Chick-fil-a Upcycling Challenge 2017

 I have once again accepted the Chick-fil-a Mom's Panel Upcycling Challenge! Last year we made salad bowls into fun new things (and I was one of the winners!), but this year we had to think smaller! 
We were given the tough task of purchasing and consuming a small bowl of Chicken Tortilla Soup from Chick-fil-a. Tough job, but somebody had to do it! (One of my favorite menu items there!!!) 
We were then supposed to come up with a fun use for the bowls once they were empty. 
Pretty much the only thing my 8 year old does is play with/talk about/think about/watch LEGO, so I started to think about brick activities. He's great at following the directions that come with sets, but I thought it might be time to try something harder, so along came... LEGO Challenge Boxes.

 First, I selected the pieces I would use
and hot glued a base plate to the lid.

I then built a variety of structures using only the
bricks in the bowl, then photographed them from the
front and the back, so he could see all of the pieces.
 I printed the pictures out and glued them back to
back, to keep the front and back together. He then
went to work deciding which design to try first. 

 You know he's working hard with the tongue comes out. 

 Trying to figure out what comes next...

 Done! Here's the front side!

And here's the back!
 Then we moved on to the harder box.

 He definitely agreed that these were harder to figure out.

 Since I just printed these on our printer at home, the pictures 
weren't too clear, but once we sat at the computer and looked at 
the originals, he was able to get it. I will print them again at the 
store as photographs and it should work much better!

 That was tough!

 And one of my favorite things about this project is that it's portable! 
He can do it in the car and the pieces are contained in the bowl.  

 And when he's all done playing, the bricks and 
photo cards all fit right back inside the bowl. 
Perfect for home or on the go!

We really enjoyed this second year of the
Chick-fil-a Mom's Panel Upcycling Challenge!
Hoping to do it again someday!

Chick-fil-A Upcycling Challenge

As a member of the Chick-fil-A Mom Panel 2015-2016, we were challenged to get a new Chick-fil-A Spicy Southwest Salad (Yum! And only 420 calories!) and then take the container and upcycle it into something fun. 

Two of my son's favorite things are his Legos...

...and his sandbox...

Because it's been raining so much lately and we've been stuck inside, I thought it would be a fun idea to combine the two and have fun with sand inside! 

We started out with the cleaned out container and filled it with sand from our sandbox. The only problem with the container was the fact that there were holes in the lid. I wanted to protect it from spilling when we were finished, because nobody wants sand all over their house! 

 I pulled out my tape collection (yellow electric tape and black striped washi) and decorated the lid. I chose this design to match the construction theme, but it also served the purpose of covering up the holes. Cute and functional!

You see where this is going? So much cuteness.
I did put it on a tray to try to contain the mess, but next time I'll put it in something bigger, like an under-bed storage container, because sand still got on the kitchen floor.

 He was very excited to play with his Legos in the
sand AND play with sand in the house!

 He loves to bury things in the sand and dig them back out. 

"Aaaah! Help me!!!"

 After a little while, we took the Legos out, sprayed it down to make it wet, and got out the alphabet fondant cutters. He had just as much fun with this as he did the Legos. I'm pretty sure we'll be pulling this out in the fall as another way to practice spelling words!


 When we were all finished, we popped that lid back on, 
which secures very well, and put it away for next time. 
Thanks for the upcycling challenge, Chick-fil-A Mom's Panel! 
We both really enjoyed it!

I Heart Chocolate

I got the chance to try out new Hershey's Spreads, courtesy of Crowdtap and Hershey's, and I have one word... DELICIOUS!  Everything we dipped in it was great! 

 Animal crackers.... yum! 
 Cinnamon sticks... extra yum!
 Nilla wafers.... yes!
 Marshmallows... very yes!
 And then I had a great idea... graham, Hershey's Spread, giant mallow, more Hershey's Spread, 'nother graham... five seconds in the microwave and...
 Holy Cow.
Easiest Best S'more Ever!

We didn't have any fruit around to try it, but I am definitely going to try some apples and strawberries, as well as whatever else I can come up with. SO GOOD! You definitely need to pick up a jar!

Kroger is the Best!


Kroger is the best, y'all. I used to think, "Why in the world would people shop at Kroger and spend way more than they would at the big store down the street?" Well in my recent years of couponing and bargain-hunting, I've learned that you can get everything SO much cheaper at Kroger if you just shop the sales! Watch for what's on sale each week, grab some coupons (either paper or the ones you can load to your Kroger card) and stock up so you'll have enough to last until the next time it's on sale!

They are also currently offering Free Friday Downloads! Each Friday they add a coupon to their site for a free product.  I've been able to get a bunch of things so far, including Quaker Popped, Chewy Bars, Dr. Pepper 10, Clear shampoo, Tostitos dip, and more! You just go online and download it to your Kroger card and when you shop, it will take the cost off your total so it will be FREE!

