the peanuts gang

Double Duty Uses for Hefty Waste Bags

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
#Hefty4BoxTops #CollectiveBias

This Fall, my biggest little mister will be headed off to school full-time. First grade and a chance to spread his wings! A new school and it’s my opportunity to dive in and get my feet wet and help in any way I can – starting with the Box Tops for Education program. I helped at their old school in conjunction with another local district and after learning some tips and tricks from my sister-in-law along the way, I think I’m ready to tackle it solo!

One of the biggest steps of the program is to actually collect the Box Tops which can be found on select products you buy at the store. Because the program focuses on the amount you collect, the more you can round up, the better! This means that the products that offer more Box Tops are the way to go – enter Hefty! Everyone needs trash bags and Hefty is a brand that helps you give back even more. Did you know that Hefty is the only trash bag that supports the Box Tops program? As an added bonus, they offer FOUR box tops per Hefty waste bag product.

Box Tops for Education with #Hefty4BoxTops #Ad

More trash = more Box Tops, right? Think outside the bag and use your Hefty waste bags for more than just your garbage collection! By doing so, you’ll have an excuse to collect even more Box Tops for your school. I’ve put together some great ways that your Hefty waste bags can work double duty for you.

Hefty Odor Block Lavender Vanilla Drawstring Bags #Hefty4BoxTops #Ad

On the Move

We made a BIG move this summer and Hefty waste bags were INVALUABLE! You can use them for any number of things. I loved putting them over hanging clothes so that we didn’t waste boxes packing them. Simply cut a hole, place the bag over the top of 5-10 hangers depending on clothing width, then lay over boxes for easy transport. Once in your new home, pop into the new space the Hefty will also deodorize your closet in no time!

#Hefty4BoxTops in Moving #Ad

You can also use them to store pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals during the move. This makes them a bit squishier and will fit in those extra spaces on the truck and provide additional cushioning.

#Hefty4BoxTops Fits in Small Spaces #Ad

For Play

Bags are not just for trash! Use them as ground cover  when the kids decide to play outside in their tent. It provides coverage from the prickly grass and can protect against dampness – keeping them dry!

Tent & Ground Coverage #Hefty4BoxTops #Ad

In a Rainy Emergency

I’ve been caught more than once in the rain without an umbrella like that time I took a Double Decker tour in Chicago while it poured. With this Hefty waste bag hack, however, you’ll never be caught wet again! These simple to make ponchos are the perfect on-the-go rain protector and fold up nicely to fit into your purse or glove box when needed.

DIY Hefty Waste Bag Poncho #Hefty4BoxTops #Ad

Place waste bag flat. Cut circle holes where the arms would be and then a larger hole for the head. Fold up and prepare to be rained on! As you can see, Charlie’s ready even though the sun might be shining now!

DIY Hefty Poncho #Hefty4BoxTops #Ad

As a Gift

You might not think of giving Hefty trash bags as a gift, but after my parents (who we now live two doors down from) helped us move all. day. long., I thought they could use a little surprise on their doorstep. Practical and simple to put together! A little thank-you gift basket to thank them for helping us out. Adding a little Box Tops collector box didn’t hurt either, especially since my mom lives in the same school district now as her grandsons! I had the boys hand deliver this little basket and leave it on her doorstep. We hope she loves her simple surprise!

Gift Basket by #Hefty4BoxTops #ad

I even used the Hefty drawstring bag itself as jar filler and ribbon for my gift basket. It was VERY simple to use in that way! Yet another duty of this versatile bag.

Gifts with #Hefty4BoxTops #Ad

Thanks for doing the “Hefty” Lifting with us! 

Hefty Lifting Gift Basket #Hefty4BoxTops #ad

Collecting Box Tops for your local school doesn’t have to be difficult. I bought these inexpensive bins at the same place where I bought my Hefty bags. I keep some in my cabinet near my dry foods for easy dropping (including a larger section for Box Tops that have been torn off, but aren’t yet fully clipped) as well as in a jar near my sink so I always remember to clip before I recycle the boxes!

