium onto the back of the doily, then placed it on the board. Once it had dried (about an hour), I painted over the doily again with the decoupage medium. I repeated that step another two times (waiting one hour for dry time) to make sure the doily was properly adhered to the board.

Decoupaged Runner for A Holiday CenterpieceI love the nice matte finish. You wouldn’t even know that I used three coats of decoupage.

I love that you can use the decoupage on an array of surfaces, not just wood! You can also use it on ceramic or glass, and it is dishwasher safe. Win!

Decoupaged Runner for A Holiday Centerpiece This project turned out even better then I expected. I love how the gold pops of the dark walnut stain. It’s the perfect way to give your table a little sprucing up for the holidays!

You can find these doilies, decoupage, and the whole line of Martha Stewart Crafts (which includes craft paint, glass paint, decoupage and more) at Michaels or online at Plaid’s Online Store.

For more inspiration you can check out Plaid Martha Stewart Crafts on Facebook, Pinterest, or sign up for their newsletter here.

Happy Holiday Crafting!

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Last Minute Halloween Decor with Cottonelle

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Cottonelle, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #CottonelleTarget  http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO.

The trick or treaters are coming this week folks! If you need a quick last minute something to spook your neighbors I’ve got the perfect last minute Halloween decor for you. It was fun to make and I bet you have the main “ingredient” in your house right now.
Spooky Spider Web Door DecorCheck out my Cottonelle Toilet Paper Spider and TP web! I  was able to whip this up in 20 minutes or so and it’s going to be perfect to spook the my trick or treaters.

Here’s what you’ll need

Cottonelle Triple Roll (So you can have a nice big spider)

Black Ribbon

8 Black Pipe Cleaners

Hot Glue

Tape

Spider Web Door Decor

Grab a roll of TP. I love Cottonelle Triple Roll because it’s nice a fat, making it the perfect spider body (plus you don’t need to change the TP roll as often…keepin’ it real!). Start by dabbing a little hot glue in the middle of your TP roll to hold the end of the ribbon.
Spider TutorialThen you can start wrapping the ribbon around the roll. I had to cut pieces of ribbon to get them through the roll, making sure to hot glue the ends to the inside of the roll.Spider Door Tutorial

After your roll is completely wrapped with ribbon, you have your spider body complete. For the legs, hot glue four pipe cleaners to the inside of the TP roll and then bend the ends for a more authentic look ;) Toilet Paper Spider

Here’s the fun part. You get to TP your own house! Create a little web for your spider. I did this by winding the TP up and taping it together into a web.  Here’s a little trick for hanging your big ol’ spider, use fishing string. Yup! I just fed a piece of fishing string and tied the ends, and duck taped it to the top of the door. That’s all friends. 30 minutes and we have the perfect last minute Halloween decor!

IMG_0858

And guess what? At Target, you can get a free box of Kleenex when you buy Cottonelle Triple Roll 12 pack or larger with this coupon. This coupon is only good while supplies last so hurry hurry and get your #1 Halloween decor supply!

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Cheesy Sausage and Potato Bake with Hillshire Farm

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Hillshire Brand Company but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #buy3save3  http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO

Since the fall weather has arrived I’ve really been craving warm and filling meals. There’s something about comfort food that really warms your belly and soul! Don’t you agree? Cheesy Sausage and Potato BakeThis Cheesy Potato and Sausage Bake is a favorite in my house. My husband loves it and it’s one of those meals he calls “rib stickin” meals. I think that’s man speak for filling :) I love because it’s delicious and affordable. And it also can be prepared in the morning, and tossed in the oven 30 minutes before dinner. Which is perfect for that dinner time rush that we’ve got going on over here.

Cheesy Sausage and Potato Bake I headed to Vons to grab some ingredients for this week’s menu and got a smokin’ deal at Vons with their Just for U program. I was able to buy 3 Hillshire Farm products and saved $3.00. Perfect to stock up for those fall comfort meals! Cheesy Sausage and Potato BakeAlright, grab your Hillshire Farm sausage and potatoes and get ready for this cheesy goodness!

Cheesy Sausage and Potato Bake with Hillshire Farm
 
Ingredients
  • 4-5 medium potatoes, peeled and boiled
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 Hillshire Farm smoked sausage rope (I used turkey sausage)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. After boiled potatoes have cooled cut into cubes and set aside.
  3. Cut sausage link into ½ in. slices then cut in half. Toss into skillet at medium heat and allow to cook for about 10 -15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, melt butter in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Add in flour and whisk constantly. Add in milk, still whisking constantly. Turn heat down to low, and add in 8 oz of cubed cheese. Whisk periodically until cheese is completed melted. Remove from heat, stir in sour cream, salt, and pepper.
  5. Add sausage, and potatoes to casserole dish and quickly toss.
  6. Poor cheese sauce over top and lightly stir.
  7. Add shredded cheese over top.
  8. Bake in preheated over for 35 minutes.

Cheesy Sausage and Potato Bake

I’d love to hear, what’s your favorite comfort food meal?

For more Hillshire Farm sausage recipes visit the Hillshire Farm website. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

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BBQ Beef Sandwiches with Kraft Recipe Makers

Summer is starting to wind down but I know those grills are still heating up! We are savoring every last summer night in our home and I’m sure you are too.

What’s better for a summer time meal than good ol’ bbq?

Most barbecue these days happens on the grill but yesterday I made the some delicious BBQ Beef in the slow cooker! Sounds amazing doesn’t it?
BBQ Beef with Kraft Recipe Makers

My local Vons had an awesome new line of products called Kraft Recipe Makers. The Kraft Recipe Makers are a combination of two savory sauces that along with your fresh ingredients make one of three fabulous dishes. They offer seven delicious varieties with each one allowing to one dish three different ways. They are so easy, you simply add your fresh ingredient for a flavorful, homemade dish any night of the week.

BBQ Beef with Kraft Recipe Makers

I found the Kraft Recipe Makers in the sauces/”meal starters” section of my local Vons. They were towards the end and couldn’t be missed. All of the varieties looks delicious, but I opted for the Slow Cooker BBQ Beef because it seemed like the perfect summer time meal. And as a busy mom, I love any opportunity to put my slow cooker to use.

BBQ Beef with Kraft Recipe Makers

My family absolutely loved the beef! So tender and flavorful. And I loved the easy of just tossing it in the slow cooker and allowing it to simmer all day. We served the BBQ beef on crusty rolls, what could be better for a summer meal?

You can find Kraft Recipe Makers at any Safeway store or their affiliate stores. With seven varieties to choose from you’re sure to find one your family will enjoy!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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