Wait. Download to your Kroger card? Yes! If you go to Kroger's Website and sign up. If you already have a Kroger card, you just put in your card number and your info and then start loading your coupons. (Coupons can be found here!)

Why should you create an account at or on your store’s website? For starters, it saves you money and makes your life easier. And that’s just the beginning of the benefits.
If you don’t already have an account, register your Shopper’s Card today over at your store’s website to take advantage of all these exclusive online features:
  • Download digital coupons (like the Free Friday Downloads offers) directly to your Shopper’s Card
  • Track your Shopper’s Card savings and Fuel Points
  • Sign up to receive emails for special offers, coupons and more
  • Browse weekly ads
  • See what’s happening at your local store
  • Create and save shopping lists
To take full advantage of these awesome benefits, be sure to opt in to emails when creating your account. Then, search for your store in the App Store (for iOS) or Google Play (for Android) to amplify your on-the-go experience. With the mobile app, you can access all the benefits above from your mobile phone or tablet!
So, what are you waiting for? Register your account right now and download the mobile app to start saving – and smiling – more!

Back to School Allergy Tips

Well look who's back! (Hint: It's me.) It's been over a year without a post, and before that there wasn't much of anything either. I would love to start posting again if I can just get back into it. Over the past year I've had a bunch of opportunities to try some new (and old) products. Many times, I'm offered a chance to try out some things in exchange for letting you people know about them and how great they are! Today is one of those times.

Children's Claritin is simply the best. Jake has allergies pretty much year-round, and Children's Claritin always kicks them in the hiney. If he wakes up in the morning with runny or stuffy nose and sneezing, I will give him some in the morning and it really helps him make it through the day. I love the chewable ones because I can just keep some in my purse for whenever he needs it, but when we're at home we also use the Claritin liquid.

Now that everyone is back to school and approaching fall, allergies are going to become more prominent. So I'd like to offer to you some back to school allergy tips for you to remember:

1. Be sure to have Children’s Claritin, the #1 pediatrician-recommended non-drowsy allergy brand, on hand!
2. Multi-vitamins are building blocks to having a strong immune system. Make taking a multi-vitamin part of your child’s daily routine.
3. Let there be light! Mold doesn't like sunlight, so try to keep your curtains open during the day. Should be easy during the summer months!
4. Did you know that most pillows trap allergens, dust mites, and bacteria? Monitor the cleanliness of the pillow your child with allergies sleeps on and replace if necessary.
5. Back to school season means lots of laundry for many moms. Be sure to remove laundry from the washing machine promptly. Allowing wet clothes to sit in the washer means mold can quickly grow there.
6. Monitor pollen counts and adjust outdoor before and after school activities accordingly. Dry, windy days can be particularly high in pollen.
7. Showering or bathing at the end of the day as opposed to the morning can be helpful in removing allergens from body surfaces and hair.
8. Stay hydrated! Always send your child to school with a bottle of water. Drinking lots of clear fluids through the day can help get rid of toxins and flush out body.
9. Peak pollen production typically occurs in early morning, so try to plan outside activities at other times of the day.

"As a member of the Children’s Claritin Mom Crew, I receive product samples and promotional items to share and use as I see fit. No monetary compensation has taken place and any opinions expressed by me are honest and reflect my actual experience."    

It's A Miracle!

I HATE shredding chicken for recipes. Yes. Hate. 
I saw somewhere online that you could put it right into the mixer while it's still hot and it would shred it. 
I thought "No Way!" 

Put it in hot.
Use the regular beater (on a Kitchenaid).\

Turn it on for like 30 seconds.
I will never shred chicken again! 
I'd way way WAY rather clean out the mixer than shred.

A Favor Please...

Are you on Pinterest? Do you follow me?
I won a spot as a Lego Duplo House Party host and there is a bonus contest to win a $500 LEGO gift card. The Pinterest board with the most followers wins! Please please please just click over to this board and follow it! Thankyouverymuch!

Click here!!!

Party Time!

Another thing we've been doing a LOT on Saturdays is birthday parties. Here are just a few we've been to in the past few months.

Caleb's was at a skating rink . The kids all brought ride on toys since they were little and can't skate yet. It was fun!

Jake enjoyed pretending to drive.

Ryder's party was at a local gymnastics place. 
The foam pit was awesome!

The in-ground trampoline was Jake's favorite.

(Blurry) Dancing with the birthday boy!

A lot of running happened. This was a really long trampoline.

Jake had his first blower.

The same afternoon as Ryder's party we went to Parker's party. 
Parker's grandpa bought him this sweet bounce house.

Pinata Time!

They filled the ball pit with balloons! Fun!

And then cousin Joey's first birthday!
Jake LOVES Joey!

Jake and Joey sharing the car post-birthday cake.
(Thus Joey's nakedness.)