DIY Donut Cart Plus 10 Ways to Celebrate a Birthday

DIY Donut Cart

Plus 10 Ways to Celebrate a Birthday

Deciding what to do for your child’s Birthday can be difficult and planning can be expensive! We have 10 Ways to Celebrate a Birthday today with ideas of all budgets for various ages, including a DIY Donut Cart to help out with those plans.

April is full of birthday parties for us, including my daughters who just turned three! Every week is full of Birthday activities from in-home parties to a gymnastics center but we wanted to keep my daughters party low key this year with a DIY Donut Cart. There doesn’t have to be 100 people around for a fun time. Get the kids up in the morning while still in pajamas, gorge on donuts (hey, it is okay once a year), and open a few gifts for a fun way to start the morning!

What you need for the Donut Cart:

  • A bar or storage cart. I bought this cart awhile back from IKEA with 3 tiers.
  • Donuts for the family. You can pick out fun colors and sprinkles.
  • Cake stands to place the donuts on.
  • A glass for each child with a sprinkle rim and milk inside.
  • Plates.
  • Napkins.
  • Flowers to freshen up the area and give color.
  • A fun banner tied onto the cart or in the background.
  • Balloons.
  • Presents.

Presents, treats, balloons. All checked off the Birthday wish list and honestly, what more does a person need? Not much. We decided to also take the kids to Build-A-Bear where my daughter made a unicorn and it was an all-around successful third Birthday. You could get ready after donuts and hang out at the park, walk around the zoo or even just stay in pajamas all day and watch movies. Okay, maybe the staying in pajamas all day is on my own personal Birthday wish list but your child really does not need anything extravagant to be happy.

9 More Ways to Celebrate a Birthday

The Donut Cart is just the beginning! Here are 9 more ways to celebrate a Birthday.

Birthday Party in Your Home

Pick a theme and invite everyone you know! You can keep it simple and affordable with grilling hot dogs and a cake from Costco or all go out with tons of decorations, a photo booth, games, prizes and custom desserts.

Birthday Party on Location

Skating rinks, parks, gymnastic centers, Build-A-Bear, city pools, Chuck E. Cheese’s, rock climbing, indoor bounce house…. the list goes on. Think about what your child’s interests are at the moment and call around to see if party packages are offered or if large groups can be accommodated.

Lunch and Activity

Go to your kids favorite restaurant or make a nice lunch at home, followed by an activity. Invite the family and maybe a couple of friends to join. The activity could be anything from hanging out at the lake, a mini shopping spree at their favorite store, a visit to the aquarium or mini golf.

Movie Theatre

You can host Birthday parties at most movie theatres to invite all your friends for cake, ice cream and a movie by contacting your local theatre and renting the party room. But you don’t need the party room, just have some friends and family meet you at the theatre (daytime hours better than night) and let your kid pick a movie and maybe grab some ice cream after- that is if you all didn’t fill up on popcorn and candy.

Amusement Park

We have celebrated my sons Birthday in the past by spending the day at King’s Island. He was able to bring one friend with us. We ate lunch there and ran around the park until everyone was worn out. Amusement Parks can get expensive but it is worth the price for a really great day with the whole family. Plus, I don’t know a single kid who doesn’t love roller coasters.

Dinner

Have a family and closest friends meet at your kids favorite restaurant for a nice dinner and dessert. Make sure to call ahead and reserve a table if possible and ask how they celebrate Birthdays. Some places will sing or bring out a dessert. Any restaurant will work! From McDonalds to Olive Garden to your favorite spot for Mexican food to a hibachi grill.

Spa Day

Most salons have pedicure chairs for kids and some spas are even specially designed just for kids. You can take just the family for some mani/pedis or invite all your kids friends. Contact your salon for details on large parties and to schedule a time.

Slumber Party

The slumber party is a right of passage through childhood. Every child needs to attend a few and host at least one huge slumber party! I think 11-13 is a good age for this… they aren’t too mischievous yet but all the kids are old enough to entertain themselves.  Decide if you are feeding the kids dinner or breakfast and what type of snacks will be offered. Pizza for dinner and morning donuts? Gather some games, cards, movies and music. We had slumber parties in tents set up in the backyard or with sleeping bags spread out on the trampoline when I was younger. Each kids needs pajamas, change of clothes, pillow, and blanket. Make sure to let parents know what the plans are for the night and pick up/drop off times. Also, get all the parents cell numbers in case of an emergency.

Concert

Take your child and one of their closest friends to their first concert! The appropriate age for this ranges for the type of music they like and the venue. Some concerts or venues have age restrictions so make sure to double check and make the choice as the parent for what is appropriate for your own child. My first real concert was at 13 or so for Blink 182. A concert is something your child will remember for years and a great way to bond.

