Monday, November 30, 2015

#HolidaysWithMilos - Holiday Sweet Tea

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

This holiday, James, Connor and I are hosting our annual Christmas party with our friends Kristin, Jason and Tracy. We started the tradition in 2011, rotating houses and hosting duties, for a chance to get together and celebrate Christmas. With hosting privileges comes the opportunity to pick the food, drinks and desserts. Our party is still a few weeks away but I've already started getting the details together for what I want to serve. Up first is a kid-friendly GUILT FREE drink that uses fresh ingredients and easy to make.


When looking for a drink that offered big taste but little impact on your waistline, I discovered Milo's Famous Sweet Tea in my local Walmart's refrigerated juice section. I love that Milo's only uses natural ingredients, no preservatives and no additives. What is even better is that at my local Walmart this was on rollback where you can purchase 2 gallons for $5.00 while supplies last! I added a gallon of the Milo's Famous Sweet Tea and one gallon of their calorie free option to my cart along with my other ingredients, checked out and headed up home to make the tastiest Christmas tea ever. 


Making this Apple Cinnamon tea couldn't be any easier. For one single serving, you'll need 10 ounces of tea, a handful of of cubed Fuji apples (the sweeter the apple, the better!) and a single cinnamon stick. Add your ingredients to a pot and bring to a slight boil. The stronger the boil, the more cinnamon flavor you'll have in your tea. Think spice here.
  • 10 ounces of Milo's Famous NO CALORIE Sweet Tea
  • a handful of cubed Fuji apples
  • cinnamon stick 
While this recipe is super simple, using the basic of ingredients, I can promise you it's so good. James, who prefers unsweetened tea, even enjoyed a cup of this Sunday morning. It's the perfect combination of sweet - the tea and apples - and spicy thanks to the cinnamon stick.

The holidays are always busy, but Milo's is making my holiday preparations easier and impressive.  I spent a total of 5 minutes making this and with the great deal I got on Milo's Tea at Walmart, I can easily enjoy this Christmas drink all December long. This morning, I'll be finishing up our Christmas cards while enjoying a cup of Milo's Guilt Free Apple Cinnamon Sweet Tea.


Are you a tea drinker? What fun ways do you dress up your tea? I'd love to give them a try using Milo's tea this winter. If you are interested in checking out Milo's Famous Sweet Tea, you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and their website.

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Our Christmas Advent Tree

What is it about a Christmas countdown that everyone craves? I love counting down the days until Christmas more and more each year. Especially since becoming parents. There is no doubt that Connor's love of Christmas is a trait he gets from me so when picking out our advent calendar this year, I wanted it to be something he would enjoy as well. It didn't take much searching before I landed on and fall in love with Personal Creations' Winter Wonderland Interactive Advent Calendar.

A fun take on a family tradition, this advent calendar celebrates 25 days of wonder with 25 pockets for treats - chocolates, candy canes, Bible verses, or even a lump of coal (because hey, not every day is a winner). Plus, there are 8 cute little plush characters the kids can stick anywhere on the tree. I've placed small goodies in each pocket that isn't housing a stuffed animal. Connor is going to LOVE counting down till Christmas this year more than ever before. Each morning we will move the fabric candy cane, inching our way closer to Christmas.

Personal Creations is a favorite online shop of mine. I usually shop through Ebates to score cash back but I always check their discount pages for coupon codes and more first. Thanks to shopping online, I was able to find this year's advent calendar. What are you doing to count down for Christmas? We've done a book countdown in the past and will do that this year as well. I'd love to hear how you count down because as you know, I'm never one to shy around from new fun ways to celebrate the holiday!


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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Be Thankful :: 10 Thankful Bible Verses

While many of us will be giving thanks today for all our blessings, I've really been focusing on giving thanks DAILY for all we have. You know the saying "What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?"? I think of that quote often this time of year with the holidays and the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. I want to be giving thanks more and more and in doing so, I want that to reflect in my prayers. I've put together ten short and simple Bible verses to add to your arsenal when you are celebrating all you've been blessed with this year. 


1 Chronicles 29:13
And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.

1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Psalm 107:1
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 

Psalm 100:4 
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!

2 Corinthians 9:15
Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

Psalm 106:1
Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!

Colossians 4:2 
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

Psalm 20:4 
May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans!

Philemon 1:4 
I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What I'm Lovin' Wednesday :: BrickSwag

As Connor gets older, the toys he wants to play with "get older" too. What I mean by that is long gone our cute stuffed animals and fake phones that he can call Mammaw on. Now that he is "all grown up" as he says, he needs big boy toys. Nothing says I'm no longer a baby than LEGOs. We recently tried Legos out for the first time courtesy of our BrickSwag subscription box and can I just say I am LOVIN' LEGOs! #boyMOM


BrickSwag is the #1 membership for LEGO fans. Each month includes official LEGO kits to build and keep, exclusive t-shirt, Build magazine, Funky Fig trading cards, and more surprises. BrickSwag has a simple mission: To Inspire, Educate, and Entertain with LEGO bricks. And they do just that. I was totally impressed with what we received in November's BrickSwag box.