Box Tops Storage #Hefty4BoxTops #Ad

Ready to clean up? You can find Hefty Waste Bags at your favorite local retailer. I found mine at Walmart where they had Odor Block® Scented Trash Bags in either Clean Citrus or Lavender Vanilla. I picked up one of each since I loved both scents! Head out now to find those specially marked packages of Hefty Trash Bags featuring 4 Box Tops during this limited Back to School time!

Hefty In-Stores #Hefty4BoxTops #Ad
Hefty has raised more than $3 million in contributions for school in its partnership with the Box Tops for Education. That’s a whole lot of cash for trash!

Find More from Hefty on Social Media:

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

How would you use your Hefty waste bags to help you give back to your school through the Box Tops program?

Samantha

Happy Anniversary to Us {and Jewel-Osco!}

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AHugeSale #CollectiveBias

Fifteen years together, five homes, four cars, two kids, and a lifetime of craziness, my hubby and will be celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary on August 7th. It’s hard to believe how quickly time flies when you’re having fun and with our recent move into a new house – there’s always time for a party.  We’ll be gathering our favorites this weekend for an anniversary + housewarming + unpacking party. Jewel-Osco has about 150 years on us, but they’re celebrating their anniversary also and their way of partying is with a BIG sale! We’re in luck and will definitely need to stock up on snacks and essentials Jewel-Osco for fueling our hard-working guests. Since we shop there as our regular grocer, this sale comes at the perfect time.

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In honor of this double celebration, I thought I’d feature some of their sale items and how they provide the secret to a long and happy marriage!

Secrets from the Shelves for a Happy Marriage #AHugeSale #Ad

The Proposal + Party

I remember my proposal like it was yesterday. He asked me to be his wife on top of the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel and that’s when he put a Rold Gold ring on it. We had a party with our family and friends about eighteen months after that.  No proposal story is a bad one – it’s the start of a new adventure, new fun, and a lifetime of love!

Put a Rold Gold Ring on It #AHugeSale #Ad

The Romance

In the early months and years after you get married, I like to think of this as the Tropicana time. Freshly squeezed with a little bit of pulp as you navigate the waters together, this sweet classic is sure to remind you of those fun-loving early years.

Freshly Squeezed Love #AHugeSale #ad

Add a Little Variety

Charlie & Jack - the Spice of Life #AHugeSale #Ad

While my husband and I go together like Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips in a Quaker Granola Bar, we thought we’d mix it up a little bit and add some variety by adding two little misters to our crew. Charlie came about five years in and Jack arrived two years after that. Lucky for us, Quaker makes a variety pack of granola bars also, so variety is the spice of life around here!

Chewy Granola is the Spice of Life #AHugeSale #Ad

Spice It Up

After all this time together, we have to work to spice things up like a little Mesquite BBQ. Regular date nights, weekends away, and taking time for each other are just a few of the ways you can connect with each and keep it hot when things seem to be headed to the Cool Ranch.

Hot & Chill #AHugeSale #Ad

Add a Little Sweetness

A little sugar goes a long way and stacking up a little sweetness always seems to smooth things over. Kindness can do a lot to ease the temperament between the two of you – a funny text, a sweet note, anything to show you care. Even Pepsi has shared that they are using real sugar, shouldn’t you?

Leaning Tower of Pepsi #AHugeSale #Ad

Refresh + Recharge

Life of Adventure #AHugeSale #Ad

When the stress of  building this life weighs us down, we usually have to take some time to refresh and recharge. Having solo time with friends, exercising, or pursuing a lifelong personal goal can be like Gatorade to your relationship – refreshing and giving you the endurance to finish what you started!

Gatorade - Refresh, Renew, Added Endurance #AHugeSale #Ad

Love

Happy Anniversary #AHugeSale #Ad

Last but not least, the key to a happy marriage is to add an extra heaping of LOVE every day. When in doubt, LOVE. And the rest of your LIFE will fall into place.

Live and Love LIFE and the Marriage will Follow #AHugeSale #Ad

Who knew that stocking up on your favorite snacks and family party favorites from Jewel-Osco could help you unlock the secrets to a happy marriage?

 Don’t miss out on the savings during the Jewel-Osco Anniversary Sale from 7/29 – 8/11. Pop in today and save on everything your family loves, from snacks and drinks to cookout classics and more. You can find everything you need throughout the store for your next family barbecue or summer party.