Do you have any other great party ideas? Let me know about them in the comments below.

7 Ways to Have Your Period Suck Less

#ad, #DivaDifference, 7 ways to have your period suck less, DivaCup, menstrual care, period relief, @TheDivaCup

7 Ways to Have Your Period Suck Less

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

Let’s face it – your monthly period just is no fun! The bloating, the irritability, the cravings for chocolate cake, the lack of energy… you get the point! It all stinks! Today, I am sharing 7 Ways to Have Your Period Suck Less featuring the DivaCup® because we can all use a bit of relief when that time of month arrives.

We are talking about it today! You know… that thing we never talk about… your PERIOD. I have found my secret weapon with the eco-friendly, comfortable and convenient DivaCup for my #1 solution to making my period suck less with 12 hours leak free protection. 91% of women who try the DivaCup agree with me and will never go back to traditional menstrual care products!

Why women everywhere are switching to the DivaCup and you should too:

  • The DivaCup is going to save you money! The average cost for menstrual care is $150 every year while the DivaCup cost is $39.99.
  • Offers 12 hours of leak free protection.
  • Comfortable! You won’t even feel the DivaCup or have the dryness that tampons can leave in the vaginal canal.
  • No waste. There are no plastic wrappers, strings or anything else that needs disposal.
  • You can still be active with hiking, running, walking or any other activities.
  • Made with healthcare grade silicone.
  • No chemicals, adhesives or additives!
  • The cup can help track flow measurements to report back to your doctor.

Click HERE to visit DivaCup® online for more information and see what other women are saying!

The DivaCup comes in two sizes. Which DivaCup is right for you?

  • DivaCup® Model 1 : Recommended for women under the age 30 who have not delivered vaginally or by cesarean section.
  • DivaCup® Model 2 : Recommended for women over the age 30 who have delivered vaginally or by cesarean section.
  • DivaWash® : A natural cleanser specifically formulated to protect the silicone material in your DivaCup that is naturally pH balanced, gentle and made from 100% plant based ingredients.

Be sure to enter the DivaCup sweepstakes for a chance to win gift cards and DivaCup prize packs!

The #DivaDifference #Sweepstakes begins on 4/18/18 and ends on 5/23/18. Legal residents of the 50 US/DC and Canada only (excluding Quebec),Age of legal majority. Void where prohibited.By participating, you agree to Official Rules at https://a.pgtb.me/l2n0M5.

 7 Ways to Have Your Period Suck Less

Curling up in the fetal position in bed while binge watching a television series for the week while the PMS subsides is on the wish list during menstruation but there are better ways to get past those monthly blues. Here are 7 Ways to Have Your Period Suck Less so you can get out and live your life:

Eat Healthy

I know all you want to do is grab a bag of potato chips and an extra large chocolate bar but reaching towards healthier options will help combat PMS. Load up on fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. A small dark chocolate candy bar won’t hurt though so allow yourself one treat to pick up your mood and satisfy your cravings.

Drink Water

You may want to reach for an entire pot of coffee in the morning because your period is seriously just so darn tiring. Avoid caffeine and grab water instead. Water can help reduce cramping and keep your skin glowing.

Menstrual Care Product That Works

I think all of us females have probably had menstruation mishap at one point or another. From starting a bit early and not having any menstrual care products on hand to a heavy flow day that leaks through to your clothes – we have all been there! Strangely enough, it is also something we females never talk about. Having the right menstrual care products is necessary to avoid mishaps and have your period suck a little less. Time to tell all your friends about the DivaCup!

What you need to know about your DivaCup before using:

  • Before use, boil in a pot of water for 5-10 minutes.
  • Empty, wash and insert the DivaCup every 10-12 hours during your cycle.
  • Wash your DivaCup with warm water and the DivaWash or a mild, unscented, oil and fragrance free soap. Read more about cleaning your DivaCup here.
  • If you have a regular cycle, you can insert the DivaCup the day your are to begin your period.
  • You can sleep, work, exercise like normal with the DivaCup.

It is really important to read the User Guide before trying the cup and to consult with their healthcare provider if they have any questions with regards to your gynecological health. The Consumer Care Team at DivaCup is also available to answer questions and concerns. They can be reached at support@divacup.com, 1-866-444-3482 or via our social media networks. The team are on the phone with women, for insertion, removal etc. Don’t hesitate to call the team with your questions!

Get ready in the Morning

Lounging in sweatpants all day long sounds perfect that time of month but take the effort and get dressed up, do your makeup and hair. You will feel more motivated and prettier. Just feeling pretty can have a serious affect on your mood. So, put on those pumps you recently bought, make sure that eyeliner is on point and look your best. Feeling bloated? Grab a peasant or other flowing top for more comfort.

