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Spring Cleaning Room By Room

[…]blinds, light fixtures and ceilings. Spot clean any wall surfaces that have been splattered by cooking. use a wood cleaner to scour grease or cooking residue from cabinetry. Apply oven cleaner to the stove or run the self – cleaning cycle. Remove the knobs from the stove top and clean the surface and burners.  Don’t forget to also clean the range hood. See if any food has accumulated in the dishwasher catch drain.  Remove. Wipe down the surfaces of all other appliances, and clean the interior of the microwave. Launder draperies. Sweep and mop the floor. Organize or sort through pantry items for expired ones. Living / Dining Room   The bulk of cleaning in these rooms will likely entail dusting and surface cleaning. Dust down all artwork, lampshades, furniture, ceiling corners, fans, fixtures, etc. Move furniture down the walls. Vacuum furniture, including under sofa cushions. Remove draperies and launder. Remove books from bookcases and dust. Clean electronics after unplugging. Dust decorative accents. Swap throw pillows and blankets for lighter hues. Remove items from china cabinets and clean. Polish silver flatware. Thoroughly vacuum flooring, carpeting and accent rugs. Steam clean or shampoo the carpet. I hope you find this checklist helpful.   Happy Spring!      […]

Save Big with Campbell’s for a Limited Time

[…]Picante Sauce: Genuine Southwest flavor. Guaranteed to add a kick to your snacking and cooking. Made with handpicked vegetables. V8® Fusion® + Energy: Refreshing energy drink powered Natural Green Tea to provide the boost you need to get through your busy day Campbell’s® Chicken Noodle and other select Campbell’s Soups: Soups that taste great and nourish the entire family. A quick and easy option for mealtime that pleases everyone. Prego® Italian Sauces: Rooted in Italian American heritage. Homemade tasting. The perfect balance of sweet and savory Italian flavor. You can also save on these products that make back to school a little easier! Campbell’s® Ready Meals SpaghettiOs® V8® Splash® Click here for great savings on your back-to-school […]

Day 22 #30things My future holds:

[…]school and sports.  Hopefully we will have paid off our house as well and began saving for the kids’ college! In 15 years, since the kids will be older, I hope to get back to playing poker.  I have really missed it a lot!  I’m sure I should have more goals that don’t revolve around the kids, but I don’t, and i like it that way. What about you, what are your goals for the next 5, 10 or 15 […]

Quality drinking water without the bottle

[…]except at our cabin, so I really have no idea if it is good water.  We cook with it, we fill the kids’ water cups with it, I assume it’s good for them.  But I wanted to know for sure, so we scheduled the test.   We have a water cooler that we get most of our drinking water from.  Recently, we have ran out of jugs for the water cooler more times than I can count.  We have had to make runs to the store just for another one, which means a 25 minute drive each way {wasting gas, time, energy} just so we have some jugs of water to drink.   Having a water filtration system would eliminate those trips to the store for water.  We were undecided if we really wanted to bother with one, but then, he did that fancy water test.  The one that showed that we had 198ppm in our water…yuck!  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s all of the gunk that is in our water that, well, isn’t water.  The good news is that there aren’t nitrates or nitrites in it, but it still looks nasty.  After seeing it next to the water from the portable water filtrations system that was our water only clean; I realized I wouldn’t be filling the kids’ cups from there again.  To say the least, I was grossed out!  What goes into my families body is important, and 198 ppm isn’t quite what I had in mind.  We may just be installing this because I’m not sure I want to use the tap water for cooking.   Did I also mention that we have very hard water?  As in off the charts?  Yep.  Know what that means?  Water spots, no soap suds, a dirty film on everything.  The system the guys said would work best for us would take care of all of these problems.  That means saving money on soaps, cleaners, lotions.  Plus, no more paying for jugs of water for the water cooler.  We always have clean drinking water without the waste of the jugs.   If you are in the Coppell, Texas area and are ready to get the quality drinking water that you deserve, give Reeves Family Plumbing Inc a call.  What goes into your body counts.  Be sure it’s good for you.  Right now, new customers can get $50 […]