Jewel-Osco Savings #AHugeSale #Ad

I shopped at Jewel-Osco, but Albertons is having a HUGE Anniversary Sale at all of its banner stores. Be sure to check out the deals like Safeway, Vons, or Market Street too!

Happy Anniversary, Jewel-Osco (and us!) Which Jewel-Osco sale item could you use a little more of in your relationship?

Samantha

Baked Alaska featuring Blue Bunny Premium Ice Cream

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SunsOutSpoonsOut #CollectiveBias

Our family has been ice cream fans for as long as I can remember. From the time I could hold a spoon, bowls of ice cream deliciousness have been a childhood staple. My boys have inherited a love of this sweet stuff and so we make sure to get our fair share throughout the year – not just summertime! While we usually eat ours slathered in Hershey’s syrup, ice cream is perfection in all forms. I decided to try my hand at Baked Alaska and perfect the art form of “baking” ice cream.

Finished Meringue #SunsOutSpoonsOut #Ad

To make your individual-sized Baked Alaskas, start with high quality Blue Bunny premium ice cream.

Blue Bunny Premium Ice Cream - Baked Alaskas #SunsOutSpoonsOut #Ad

I started with flavors that I knew my crew would love – Peanut Butter Panic (that’s for me!), Mint Chocolate Chip (for Charlie + Daddy) and Super Chunky Cookie Dough (for Jack). One of my favorite parts of Blue Bunny? The HUGE chunks of chocolate deliciousness.

Family of Flavors - Blue Bunny Ice Cream #SunsOutSpoonsOut #Ad

Next, take a 12 count muffin tin and line with liners. Scoop a heaping mound of ice cream into each. By doing four of each flavor, I can customize my dessert for the people enjoying them and am not limited by one carton! Next, I used store-bought pound cake slice length-wise and used a lid to a mason jar for the perfect circle cut-out for the bottom of my Baked Alaska. Place each cut-out on the scoops until all are covered. Be sure to save all the extra pieces of pound cake for a bonus dessert!

Baked Alaska Assembly #SunsOutSpoonsOut #Ad

To mix it up a bit, I also made brownie bottoms. To do this, mix one box of regular 8 x 8 brownie mix and bake half of the batter to create a thin brownie layer. I repeated this for an additional set of bottoms. Once cut out with the same lid, save those leftover brownie pieces and set to the side.

Brownie & Pound Cake Bottoms #SunsOutSpoonsOut #Ad

The next step is to cover the muffin tin with plastic wrap and pop into the freezer until hardened. I recommend 24 hours if possible.

Trio of Flavors #SunsOutSpoonsOut #Ad

Time to whip up your meringue! You will need four egg whites, 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar (found near the seasonings), 1/2 c. sugar and a dash of salt. Combine the egg whites and cream of tartar and whip until peaks are slightly soft {see below}

Stiff Meringue #SunsOutSpoonsOut #Ad

Then, add your sugar and salt gradually, whipping as you go. Whip until the peaks become stiffer and the sugar is incorporated! Then, cover your individual ice cream cups completely with the meringue mixture. These do not have to look perfect because the swoops will brown slightly in the oven. Broil high in the oven until the tops begin to brown. Remove before your ice cream starts to melt! You can also use a cooking blowtorch for the same effect.

Voila! Individual Baked Alaskas featuring Blue Bunny ice cream – a luxurious looking dessert that doesn’t require a ton of effort.

Baked Alaska with Blue Bunny Ice Cream #SunsOutSpoonsOut #Ad

Now comes the difficult part – the cutting! You’ll see your ooey gooey ice cream in the center with a perfect cloud of meringue “frosting.” Dig in!

Baked Alaska for Everyone! #SunsOutSpoonsOut #Ad

I love the fact that you can customize this dessert to use any Blue Bunny ice cream flavor you could imagine! You might also consider swapping out the cake or brownie for something you love.

UpClose Shot of Blue Bunny Baked Alaska #SunsOutSpoonsOut #Ad

Pin this deliciousness for later – easy to make and the perfect anytime sweet eat!