Workout

Hit the gym! Working out can help reduce cramps, get rid of that awful headache, brighten your mood and also give you more energy. Some people believe you should avoid workout during your period but toss that idea right out the window because there are so many benefits. Even a brisk walk through the neighborhood or a 30 minute workout in your living room can give you some noticeable relief of PMS symptoms.

Sleep

It does not seem to matter what time of month it is, I am always one exhausted mom. The first two days of my period however, are the worst. All I feel like doing is curling up in bed and sleeping. Avoid lounging all day! Get up and keep active during the day to get a bit more sleep at night. Go to bed an hour earlier than normal. If serious cramps are keeping you up at night, be more proactive during the daytime with your healthy eating habits, water consumption and getting a good workout in so you can get some much needed rest at night.

Do Something Nice for Yourself

PMS can leave you cranky and not feeling all that beautiful so do something nice for yourself to brighten up your day. A massage, facial, pedicure, buy that new purse you have had your eyes on or just grab yourself some fresh flowers for the home. You deserve it!

Have you tried the DivaCup yet? If not, what is holding you back?  Make sure to also share some of your period relief tips in the comments below!

 

Date Night with Chateau St. Jean and a Salmon Piccata

Msg 4 21+, #UncorkTheStory, Date Night at home , Living Wines Label, Chateau St. Jean, Salmon Piccata, dinner for two

Date Night with Chateau St. Jean and a Salmon Piccata

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. This content is intended for readers who are 21 and over. #UncorkTheStory #CollectiveBias

We are staying in tonight and having a great Date Night with Chateau St. Jean and a Salmon Piccata recipe. Salmon Piccata is a simple dish made with fresh salmon, lemon, garlic, wine, butter and capers served over angel hair pasta paired perfectly with a glass of Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay.

After a long week of school activities, work, chores and just being a mom, a Friday night staying in with the spouse and a good glass of wine is all I need to wind down and recharge. We enjoy getting a babysitter and going out to dinner from time to time but lounging around the house without makeup or having to get dressed up is so much more relaxing.

Chateau St Jean

I have been hearing some buzz around Living Wine Labels lately and was eager to try one out! I was really drawn to the Chateau St. Jean line because I enjoy learning about my wines and the vineyards they come from. Every wine has a story and Living Wine Labels has created such a unique way to share that.

Haven’t heard of Living Wine Labels yet?

You download an app from the Apple Store or Google Play Store called The Living Wine Labels and pick the wine label you are drinking. Simply scan your bottle using the app and the bottle label comes alive! Check out the photo below for a sneak peak.

Margo Van Staavren shares the story behind Chateau St. Jean once the label is scanned. Margo Van Staavren  tells you how she met her husband many years ago and together built a world-class winery in California where the ideal soil and unlimited sunshine create the perfect bottle of wine.

You can find Chateau St. Jean at Kroger, Ralph’s and Fred Meyer on the Fine Wine aisle.

For our Salmon Piccata, I recommend the Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay. The light, oaky flavor will pair perfectly with our dish but look for other Chateau St. Jean varieties to also try soon that link with The Living Wines app:

  • Chateau St. Jean Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Chateau St. Jean Pinot Noir
  • Chateau St Jean Merlot

Salmon Piccata

Salmon Piccata is a spinoff of a traditional Veal Piccata. It is a dish that sounds a bit fancy but actually has basic ingredients and simple instructions. It is the perfect dish for date night! The only ingredient you may not use often are capers but you can find them in either the Italian food section or next to the olives and they really pack a lovely punch of flavor into the dish.

Begin by preparing your salmon. You will want to remove the skin or you can buy salmon without the skin. I always look for a fresh Sockeye salmon but you can use whatever type of salmon you like or is available. Cut the salmon into two portions and sprinkle each side with a little salt and pepper. As you are preparing the salmon, boil a large pot of water with a pinch of salt to begin the pasta. Not in the mood for pasta? You can substitute pasta for mashed potatoes.

Next, dredge the salmon in flour covering each side. Place the salmon into a hot pan with a bit of olive oil and cook 3-4 minutes on each side. While the salmon is cooking, mince some garlic cloves, slice the lemon and chop the fresh parsley. Push the salmon to one side of the pan and add 2 tablespoons of butter with some minced garlic. Work the butter and garlic for a minute and add in your wine, lemon juice and capers. Simmer and place over pasta with a lemon garnish and parsley.