If You Were Me and Lived In…{Review}

[…]children, favorite places, money, favorite activities, foods, special days, school and more.  My kids absolutely loved being exposed to different languages but their favorite part was learning about common names in different countries. What a fun way to introduce young children to different countries! If you can’t tell – we are so excited to have these books and cannot wait to add more of these titles to our list. My daughter picked them up and randomly would read through them which was great. I wanted to take it a little further though. I read them – one after another – which led to great discussions about the differences from one country to another {Norway to Australia was a great comparison}. It gave us a great opportunity to point the countries out on the globe and discuss what makes their temperatures the way they are. We learned so much more than just where the country is though, being able to glimpse into the culture of that country made learning even more fun. For added fun – we love to try cooking a traditional meal from different countries as we learn about them. Carole P. Roman has other amazing titles. Click the link below to read some more […]

Our First Camping Trip in a Tent

[…]had any sleeping bags. We stayed warm enough and had an absolute blast! The best part was – the kids woke up the next day and excitedly said, “We want to do this again next year but for two days with all of the same people!” So, now I’m shopping for a few more things to get us ready for our trip. Working on some sleeping bags for all four of us, some sleeping pads,  and a cast iron pan for cooking over the fire. That’s what we are getting for Christmas this year, camping gear! If you are a camping family – what are your must haves or tips to make this a fun and memorable experience for us? Any must see places in Ohio? We are for sure going to Hocking Hills but after that, not sure what all we will do yet. I love the Roadtrippers app so what do I need to add to our things to do on vacation […]

Let’s Go Geography Review

[…]and Create.  At the end of the weekly lesson, you will find printable pages that go along with that week. I love that each lesson contains a variety of activities. I want to share with you how we use this throughout the week. We work through the beginning part together – reading about the place and she does the mapping activity. {She is nine and could absolutely work through this part on her own, but I don’t want to print out every page and my computer is riding the struggle bus, so the less the kids use it, the happier I am}. She can choose to color the flag, do the coloring page, the craft or the writing at any point in the week.  I also add in any books about that place or anything about that place that we have.  We have a few atlas books that also have some information about wherever we are learning about.  If it’s some place where I have been, we look through my photo album and money or anything else I have related to the area.  We have a fun cooking around the world book so we cook some of the traditional foods for that country. Designed to be used by a variety of ages – K-5th grade, this allows you to do all or some of the activities in each lesson based on your child’s skill level.  As we read through the first few pages of the lesson, we like to compare the size and population of different countries to the United States. I absolutely love that everything is clearly laid out.  You can even find the call number to look up books related to that country at the library.  Day one of the program guides you in setting up a travel journal – a three-ring binder.  As we go, we use a three-hole punch and add all of the pages in the binder.  These are separated by continent and are a great way to keep track of what you have done and the countries you have learned about. Since Maggie is nine-years-old and is doing the work – I tend to ask her opinion on things.  Since I have been giving thought to what we will be using next year, I wanted to know what she thought about Let’s Go Geography.  Her opinion – “I love it!”  She is very much a project / activity-based person so this is a great geography curriculum for her, so her response was no surprise.  This has been a fantastic jump into geography for us and I love that she has the freedom to choose what activities she does when during the week.  Working on Honduras, she is already asking where we are learning about next week. If you would like to hear what some others have to say about Let’s Go Geography – click the image […]