Baked Alaska featuring Blue Bunny Ice Cream #SunsOutSpoonsOut #Ad

Remember those leftover brownie and poundcake pieces? Put together a little dessert on-the-go for kids or the young at heart. These ice cream trifles are the perfect treat for a quick sweet fix. Choose a glass of your choice, fill halfway with ice cream, crumble poundcake or brownie in another layer and then finish off with some more ice cream and whipped cream. Bon Appetit!

Miniature Ice Cream Trifles #SunsOutSpoonsOut #Ad

Super Chunky Cookie Dough Blue Bunny Ice Cream with Brownie

Brownie & Peanut Butter Panic Trifle #SunsOutSpoonsOut #Ad

Peanut Butter Panic with Blue Bunny Ice Cream and Pound Cake

Cookie Dough Trifle #SunsOutSpoonsOut #Ad

Mint Chocolate Chip Blue Bunny Ice Cream paired with Brownie

Mint Chocolate Chip Trifle #SunsOutSpoonsOut #Ad

Ready to build your own ice cream creations? Head to Walmart to pick up everything you need to recreate these ice cream masterpieces. They even make the access to the Hershey’s syrup that much easier! You might even find a demo at your local Walmart to try the new Blue Bunny flavors in the months to come.

In-Store Aisle Shot #SunsOutSpoonsOut #Ad

For more great ideas, find Blue Bunny on Social Media:

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook | Google+ | YouTube

How do you like to enjoy your ice cream?

Samantha

Not Just About Leggings, Vol. 9 #LeggingsWearDontCare

Volume 1 || Volume 2 || Volume 3 || Volume 4 || Volume 5 || Volume 6 || Volume 7 || Volume 8 

It’s a BEAUTIFUL Monday! The sun is shining and it’s a great day to rock some leggings and do your thing! I thought I’d take a moment just to share what this challenge really means to me and why I decided to make leggings a priority.

We live in a society where we seem to care an awful lot about who’s wearing what and when. Or who should wear certain pieces of clothing and who shouldn’t. With all the controversy around leggings, I started at the most logical place, but realized that it quickly covered the gamut, especially when my guest posters came along.

Fashion and clothing isn’t about pleasing other people. It’s about rocking confidence that makes you shine and ready to tackle the world. It’s about putting together an outfit that screams “YOU!” regardless of what the world thinks. I hope this challenge gives you the courage to take those fashion leaps you’ve been thinking of or putting on an outfit that someone told you “you shouldn’t wear!” We have some exciting projects in the works based off of this challenge and we cannot wait to share them with you! Until then, #LeggingsWearDONTCARE <—-capitalized the last part just in case you forgot.

On to the fashion!

ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?! DISNEY PRINCESSES ON LEGGINGS? Take all my dollar billz!

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Spotted: Little Mermaid leggings by Beth Cogdill at Dairy Queen

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Shirt: Torrid | Leggings/pants: Walmart | Sandals: Payless | Necklace: Etsy | Sunglasses: I don’t remember

Birds of a feather?

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Spotted: At Old Navy by Kaeli and myself

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Shirt: Kohl’s | Leggings: Baby Dolls Plus | Undershirt: Old Navy | Shoes: Payless

Oh hello, vibrant neon leggings.

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Spotted: Outside of the movie theater by me

What is one fashion risk that you would love to take or try for the first time?

Samantha

Mini Makeover for Your Linen Closet {+ Bonus Kids’ Caddies}

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. 
#ScottTubeFree #CollectiveBias

I share my bathroom with a big mister and two little misters. Our stuff seems to slowly take over everything and any sort of organization usually gets thrown out the window. I also am a self-proclaimed toilet paper ignorer and rarely replace the toilet paper unless it is somewhere that is easily accessible. Making the most of our space (and keeping the toilet paper in sight) is a big priority and finding a better way to utilize our bathroom linen closet is the first stop.

My linen closet leaves much to be desired. When closed, the doors are pretty plantation ones, but when they creak open, inside is an organization disaster. Discolored and overused towels are falling over and while I have some organizational pieces, none of it is put together very well.

{BEFORE} Linen Closet #ScottTubeFree #Ad

For the first step of my mini makeover, I headed to Target to get some essentials!