5 from 1 reviews
Salmon Piccata
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Salmon Piccata is a simple dish made with fresh salmon, lemon, garlic, wine, butter and capers over angel hair pasta paired perfectly with a glass of Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay.
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • ¾ pound salmon
  • 8 ounces angel hair pasta (1/2 box)
  • .5 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lemon (1/2 juiced, half sliced for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup dry white wine for cooking
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • salt
  • pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook past according to packaged directions and heat up a non stick pan on the stovetop on a medium heat. Add1 tablespoon of butter to the drained pasta.
  2. If the salmon has the skin on, remove skin now and salt and pepper each side. Cut into two portions.
  3. Dredge (submerge) the salmon in flour.
  4. Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in your pan ad drop your salmon in. Cook 3-4 minutes each side.
  5. As the salmon cooks, mince the garlic, chop some parsley slice the lemon in half.
  6. Move the salmon to one side of the pan and add in the butter and garlic to the opposite side. Cook for a minute making sure not to burn the garlic.
  7. Add in the wine and juice of half a lemon. Cook until it begins to simmer. Toss in the capers.
  8. Turn off the heat and drizzle the sauce over the salmon to coat well.
  9. Serve salmon over pasta and garnish with a lemon slice and chopped parsley.

 

What do you typically do for date night? Would you rather stay in or go out? Let me know in the comments below and visit Living Wine Labels by clicking HERE to learn more about Chateau St. Jean and to download the app.

Newport Aquarium

Newport Aquarium

Newport Aquarium in Northern Kentucky is a must see attraction for kids and adults with an amazing shark exhibit and hands on activities for the kids. Located at Newport on the Levee with views of the Ohio River and downtown Cincinnati.

Leggings ‘N’ Lattes has added a new category of posts to our homepage for travel! Exciting, right? Look for future posts on where to eat and what to see in cities all over the US starting with the Newport Aquarium in Newport, Kentucky that is just minutes from Cincinnati.

This is our first year while living in Cincinnati that we haven’t had a membership to the Newport Aquarium but we heard some buzz around the new attraction for the Giant Pacific Octopus that went into the jellyfish area. Obviously, we had to check it out during Spring Break! Plus, the aquarium is always great for rainy days like this one.

The Must See Exhibits at Newport Aquarium

Stingray Hideaway : So many stingrays! You will be able to view stingrays wherever you are in Stingray Hideaway and explore the tunnel where they surround you.

Penguin Palooza : The penguin exhibit needs to be updated but I am a sucker for penguins. Who isn’t? Penguins are so adorable and funny. There are shows done all day long to learn more about the penguins at the Newport Aquarium.

Shark Ray Bay : Shark Ray Bay is the highlight of the Newport Aquarium. There are multiple spots to view the sharks and other species, like turtles. You just have to see it!

Activities You Won’t Want to Miss

Tide Pool Touch : Fact. Kids like to touch everything. Tide Pool Touch allows you to touch various sea creatures and someone is there answering questions and educating you on the species you see.

Dive Shows : Shark Ray Bay Theatre has dive shows where you can learn about the different species at the Aquarium and even ask questions. One of our favorite dive shows is Santa! The diver dresses like Santa and a show is put on in the shark tank. It is a lot of fun and I recommend checking it out during the holiday season.

Shark Bridge : The shark Bridge is a newer attraction that the kids love. You can walk over the shark tank overlooking the waters. My son was hesitant the first time but it is one of his favorite things to do now.

The families favorites this visit were the seahorses. My daughter is obsessed with unicorns and horses at the moment and the seahorse got her all excited. Even though we had to wait in line for awhile at the Shark Bridge, I think that was also one of our favorites!

I hate to say it but the new Octopus attraction left us underwhelmed. So, don’t have too high of expectations but it was nice to see that area of the aquarium cleaned up and updated.

Tips for Your Visit to Newport Aquarium

  • Buy your tickets in advance. On busy days, the Newport Aquarium is packed! You may be given an entry time hours from when you bought your ticket so buy ahead of time for less headache.
  • At one point in time- no strollers were allowed during the weekends or busy hours! This is actually the reason we don’t have an annual membership anymore because who wants to carry around a one year old for 2 hours? Yea, not me. I do not think this rule applies anymore because I saw plenty of strollers on our visit. Just in case this rule is still enforced at times, be prepared and baby carriers are available at the front doors.
  • Even if you bought tickets in advance and have an entry time, there may be a wait to get in. Dress for the weather because you may be waiting outside for a bit.
  • Make plans to visit one of the restaurants on the Levee after the aquarium. Dewey’s Pizza and Five Guys are close by. Brio is on the more expensive side but also a great pick.
  • As a first time visitor, parking may be confusing. Go ahead and park in the Levee parking garage and go up to P1 for the Newport Aquarium. You will have to pay for parking, which ranges on price during specific hours. Expect to pay $2-$8.

The Newport Aquarium has all kinds of extra activities and events. During the fall, you can meet mermaids who also swim in the tanks. Sleepovers are offered, you can have an up close encounter with penguins, host Birthday parties or other events and more!