Become a dining daredevil in 2014

[…]Fork Diners’ growing eco-awareness and their desire for the wholesome simplicity of home-style cooking and minimally- processed foods is on the rise. Riding this wave, restaurants are returning to their predecessors’ roots, sourcing fresh produce and natural ingredients and cooking them up in a style that more closely resembles the authentic recipes that graced Grandma’s kitchen table rather than modern, industrial food products. We dare you: When people hear “farm to fork,” they immediately think of steamed vegetables, but this trend encompasses more than just radishes and such. Tender meat alternatives and locally produced cheeses are two items to look for on the menu. Don’t be afraid to order something with a beet or two for an added super food bonus! 3. Tea Time, All the Time Once confined primarily to Asian restaurants, tea is an increasingly popular beverage. In 2014, you’ll find tea used for novel and surprising purposes. For example, ground teas like matcha and chai can be used as dry rubs and marinades for beef, chicken or veggies. Tea-smoked salmon and pork will both make headway in the new year, and English-style tea-time gatherings at local cafes will also be big. We dare you: To find these tea-fusion meals, take a trip to an Asian fusion restaurant near you and keep an eye out for tea-smoked pork, ribs, or stir fry. For an added bonus, try one of our other favorite food trends of 2014, a hot sauce like sriracha. Feeling brave? Why not tackle the rest of our top food trend list on the Restaurant.com blog: http://thedish.restaurant.com/take-a-bite-out-of-2014-hot-food-trends-for-the-new-year/. Your tummy will thank you! Be social with Restaurant.com Twitter – Facebook – Blog – Google+ *Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of restaurant.com.  All opinions are 100% my […]

#Win dad an iPod Nano {Giveaway}

[…]Nano?? One lucky reader will receive an iPod Nano (MSRP $149)!!TO BE ELIGIBLE: Create a registry with at least 3 items on MyPerfectGift.com (or add an item to an existing registry if you already have an account). Use “MOMMY” in the “Referred By” field. All other entries in the Rafflecopter are optional.Sponsored by MyPerfectGift.com! Hosted by Bay Area Mommy, Katie’s Krazy Savings, & Filipino Cooking Recipes. Giveaway ends June 14 at 11:59pm EST. Open to US residents only. Must be at least 18 years old to be eligible. To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. This blog is not responsible for prize fulfillment. MyPerfectGift.com will send the prize directly to the winner chosen randomly. See full terms and conditions in the Rafflecopter form. For questions regarding this giveaway, contact Bay Area […]

Prepare and Clean Up Lasagna the Easy Way

[…]sauce over that Layer with uncooked noodles again Spread the rest of the hamburger around Cover with cheese Cover with tinfoil Cook 40 minutes {approximately} Take tinfoil off and cook 5-10 more minutes until cheese is golden Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich […]

Cooking with Kids: Salty and Sweet Trail Mix

[…]favorites and some other goodies Mini Marshmallows Pretzels Chocolate Candies Directions Start with the Goldfish crackers.  We started with one cup of Goldfish crackers.  We added in about 1/2 cup mini marshmallows, 1/4 cup chocolate candies, and 3/4 cup pretzels.  See – a great way to talk about the different measurements, or for the younger kids, which is more / less than the others.  It involves a lot of conversation and even more giggles when somebody sneaks a bite before we are finished, after all, that is half the fun, right?! Anyways, after our {not so} precise measurements, we shook it up really well, then added in more of anything we decided we wanted more of in it.  We had so much fun working together and being silly and even more fun eating it.  You can bet that when it was time for Maggie to do her writing assignments, she made sure she had a bowlful of fresh fruit and a few handfuls of her new favorite trail mix.  Now her brain was ready to get to writing.   What stories will you create when you let your imagination run […]

Some common and not so common uses for coconut oil {Giveaway}

[…]minutes or until chips are lightly brown.  Add salt if you want.  Can be eaten plain or served with salsa or dip. Replace vegetable oil in recipes with coconut oil. Use in place of butter. Homemade coconut granola. Check out more coconut oil recipes here. Skin Care Shaving lotion – works as a moisturizer at the same time. Body Scrub Homemade deoderant – I am trying this! Homemade lip balm – trying this one too!  I go through a ton of chapstick. Diaper rash cream Nipple cream for breastfeeding Mix it in the bathwater and soak in it. Hair Care Leave in conditioner – trying this too, I have a lot of hair! Tame those flyways Other uses Natural toothpaste.   Aromatherapy Protecting a cut or scrape.  We have used it this way a lot since Maggie is constantly falling and scraping her knees. Feed it to your dog or cat. For more information on coconut oil: check out this video. For more information, visit: Tropical Traditions Gold Label What is Virgin Coconut Oil How to Use Coconut Oil Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil: http://coconutoil.com Giveaway open to US and Canada.  Ends at 11:59 pm EST on September 7, 2013.  Good luck!   Entry-Form Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.   If you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring […]
Read more » Some common and not so common uses for coconut oil {Giveaway}