Simple Bathroom Organization Tips for #ScottTubeFree #Ad

In addition to a few organizational finds from the infamous DollarSpot, I also snagged some Scott Naturals Tube-Free toilet paper. Scott Tube-Free toilet paper is just like a regular toilet paper roll, but doesn’t produce the additional garbage that a toilet paper roll does. Once you’ve taken a look at my closet, then you know the less waste, the better! Plus, the fact that they lack a roll comes in handy for storage purposes!

I started with this container that I found around my house and opted to start my mini makeover.

#ScottTubeFree Organization #Ad

All four rolls from my 4-pack fit inside this box and I was able to smush the rolls to fit them all in, making it easy to organize and store! Even after being smushed, they are easily popped up for adding to the toilet paper roll.

Toilet Paper Store #ScottTubeFree #Ad

My next step was to tackle the contact paper. Since we rent our home, I didn’t want to remove the current contact paper or cover it, so I found a roll of drawer liner and used it to cover the bottom – creating a non-slip, covered surface.

Quick Fix for Contact Paper #ScottTubeFree #Ad

Some of the green be gone!

Finishing Touches in Bathroom Linen Closet #ScottTubeFree #Ad

With just a few simple changes, I could immediately see the organization stacking up. I rearranged some of the boxes, fixed the contents inside of them, and utilize small containers for makeup brushes and mini cups and milk jug bottles for storing essentials such as cotton balls and q-tips. These containers provide some fun storage while also showing me exactly what’s inside. No confusion there!

Next, I added my toilet paper storage and by storing upright, I utilize the vertical space better, make it appealing to the eye and by turning it straight to the door, I knew I would never have an excuse to not replace it!

Toilet Paper Storage #ScottTubeFree #Ad

The boys are of the ages now that they can help a bit around the house with chores and their own hygiene. Using these small containers with handles and a fun plastic insert inside for additional storage, each boy has his own caddy complete with bath paint, body wash, kids’ cologne, their toothbrush and toothpaste. I also placed a Scott Naturals Tube-Free roll of toilet paper in the side so that they can also replace the toilet paper when it comes up empty!

Carry Out Boy Storage #ScottTubeFree #Ad

To add our daily checklist, I used chalkboard clothespins, added one for each child, and used a small dot of super glue to adhere to the wall. Perfect for a renting situation when you do not necessarily want to add a permanent fixture to the wall.

Daily Checklist for Kids #ScottTubeFree #Ad

The Daily Checklist is simple and includes all of the essentials. I’ve even created a printable for you to have for yourself!

Daily Bathroom Checklist #ScottTubeFree #Ad

Grab the printable here —> Daily Checklist.

Hanging Daily Checklist #ScottTubeFree #Ad

Once printed off, I laminated them and added them under the clothespins. It’s the perfect space for reminders and love notes as well! Each day, the boys can grab their caddy, finish their daily checklist and even help with toilet paper replacement!

Bathroom Caddy + Daily Checklist for Kids #ScottTubeFree #Ad

Once I’ve finished my kids’ station, I’m ready to put the finishing touches on my mini makeover for my linen closet.

Before & After Linen Closet Makeover #ScottTubeFree #Ad

Creating the perfect bathroom spaces starts with the essentials like toilet paper! Find those pieces and put them together for a space that suits your needs, saves you space, minimizes waste, and gives you a clear picture of what you’re working with.

Hopefully, these caddies will help keep my little Misters out of mischief.

You can find everything at Target that you need for your mini makeover, including Scott Naturals Tube-Free toilet paper. Did you know that each year 17 billion tubes are tossed? Enough to fill the Empire State Building TWICE! Do your part and the saved space in your linen closet will thank you.

In-Store Photograph #ScottTubeFree #Ad

Even better, you can save $2 when you print this coupon from RevTrax – almost 50% off the price of a 4-pack!

Find even more from Scott Tube-Free:

Website || Facebook || Twitter

What are the little changes you can make in your bathroom for organization and sanity’s sake?

Samantha

A Moment Like This {Anticipating Kelly Clarkson}

We are receiving tickets in exchange for this post. All opinions expressed are our own and fangirl screaming are our own.