Check out the Newport Aquarium website by clicking HERE for hours of operation and more information!

DIY Floral Easter Bunny Ears

DIY Floral Easter Bunny Ears, Easter, DIY ears, Easter craft, floral headband

DIY Floral Easter Bunny Ears

DIY Floral Easter Bunny Ears are a fun craft you can make for the kids (okay, for you too) with just a few supplies and not a lot of time.

I have been testing out my DIY skills lately with a lot of floral projects like the DIY $20 Spring Wreath from a couple of weeks ago. Spring is here and I am just so excited after this long, cold winter. Easter is coming in just a couple weeks! These DIY Floral Easter Bunny Ears would be perfect for family photos or as a gift inside the kids Easter baskets.  My daughter was super excited about her ears and kept saying, “so pretty!” as she checked herself out in the mirror. She is a goofball but kids love these type of things with bright colors and being able to dress up a bit.

Easter is coming! Get ready with these #DIY Floral Easter Bunny Ears perfect for #Easter baskets or #family photos. Click To Tweet

DIY Floral Easter Bunny Ears

This DIY is a craft you can throw together easily during the kids naptime or when they are at school. If your kids are old enough to use a hot glue gun, they can certainly help out! Start by going to your favorite craft store (mine is Hobby Lobby) to pick up supplies. Try and hit up a 50% off floral day to save money.

Supplies Needed:

  • Hot glue gun.
  • 2 glue sticks per headband.
  • Thick headbands (preferably in white). I was able to make 3 headbands out of the flower bunches I bought.
  • 1 bunch of medium sized faux flowers.
  • 2-3  bunches of small faux flowers.
  • 1 bunch of tiny filler faux flowers like Baby’s Breath.
  • Wire cutters.
  • 2 floral stem wires per headband.
  • White spray paint or white ribbon for the ears. If your headband is not white, you can also wrap the headband with ribbon.

Pick out any color scheme you would like! Shades of purple, sunflowers, red tones… whatever you are envisioning- go for it. My daughter loves pink so I picked out two shades of pink flowers and two different white flower bunches. Notice that I did not use any leaves but you can certainly add more volume and color utilizing the flower leaves.

Gather all the supplies and find a space to work at. I like to place a large paper bag or lay out an empty box on my working space so I don’t make a mess out of the glue. Begin with the ears since we will be spray painting them to allow time to dry. To make the ears, take a floral stem wire and form a bunny ear, twist the bottom. Repeat for the second ear and make sure they are the same size and shape. Feel free to make the ears tall and skinny or short and wide or however you envision the ears to sit. Some ears, I even bent forward a bit for a floppy ear look.

Once the ears are equal in size and shape and twisted at the bottom, you will want to bend it to make a “foot” as shown in the photo below. This is the area you will be gluing to the headband.

Go outside or on the garage to spray paint the ears white on the front and back sides. I did two layers of paint and that was sufficient. As mentioned on the supply list, you can use ribbon instead of spray paint. If using ribbon, use the glue gun to secure the end of the ribbon in place towards the foot of each ear and then wrap the wire tightly and secure the end with super glue on the opposite side.

As the paint is drying, prep all the flowers. Take your wire cutters and clip each flower off the stems. If you want some leaves in your design, also clip some leaves. For the tiny flowers, I clipped in bunches of three.

Once the paint has dried on the ears, heat up your glue gun and glue the “foot” of the ear to the headband. Hold in place for 30 seconds or so to allow the glue to set up a little before moving on. Before gluing, play around with the placement of the ears and where you want them. You can glue them close together or farther apart. Decide on the placement before gluing so you get the look you want.

Now, for my favorite part! Gluing on the flowers for these DIY Floral Easter Bunny Ears. The order of the flowers and how they lay are completely up to you so be creative. Start with one of the larger flowers and glue it on. Place a dollop of glue on the back of the flower where you trimmed off the stem. Make sure to hold it in place for 30 seconds on the headband so the glue starts setting up before moving on. I like to just try out different flowers as I am making my arrangement before gluing to see how it will fit and look before I make a commitment.

Complete your arrangement of the flowers and grab the tiny flowers to glue into spaces that could use some fill in. Focus on the front of the headband as you make your arrangement but flip it over to the back and fill where you can with flowers so your bunny ears are pretty from every angle.

Let the DIY Floral Easter Bunny Ears dry for 10 minutes or so after gluing is completed and they are ready to wear!

What kind of crafts or activities do you have planned for this Easter?? Let me know in the comments below. 

Homemade Peanut Butter & Bacon Dog Treats

Homemade Peanut Butter & Bacon Dog Treats

Homemade Peanut Butter & Bacon Dog Treats are made with bacon, creamy peanut butter, whole wheat flour, oats and egg. The perfect treat for your favorite furry friend.