Chocolatey Pecan Pie Harvest Bars + Fall Party

[…]cup Mott’s® Apple Juice 1gallon  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray.  Separate just over 1/3 of the cake mix and set the rest aside.  Add 1 egg and melted butter, 2 tbsp brown sugar and mix until smooth.  Spread into bottom of pan and cook for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.  While that is cooking, mix remaining cake mix with 3 eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, Mott’s® Apple Juice, corn syrup, brown sugar and stir until mostly smooth.  Pour over the first layer after it finishes cooking. Crush  M&M’s® Pecan Pie 9.9oz and sprinkle over mixture in pan.  Sprinkle finely crushed pecans over mixture as well. Cook for 40-45 minutes or until sticking a toothpick in comes out clean.  Let cool. Top with Pillsbury™ Creamy Supreme® Cream Cheese Icing and serve.   I hope you are enjoying the kickoff to fall this year.  The leaves are starting to turn, football is on and it’s time to really harvest our garden.  Soon we will have the cool, crisp air and bright colors on the trees.  What more can a girl ask for?  What are you cooking up this fall? Save Print Chocolatey Pecan Pie Harvest Bars Recipe type: Dessert Prep time:  15 mins Cook time:  60 mins Total time:  1 hour 15 mins Ingredients ~Pillsbury™ Moist Supreme® Cake Mix - I chose the yellow cake mix but whatever tickles your fancy ~1/2 cup butter, melted ~4 eggs ~1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar ~16 oz bottle light corn syrup ~2 teaspoon vanilla ~3/4 teaspoon cinnamon ~1 cup finely chopped pecans ~1 cup crushed M&M's® Pecan Pie 9.9oz ~Pillsbury™ Creamy Supreme® Cream Cheese Icing or whipped topping ~1/2 cup Mott's® Apple Juice 1gallon Instructions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray. Separate just over ⅓ of the cake mix and set the rest aside. Add 1 egg and melted butter and 2 tbsp brown sugar and mix until smooth. Spread into bottom of pan and cook for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. While that is cooking, mix remaining cake mix with 3 eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, Mott's® Apple Juice, corn syrup, brown sugar and stir until mostly smooth. Poor over first layer after it finishes cooking. Crush M&M's® Pecan Pie 9.9oz and sprinkle over mixture in pan. Sprinkle finely crushed pecans over mixture as well. Cook for 40-45 minutes or until sticking a toothpick in comes out clean. Let cool. Top with Pillsbury™ Creamy Supreme® Cream Cheese Icing and serve. No worries, there won't be leftovers. […]
Read more » Chocolatey Pecan Pie Harvest Bars + Fall Party

Sombrero Fiesta Dip Cups #Recipe

[…]is anything like ours, your kids love to snack, and you like to make it fun.  I love teaching the kids about all of the holidays and celebrating it with them.  Sometimes I go all out, and sometimes, I like to keep it simple.  Since Cinco De Mayo is coming up, I thought it would be fun to have a snack to go along with it.  It’s been a little hectic around here, so I opted for keep it simple. The kids begged me, so I picked up some Delimex Chicken Taquitos and some Delimex beef and cheese tacos on our last trip to Walmart.  We have had some rolled taco dippers before and I remembered how much they loved them so I knew they would be a hit!  Even though they gobble them up without anything else, I wanted to make it extra fun.  I thought about it for a few days, and then I realized that I could whip up a batch of Sombrero Fiesta Dip and I was sure that I had everything I needed on hand already.   Gather your ingredients. ~Chunky salsa ~8 ounces sour cream ~8 ounces cream cheese ~shredded cheddar ~shredded lettuce ~tomatoes ~green onions Now make it:    Mix the sour cream and cream cheese together.  Spread in bottom of dish. Add a layer of salsa. Add lettuce. Add cheese. Garnish with tomatoes and green onions.   Optional:  Jalenpenos, olives, taco seasoning, refried beans, corn My kids think these are the prettiest things in the world and are convinced that the cream cheese and sour cream is really ice cream.  They are weird, haha.  They couldn’t wait for the Delimex chicken taquitos and the beef and cheese tacos to finish cooking so they could dig into their fiesta dip cups.  Even dad can’t wait to dig in with them.   Do you make special foods to celebrate holidays?  What are some of your favorite foods to celebrate Cinco De […]