This Saturday, I am SO BEYOND EXCITED to share that my niece, sister-in-law, and I will be headed to Allstate Arena to see the original American Idol in all her Stronger glory.

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To say we are excited would be a HUGE understatement as our concert love is fierce. We can hardly wait to catch her singing our favorites and hear from another HUGE hit-maker, Pentatonix. If you can’t make it out there, you still have an opportunity to meet Kelly Clarkson along the way! Cricket Wireless, presenting sponsor of her “Piece by Piece” tour have launched a VIP Concert Fly Away Sweepstakes.

This sweepstakes will give one lucky winner and their special guest and all-expense paid trip to meet Clarkson during her new “Piece by Piece” tour.  Cricket Wireless will provide the VIP grand prize winner with airfare and lodging in Palm Beach, FL for two, $500 for spending money and two tickets to see the music superstar in concert at the Sky Amphitheatre. In addition, five more winners will receive a new Samsung Galaxy S 6 with six months of service on Cricket’s reliable network, which provides more 4G LTE coverage nationwide than Sprint, Boost, T-Mobile, or Metro PCS.

Follow Cricket Wireless on Social Media for more chances to win:

 Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Head on over for your chance to win! We’ll be recapping our concert love next week! Which of Kelly’s songs would you sing along the loudest to?

Samantha

May the Best Burger Win: Bull Burger Battle in Chicagoland

I received a gift card in exchange for my opinions and post. All photographs and opinions are my own. 

This past weekend, I had an opportunity to witness a real live cook-off when I headed out to the American Sale in Carol Stream to see the Bull Burger Battle. The smell of the grills, the bright sunshine beaming down, and the promise of tasty eats were just a few of the reasons that I was glad to find myself there.

The next big competition will be in California and then Indianapolis, Indiana in September – check it out if you’re in the area! 2014’s Winner Wade Fortin was there to make his award-winning burger and it was as delicious as it sounds!

From Bull Burger Battle:

“El Jefe” – The “El Jefe” is a chipotle butter stuffed ribeye cheeseburger with agave glazed bacon, roasted corn pico de gallo, avocado aioli, picante ketchup, and crispy tortilla strips. The key to this burger’s success is the fact that all the condiments simply work so well together. Nothing stands out too strong, but at the same time you can taste every layer of flavor. 

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It was the perfect day for some hot competition with tents, grills, tables, and the perfect recipes being put together!

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Hard at work, these grillers never even knew I was watching and the food smelled delicious!

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Families came out for the festivities, including a great space for some jumping and face painting. A great way to spend some time before the big competition and judging!

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I spotted this big boy and KNEW my husband would love something like this. Stoneware, brick oven, yes please! I would love to build something like this in our new space next summer!

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I LOVED this competitor’s name – BBQ, Bad Good to the BONE! Even better? Need a break and head inside for an A/C break and some quality patio shopping!

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This was my FAVORITE grill! It was MASSIVE and just what my husband would love to have to grill up his favorites. THIS is the perfect grill for a BBQ competition and this competitor was ready to get rocking and rolling!

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Plenty of space to sit and relax throughout the competition and some GREAT sales at the tent sale outside! If I had a car big enough for what I wanted, I would have walked away with it!

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About Bull Burger Battles

Bull Outdoor Products is on a nationwide search to find the country’s best burgers and you could be on your way to food fame and fortune! The nation’s best burger cooks and chefs will be squaring off in the Bull Burger Battle, a series of five live event burger cookoffs across the country. Up to 18 competitors in each city, from backyard heroes to notable cooks and restaurants, will be firing up for bragging rights as the ‘best burger’ in their hometown and an amazing Bull Outdoor grill. And it doesn’t stop there, each Bull Burger Battle champion will have a chance to prove their burger isn’t just the best burger in their hometown, but the best in the world! – See more here!

Samantha

Don’t Let It Go: A FROZEN Birthday Celebration

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BDayOnBudget #CollectiveBias

The summer months means sunshine, get-togethers and parties in our family! With boys galore, I love sharing and planning parties the little beauties in our crew while making sure the other children feel included! A FROZEN party celebration doesn’t have to be just for the girls! I put together this FROZEN party for my cousin and used FROZEN party supplies as a great starting point for creating a birthday party on a budget. As we get ready to celebrate the festivities, I put together this party tablescape with inspiration from my American Greetings goodies.