You dogs need something extra special every once in awhile and what does your dog love more than bacon or peanut butter? Hopefully, it’s you but bacon and peanut butter are probably a very close second so let’s make them some doggie treats.

I just recently started making my own dog treats and this recipe comes from Sally’s Baking Addiction. It is a winner! Really simple, affordable and a great treat for my dog. I made these with ingredients I already had around the house and some leftover bacon from breakfast. I used a 3 pack of dog bone cookie cutters but you can use whatever cookie cutter you would like.

Note that I do recommend consulting a veterinarian in regards to the ingredients in these treats if you have any concerns.

5 from 1 reviews
Homemade Peanut Butter & Bacon Dog Treats
 
Prep time
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Homemade Peanut Butter & Bacon Dog Treats are made with bacon, creamy peanut butter, whole wheat flour, oats and egg. The perfect treat for your favorite furry friend. Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Author:
Recipe type: dog treat
Ingredients
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¾ milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup oats
  • 2 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Chop the cooked bacon strips.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the egg, peanut butter and milk.
  4. Add in 2 cups flour and 1 tablespoon baking powder to make a dough.
  5. Mix in the chopped bacon and oats.
  6. Sprinkle a bit of flour on your working surface and flour the rolling pin.
  7. Start rolling out your dough to ¼ inch thickness.
  8. Use the cookie cutter to make as many treats as possible. You can even re-roll your leftover dough and use the cookie cutter again.
  9. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and line with the treats.
  10. Cook 20 minutes. Flip treats and cook another 10 minutes.
  11. Let treats cool before storing in an air tight container.

You dogs need something extra special every once in awhile and what does your dog love more than bacon or peanut butter? Hopefully, it's you but bacon and peanut butter are probably a very close second so let's make them some doggie treats. Click To Tweet

Do you ever make homemade dog treats? What are some of your favorite recipes? Let me know in the comments below!

DIY $20 Spring Wreath

DIY $20 Spring Wreath

I am sharing a $20 Spring Wreath that is a really simple DIY project for your front door this spring.

Honestly, it is snowing today in Cincinnati but the weather has warming up and we have had some flip-flop approved days lately which means spring is near and I cannot wait! The sunshine is so close my friends. We are almost there.

DIY $20 Spring Wreath

The $20 Spring Wreath doesn’t require a glue gun or even floral wire. Just stop by your favorite craft store and pick up:

  • a $5 wreath
  • two bushes of greenery
  • four bushes of flowers (2 different types, four total)
  • ribbon (I prefer the wired ribbon)
  • wire cutters

Stores like Hobby Lobby are always on a sale rotation with departments so wait until the florals are 50% off to save money. Hobby Lobby also has a 40% off coupon online all the time for any full-priced item if you grab something not on sale.

You can buy more greenery that just the two bunches if you want a fuller look. Personally, I like seeing the sticks from the wreath popping out. Also, pick whatever is in stock or that you like. A boxwood or boxwood-like style is what I recommend.

Pick two types of faux flower bunches and grab two bunches of each. I chose a lavender and a lighter purple flower bud because the colors are really beautiful and there are multiple tones of purple that look really nice. Hold your flowers in a big bunch at the store to get an idea of how the will look put together.

You will also need a ribbon. Pick a thick wired ribbon in whatever color goes with your flowers. A burlap is always a safe pick if you aren’t sure what will match. Also, wire cutters are needed and that may be something you have in your home already or the craft store has some for a very reasonable price.

Let’s get started on our spring wreath. Find an area in your home to work at. I like to work on the floor because I can lay everything out and I find it comfortable but the dining room table is also a great place to work.

Start with your bunches of greenery and use your wire cutters to separate the bunches into smaller bunches. You can then start weaving your greenery throughout the wreath. You do this by first securing the tip of greenery bunch down in the wreath towards the center. Then take the greenery and literally weave through the sticks of the wreath spreading them out for even coverage. You don’t have to weave a lot- just enough to secure everything into place.  Repeat this until your wreath is 3/4 filled with greenery.

Once the greenery has the look you want, clip your flower bunches. Your flowers may be different than mine but start with the flowers that will more flat or are longer. My lavender happens to longer and flatter than my flower buds so they will lay very nicely.

The spring wreath is just about complete. It is time to make it pretty and bring in some beautiful color.

Push down the longer/thinner flower bunches into the wreath in the section without greenery weaved in. This is where you get to use your creativity and angle the flowers how they look best. Also, think about how the flowers are layering as you push each bunch in. You don’t want each flower to fall in the exact same spot. Some can be short or extra long, some can wonder off out of place a bit and that is all okay.