Passport to China + Review

[…]really loved the variety of different drawings and I had a lot of fun doing the activities with them {and I am NO artist}. Legos has become the kids’ very favorite thing to do when we are home.  I like to try to find a building challenge anytime we study a landmark from a certain place.  We all worked together to build the Great Wall of China.  Don’t just see Quicksketch and look at the picture.  Be sure to read through it for some learning challenges.  This quicksketch introduces them to the concept of depth in a picture.  Draw yourself in the front, draw yourself in the background.  Are they different?  It also includes an explanation on why the two should look different.  Before each section in the book you can also find facts on each continent. If you are a homeschool family or just want to bring more culture into your home, you will love the culture bundle.  What state or country will you learn about next?  What is your favorite thing about […]

When your kids room doubles as…… {Tuesdays Toddler Tales linky}

[…]works for us, at least right now.  The bedrooms are huge, and serve as multipurpose rooms. Both kids have slept with us since they were born.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  It has worked for us and I love it.  As they get a little older and started sleeping better, I began putting them to bed in their crib, which is in our room.  Then, with Maggie, at one point, I moved her crib into her room {through the bathroom so still very close by}.  When she wakes up, she comes to bed with us.  The same will be true for Charlie, and all of the rest of our kids. However, we love to have company, and often times, that company stays the night.  We have an oversized queen mattress that we throw down on the floor in the kids’ room whenever we have company.  Then, Maggie just goes to bed in our room, which she loves!  A few weeks ago, we had my sister, her husband and the new baby staying with us, so we moved Maggie’s toddler bed into our room, the crib into our room because we are starting to use it with Charlie once in awhile.  Our room is also housing our exercise equipment so it’s pretty packed in there. Having the beds out of the kids’ rooms got us thinking.  Maybe, just maybe, we would make it a toy room only in there.  Right now, most of the toys are in the living room, but that makes the house look messy often times, and now that Maggie is a bit older, we let her play upstairs alone more often. I would really love to share more about our bedrooms with pictures, but they are so unbelievably messy right now, that I am not brave enough to show them to you!  So for now, the rooms are both jam packed with things and we can’t make up our minds on what we want to do.  In the mean time, there bedroom is decorated with these awesome jungle stickers that Maggie loves!  Each week, you will find the Tuesday’s Toddler Tales linky with a different topic.  This weeks topic is our kids’ bedrooms.  Next week, stop back and link up your mommy confessions, these should be good. What do you want to share about your kids’ rooms?  Is it just a bedroom, or does it also double as a toy room?  Do your kids share a room?  Did you decorate with a theme you are in love […]
Read more » When your kids room doubles as…… {Tuesdays Toddler Tales linky}

We have a kids paradise kind of yard

[…]what we just got for FREE on Craigslist.   While John and his friend were reassembling this, the kids had to help!    Now I just have to survive the mini heart attacks I have when Charlie decides he is fearless and tries to JUMP from the top of […]