Frozen Birthday Celebration #BdayonBudget #Ad

I mixed and matched the elements for Anna + Elsa with Olaf. By putting together products from two different perspectives, I can cater to everyone that will be coming to the soiree! This life-size Elsa decoration makes the perfect decor, but also doubles as an opportunity for a game (Pin the Braid on Elsa) or a great space for autographs and birthday wishes from guests. When the party is over, you can move into your home as a nice wall decoration to remember the occasion!

Elsa from FROZEN decorations #BdayonBudget #ad

I picked up everything we needed to throw a beautiful party! Tablecloths, table decorations, wall decorations, plates, napkins, masks and tiaras. Plenty for everyone to choose from and the inspiration for creating delicious eats! Utilizing colorful baskets, bins and jars of different shapes and sizes makes the table look interesting and full of depth.

Party Supplies Collage #BdayonBudget #ad

When planning snacks, I love creating elements that can be used in more than one way. This helps to get more bang for my buck and makes day of party prep that much simpler. To make our treats, you’ll need to put together these simple candy carrot noses. Simply melt white melting chocolate and use food coloring to get the right shade of orange. Once finished, use a skewer to create the triangle shape you’re looking for. Let set in the refrigerator and they can be removed once you are ready to serve!

Candy Carrot Noses #BdayonBudget #cbias #ad

The first sweet eat are these adorable Olaf in Winter cups!

Olaf in Winter Pudding Cups #BdayonBudget #ad

To create, you need a jumbo marshmallow, vanilla pudding cups, pretzel sticks, your candy noses, and melted chocolate. First, break pretzel in half and assemble arms. Use a tiny amount of frosting or pudding to attach nose to the marshmallow. Then, melt chocolate and use a skewer to apply the eyes and mouth. Once dry, add on top of the pudding cups for for a wintry snowman creation!

Olaf Pudding Cup Tutorial #BdayonBudget #cbias #ad

The next fun activity and snack are the Build Your Own Olaf cookies! Simply mix up a batch of your favorite sugar cookies. Provide frosting, chocolate chips, pretzel sticks and candy noses. Let the children go crazy creating their very own version of Olaf to add to their Anna & Elsa plate!

DIY Olaf Cookies #BdayonBudget #ad

The assembly of this cookie seems pretty simple, but this is just a guide! Make a snowy creation that best reflects your personal preference. The children will have a blast creating!

Make Your Own Olaf Cookies #BdayonBudget #ad

Since we’re throwing our party in the summertime, I also added a unique element – Olaf in Summer Jello cups! These meltable cuties are a fun addition to your FROZEN party and SO simple to make! Pour blue Jello into clear punch cups and let set. Top with crushed graham crackers for the “beach” and top with a pile of misshapen whipped cream, giving that melted look. Top with chocolate chips and a candy nose! Then, you’ll finally see what FROZEN things do in Summmmmmmmer!

Olaf in Summer Jello Cups #BdayonBudget #ad

The final element is one that I am particularly excited about: DIY Mason Jar Snowglobes. With a few simple supplies, you can create a beautiful favor for party guests to take home. I even made one for my own dresser!

DIY Mason Jar Snowglobes #BdayonBudget #ad

You will need: mason jars (size is up to you), star ice cubes, glitter, sequins, glitter blast spray paint, glycerin (found in the craft aisles or near the bandages/first aid section of Walmart).

DIY Snowglobes #BdayonBudget #ad

The first step is to spray paint your ice cubes on all sides with spray paint. Let dry completely. Then, use a hot glue gun to attach the stars to the lid. Next, fill the water glass about 90% full and add your glitter and sequins, stirring along the way. Lastly, add a few drops of glycerin and seal tightly. Voila! The perfect FROZEN party favor and guest favorite!

DIY Snowglobe Station #BdayonBudget #ad

Use a decorative tray and bin to showcase the craft for the day. Once completed, watch the children become mesmerized by their very own wintry scene. These simple FROZEN party hacks are simple to execute and create the perfect Winter Wonderland regardless of the season! Let the birthday celebration begin!