Complete your flowers and ensure each bush is secure in the wreath. If something feels loose, you can remove it and re-insert it farther or move it slightly. Nothing is glued so you can easily change your mind about placement on anything!

If you have any extra greenery pieces left, you can insert and weave them into any open spots around the wreath that look slightly bare at this point and then make your bow. Your bow can be as big and extravagant is you want or it can be simple like the one shown. Tie a bow around the middle where your flower ends meet to cover up that area.

Hang your spring wreath on your front door or in your house.

Making your own spring wreath is beautiful and saves a lot of money! I don’t say that about many crafts because it usually actually costs more money for the DIY than it is just to buy- but hey, it’s fun to do right? This wreath would cost around $65 in a store or online but only $20 to make on your own!

Are you excited for spring? Let me know what you are looking forward to in the comments below.

Lazy Moms Guide to Gorgeous Skin

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Lazy Moms Guide to Gorgeous Skin

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

I have the Lazy Moms Guide to Gorgeous Skin  with 5 rules for any mom just like me who wants beautiful skin but won’t sacrifice a lot of time or money. New Olay Regenerist Whip Face Moisturizer is not your average lightweight moisturizer and I am sharing with you why it is the perfect addition to your skincare regime.

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Let’s face it- once you have kids, taking care of yourself gets put on the backburner. Moms are busy being caretakers, running errands, everyday chores, working full time jobs and tirelessly striving at making sure the household runs like well oiled machine. So… NO mamas, you are not really a lazy mom (far from it) but those everyday self care tasks move down on the priority list and I can admit that I have become lazy with my skincare routine but I have a guide to gorgeous skin for moms just like me.

My Skin

I was just born with terrible skin. My combination skin suffers from breakouts, sensitivity to basically everything and have some dermatitis. As I approach my mid-thirties (shhhh, don’t tell anyone-my kids think I am 29) I am seeing some wrinkles set in and I am losing that youthful, bright appearance I once had. I know many of you can relate to some of these skin issues.

Olay has played a big role in my skincare routine for the last 10 years or so and I could rave all day about their products. Not a single Olay product has ever made me breakout which is amazing for skin like mine. What has made me fall in love with Olay is the fact that my skin always appears smooth and bright without a zit in sight. Nobody has a clue that if I miss a part of my skincare routine that my face would be a wreck.

Olay Regenerist Whip Face Moisturizer

Olay Regenerist Whip Face Moisturizer is new from Olay and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this product. You don’t have to choose between a lightweight, basic hydrating moisturizer OR a powerful product that gives results anymore! What you get packed in a jar of Olay Regenerist Whip Face Moisturizer:

  • A powerful moisturizer with a light as air finish.
  • Anti-aging formula diminishes the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Actively hydrates to improve elasticity and firm skin.
  • Formulated with advanced Amino-Peptide Complex II to regenerate surface cells.

Olay Whips are available with and without SPF in Regenerist, Total Effects and Luminous. Each provide youth-restoring benefits, whether you’re looking for smoothness and firmness, tone perfection or overall nourishment. Whichever formula is best suited for your skin, you will notice a smooth, matte finish in this lightweight and powerful moisturizer.

I found my Olay Whip Face Moisturizer at my Cincinnati, Ohio Kroger store. You can find yours at your local Kroger or Kroger banner store! Look for it in the Olay section on the beauty aisle.

See the entire Olay Whips line and get more information!

Click HERE.

Lazy Moms Guide to Gorgeous Skin

Time to share my Lazy Moms Guide to Gorgeous Skin with 5 rules of skincare to live by. No matter how busy life may get, gorgeous skin is possible by following the guide below!

1. Cleanse your face in the morning and at night. Remove dirt and excess oils from your face. I use a cleanser with Salicylic Acid in the mornings to reduce inflammation and control any breakouts. At night, I use a gentle cleanser to avoid irritation on my skin. Find the perfect cleanser for your skin type.

2. Don’t skip the sunscreen in the morning. Even cloudy days call for a sunscreen. Olay Regenerist Whip Face Moisturizer is also available in SPF 25 for daytime use to get your moisturizer and sunscreen in one simple step.

3. Exfoliate at least twice a week. Remove dead skin cells to reveal smoother skin and help speed up the skin renewal process for a more youthful appearance.

4. Remove all your makeup before bed. Before cleansing, remove all your makeup. Going to bed with makeup on can clog pores so make sure your skin can breathe through the night.

5. Moisturize morning and night. I recommend the Olay Whip Regenerist! After a week using the product, here is what I notice:

  • Quick absorption into the skin with the Active Rush Technology™.
  • My skin feels so soft. The Olay Whips Regenerist reminds me of primer with the silky texture it provides.
  • Makeup went on easier and the dry areas in my skin were not as prevalent as normal after my powder makeup application.
  • The Olay Whips Regenerist is lightweight AND still offers powerful results.
  • Leaves the skin with a matte finish.