With Thanksgiving in mind, our mission was to put together a LEGO turkey. Let me tell you that as a first time owner of LEGOs I wasn't sure we'd be able to complete this. However, the kit came with simple instructions with pictures (!!) so Connor and I had everything we need to create our Thanksgiving turkey.



Is that not the cutest LEGO turkey you have ever seen? Connor has been carrying it around, refusing to let me take it apart. At least one of us respects the turkey, right? We are already looking forward to our LEGO Monthly Subscription box for December. If BrickSwag makes Thanksgiving this cute, imagine the possibilities with Christmas? Grab your December box now and save 20% with promo code FAM20. I can't wait to share BrickSwag fun with my nephews and Connor this winter.


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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Connor Gives Thanks + a Printable

With Thanksgiving just days away, I thought now would be perfect time to reflect on all that we are thankful for this year. We will be going to my parents on Thanksgiving, for the first time since 2012 and I'm really looking forward to spending time with my parents, brothers and nieces and nephew this holiday. Being away from your family during the holiday is tough and I am truly blessed to be back in Ohio among our family and friends this holiday season.

As parents we are constantly trying to win the war on entitlement and push the "thankful" agenda with our children. We are no exception. Each night when we do night time prayers, we ask Connor to tell Jesus thank you for one thing. Usually it's Macie oriented because he is just so smitten with his best friend. Other times it's a favorite toy or an upcoming play date we have. While Connor doesn't get very deep when giving thanks, I love that he often tells Jesus thank you for the people in his life over the materialistic.

In honor of Thanksgiving, Connor and I sat down and talked about what we are thankful for this year. For every thing he gave thanks to, Mommy shared something she is thankful for. Some of his answers were too cute and I had to bite back laughter, others showed that he is still very much a little kid who enjoys the simpler things in life.


He was very much in the moment we went over what he was thankful for but his answers are totally Connor. He gave thanks for ... Macie's birthday, his trucks, playing with friends, Ren, Macie and Will, his flashlight, Blue Blanket, snacks and (the new Disney show) The Lion Guard. I added the his name and date to the back and plan to keep and share these with him as he grows older. I'm excited to see what he is thankful for in the years to come. Maybe one day he will say Mommy or Daddy :)

I'd love for you to share this simple thankful activity with your little ones and family this Thanksgiving. To print copies, just visit my Google document where you can print as many Give Thanks printables as you'd life.




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Monday, November 23, 2015

Target Dollar Spot - Decor Ideas on a Budget

Target's Dollar Spot. It's every ladies weakness. I don't care what you going in for, you are going to first check out the Dollar Spot and more than likely find a thing or 6 that you. have. to. have. right. now. No matter how hard I try, I can't help but shop through the bins, searching for the my next seasonal must have item. Because it's one of my favorite sections of the store, I've recently turned my love of the impulse items into a challenge -- can I spent just $10 or less each trip and ACTUALLY use the items I find? I'm never one to back down from a challenge so I've joined Becky, Liz, Jill and Rachel in a new monthly blog hop where we share our favorite under $10 finds at Target. This month, I'm sharing how I decorating for Christmas via the Dollar Spot.


When shopping the Dollar Spot, I never really have an agenda. The reason being is that each store offers different items and often times, it's pretty picked over. But seeing as I've finally learned my lesson, I started shopping the dollar bins as soon as they switch holidays. Which worked in my favor this year because the items I snagged are impossible to find now. For less than $10 I was able to snag monogrammed felt ornaments, a woodland themed banner, Christmas kitchen dish towels and red washi tape.


Putting my goodies to use was so easy thanks to my love all of things Christmas. I've been on the hunt for a simple (read something pre-made and takes little skill to hang) banner to use for Spring, Summer, Fall and Christmas. Kitchen towels have an obvious use and I knew exactly where I was going to hang the J, S and C ornaments. My washi tape will be used when it's time to mail out our Christmas cards. I like adding it to the card for a bit of fun and personality. It makes noticing cards over bills and junk mail easier as well. Here is how I used my Dollar Spot finds this month.


For under $10, I was able to add a bit of flare to our holiday decor. Nothing makes my Christmas obsessed heart happier than having my home decked out for the holidays. In December, I'm going to share the items I purchased that are being used for Christmas gifts for my MOPS Secret Sister and a few last minute gift ideas for the ladies in your life.


Elizabeth - Chasin' Mason
Becky - bybmg


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