Frozen Fun with Anna & Elsa #BdayonBudget #ad

Ready to plan the perfect party for your favorite FROZEN fan? Head to Walmart and pick up all of the American Greetings supplies you need to create this beautiful birthday on a budget.

American Greetings Birthday Celebration #BdayonBudget #ad

What elements of FROZEN would you incorporate into your summer birthday celebration?

Samantha

All in the Family #Netflix Picks #StreamTeam

I was asked to be part of the Netflix #StreamTeam and share posts each month based on my experience. We are longtime Netflix users and cannot wait to share our experiences with you! All opinions are of course are own!

October || November || FRIENDS || Stream Team Finds || Lifetime on Netflix || Kimmy Schmidt || Friday Night “Liars” || Netflix “Families| || Stop & Watch

Netflix is usually a family affair and we all seem to have our favorites. This month is no exception and with packing and moving, I have had it on for background noise and because I have an addiction when I start a new series. I thought I’d feature our family favorites this month so you could find something you love to stream! We’d also love to hear what you’re watching as we are always looking for things to watch.

Mommy

Gilmore Girls

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I started this series and hated it. Lauren Graham? I seriously can’t with her. But then, I fell in love and quickly needed to know all about Luke, Lorelai and the infamous Emily + Richard Gilmore. This is a quick watch series and its entirety is on Netflix. I dare you not to blow through it this weekend.

Glee

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The sixth and final season is on Netflix now, so this is definitely one of my favorites to rewatch. When I have a lull in my Netflix choices, I usually always use this as one of my fallbacks because I already know all of the characters, don’t have to worry about reinvesting and quickly find myself singing along. If you haven’t watched, start from the beginning and catch the entire series on Netflix.

Preachers’ Daughters

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Don’t Judge Me. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Charlie + Jack

Bonnie Bear

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This series about a lovable bear is definitely one of Jack’s favorites. Jack still has a little one’s voice so he requests “Bonnie Beaw” and I melt. A new favorite that they find adorable.

Dragons: Race to the Edge

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This is the very first Netflix original series that the boys were “Netflixted” over. Each time an episode ended, they were ready for more. While housesitting at my cousin’s, they watched quite a few episodes before bed because IT IS SUMMER! And hello, Toothless. This new series is also where we got some great goodies thanks to our #StreamTeam participation. A HUGE family favorite that I cannot say enough great things about.

Thomas & Friends: Trouble on the Tracks

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Thomas is an old stand-by favorite that the boys jump into when they are feeling nostalgic. They love following Thomas and his friends and this special episode is the perfect one while mom’s getting ready in the morning or as a special before bedtime treat.

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My husband has recently started his own queue on his Netflix page and hearing him excitedly talk about it makes me so happy! I love hearing about his favorites or what he’s watched recently.

Expendables 3

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Old Hollywood favorites such as Mel Gibson and Sly Stallone in a major feature flick? Yes, please. Jim had a good laugh about this one, but didn’t necessarily think it should win an Academy Award.

Transformers 3: Age of Extinction

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Cars that turn into robots and vice versa? Nuff said. The special effects and action are enough to have you asking for more. A great Friday movie night in.

The Terminator

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Because he never saw the original and because Arnold.

America: The Story of Us

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Fascinated by History, this is one of his favorite selections and things to watch. I once heard it very loudly in our basement and went downstairs to find him running on the treadmill to a history of our country. Training his body and his mind apparently.

As you can see, we cover quite the span of Netflix favorites. What have you watched recently on Netflix that you LOVE?

Samantha

Shaun the Sheep Movie Coming to Theaters August 5th!

We received complimentary tickets in exchange for posting. All thoughts are our own!

We LOVE Shaun the Sheep and can’t believe he is finally in his own feature film! This new animated hit from Aardman Animation is also from the creators of the popular  “Wallace and Gromit” series. The boys have followed it forever from Netflix and it’s definitely one of our favorites.

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About the film:

​When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for. A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan, and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it’s up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home. Lionsgate, Studiocanal and Aardman Animations present in association with Anthon Capital Entertainment, an Aardman production.

Follow Shaun the Sheep:

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

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Are your kids excited about the Shaun the Sheep Movie? I think I might even be more excited than they are!

Samantha