Effortless Caramel Apple Pies Recipe

[…]snack.  I knew the Keebler® Ready Crust® Mini Graham Cracker Pie Crusts would be a hit with the kids and get them in the kitchen helping mix up some goodness.  Let’s face it, if you are going to have pies, you need to have some Reddi-wip®, right?! The last thing I had to decide was what could we fill them with that the kids could do completely on their own.  I left that thought to rumble in my head while we shopped.  We ALWAYS have to pick up a gazillion containers of yogurt or I’m fairly sure we will all starve to death.  We always have our favorites but I couldn’t help but grab a few new flavors that are the perfect fall flavors AND would make the perfect filling for our tasty treats we were going to be making.  Dannon® Greek Yogurt; Oikos® Pumpkin Pie Greek Yogurt and Light & Fit® Greek Apple Pie Yogurt.  With the thought of caramel apples on my brain, I picked up some caramel and couldn’t wait to make these.   Since Friday was Maggie’s 5th birthday {what, seriously, how did this happen?}, that felt like the perfect time for a treat.  Now, we generally have tons of different types of yogurt in our house, but you will almost never see me eating greek yogurt, I am just not a fan.  Until now.  I’m serious here folks, the Light & Fit® Greek Apple Pie Yogurt is so delicious that I’m now converted.  Okay, I know you are now dying to know how to make these, so enough chit chat.   Here you go! Save Print Effortless Caramel Apple Pies Recipe Simple 5 ingredient caramel apple pie recipe. Recipe type: Dessert Ingredients Keebler® Ready Crust® Mini Graham Cracker Pie Crusts {they come in a 6 count package so you have to make 6. It's the rules} Reddi-wip® Dannon® Light & Fit® Greek Apple Pie Yogurt Caramel Sauce - I like the small cups for apple dipping just because they are the perfect size. Small apple Instructions Put caramel sauce in bottom of pie crust. Spoon Dannon® Light & Fit® Greek Apple Pie Yogurt into crust to fill. Add Reddi-wip® Top with an apple slice. 3.4.3177   Effortless Caramel Apple Pies Ingredients Keebler® Ready Crust® Mini Graham Cracker Pie Crusts {they come in a 6 count package so you have to make 6.  It’s the rules} Reddi-wip® Dannon® Light & Fit® Greek Apple Pie Yogurt Caramel Sauce – I like the small cups for apple dipping just because they are the perfect size. Small apple Directions Start with Keebler® Ready Crust® Mini Graham Cracker Pie Crusts Spread a layer of caramel sauce on the bottom of pie crusts Spoon Dannon® Light & Fit® Greek Apple Pie Yogurt to fill pie crust Add Reddi-wip® Use an apple slicer to core and slice apple.  Add apple slice to top of pie.  Not only are apples just tasty but they make a great spoon too. Serve them up to your favorite people and enjoy. The kids had so much fun making them but even more fun eating them.  It was a total win-win for her birthday celebration.  They got to have a delicious pie treat and I got away with a pretty healthy dessert for us all.  See the process from start to delicious finish. Everyone will love these Caramel Apple Pies that take less than a minute to make and taste amazing. #EffortlessPies AD #yummy #dessert #recipe #ontheblog #ourpieceofearthblog A video posted by Our Piece of Earth (@summers1405) on Oct 12, 2015 at 12:51pm PDT Leave a comment letting me know some of your favorite quick and easy fall recipes that the kids can help with.   Find more effortless pies recipes the whole family will […]

10 Ways We Use Lemon Oil

[…]kick that cough.  We use this a lot in the diffuser in the kids’ room if they have a cough. Cooking Lemon oil can be used in cooking for marinades to add that delicious lemon flavor. When applying lemon oil to the skin, direct exposure of that area of the skin to sunlight should be avoided for at least 12 hours. Edited to add:  My niece had tons of blackheads in her ears.  I applied a drop of lemon oil to the tip of a q-tip and rubbed it on the blackheads.  Within 2 days, almost all of them were gone.  This was after they had tried multiple other things with no results.   Disclosure:  None of the information available on Our Piece of Earth has been evaluated or approved by the FDA.  These articles should not replace using personal judgment or seeking medical treatment when needed.  They are also not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Talk with your health care provider or a certified aromatherapist before using essential oils.  All essential oils are not created equal, so do your research prior to using.   These are just some of the many uses for lemon oil.  This is absolutely one of my must have oils.  What are your favorite uses? If you are ready to pick up some lemon oil and put it to work at your house, you can find out how to order these oils here.  You can find more great articles on essential oils by visiting this page.  As always, if you have questions, please use the contact me here. Related articles 10 Ways We Use Thieves Oil Orange and Lemon Essential Oil #Giveaway 10 Ways We Use Lavender Essential […]