Daily Habits for Gorgeous Skin

The Lazy Moms Guide to Gorgeous Skin supplies you with the those rules you never want to skip on but beautiful skin goes beyond that.  Your daily habits play a big role in your skins appearance. Throughout the day, small habits can make a big difference.

  • Consume at least 8 glasses of water everyday. Water keeps the skin hydrated and prevents dry skin.
  • Avoid long periods of exposure in the sunlight. A small amount of time in the sun everyday is beneficial to your skin but long periods in the sun can cause damage.
  • Avoid touching your face. Touching your face can clog pores and flare up skin issues.
  • Eat a balanced diet to supply your skin with nutrients it needs.
  • Sleep 7 to 8 hours. Getting plenty of sleep will give your skin time to recover. Us moms have had plenty of sleepless nights and suffer dark circles and puffiness under the eyes from it. It is a part of motherhood but do your best to get on a good sleep schedule.

How does Olay Whip Regenerist Face Moisturizer fit into your skincare routine? Let me know your best tips for gorgeous skin in the comments below!

Why It’s Time to Check Your Pet Food

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Why It’s Time to Check Your Pet Food

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

Your dog is family and that’s Why It’s Time to Check Your Pet Food.  Today, I am breaking down the ingredients to look for on a label to guarantee you are feeding your dog the quality ingredients they deserve.

We all want our pets to live long, healthy and happy lives so let’s make sure we are doing everything possible to achieve this starting with the food. I picked up Purina® Dog Chow Complete Adult with Real Chicken Dog Food and Purina® Beneful® Grain Free With Ream Farm-Raised Chicken Adult Dry Dog Food to go over what we are looking for on a label.

About Chance

Chance is our nine year old Boxer-Lab-Australian Shepherd-Beagle mix. Boy-that’s a mouthful there. We adopted him when my son was a baby and fell in love with those droopy eyes and calm demeanor. Chance completes our family for so many reasons but his gentle nature and patience with the kids and other animals is what really makes him a special part of the family.

Chance has never been a picky eater and will devour anything I put in front of him. As his mom, it is my responsibility that I feed him a quality dog food high in protein and supplies him with all the nutrients he needs. With the amount of food Chance eats, I need to make sure the food is also affordable and I am getting a good value. Beneful and Dog chow give my dog real meat at the right price. 

Meijer is a weekly stop for groceries and I love that they also offer all kinds of necessities like clothes, home goods, office supplies and pet food so I can get my family everything they need in one stop.

Meijer has also rolled out Curbside pick-up. Curbside lets you add items to your cart and indicate when you want to pick them up at the store in the curbside lane. I look forward to this service being offered in my area soon but click HERE for more information and see if it is already offered at your Meijer location.

Another great Meijer perk is Shipt. I use Shipt occasionally to have my Meijer list delivered right to my front door. A personal shopper does all your shopping and drops it at your house with same-day delivery! This is a perfect service for those who are extra busy, have kids or just despise that weekly grocery store trip.

 Save on Benful and Dog Chow now with MPerks.

Between 2/4/18 and 3/3/18 save $1 off 32 lb bag or smaller or $1 off any size of Beneful Dog Food.

Click HERE to add the savings offer to your MPerks account. 

Why It’s Time to Check Your Pet Food

It is time to check your pet food. Flip the dog food over to read the back label. Look at the ingredients including vitamins and minerals and the guaranteed analysis with daily values of protein and fat. Most dogs need around 20% protein- if your dog is very active (sled dog for example) protein needs may be higher.

Make sure to also always read the recommended servings amounts for your dogs weight so you are not over feeding or under feeding. Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult with Real Chicken Dog Food supplies 100% complete and balanced ingredients your dog needs with 23 vitamins and minerals.

What ingredients to look for on your pet food label:

Protein

Dogs are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals. Protein has amino acids that are essential for muscle mass and regulation of enzyme and hormone production. Proteins to look for include beef, chicken, fish, and lamb for strong muscles and joint health. Your dog food label may show meat by-products that are nutrient rich from sources such as lungs, liver and spleen.

Carbohydrate

Ingredients like corn, brown rice, potatoes and oatmeal supply your dog with energy. These carbohydrates help keep your dog energized for activities like playing fetch or daily walks around the neighborhood. Purina Beneful Grain Free With Ream Farm-Raised Chicken Adult Dry Dog Food has no corn, wheat or gluten providing carbohydrates from ingredients like soybean meal.

Fats and Oils

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential in your dogs diet. Just like humans, animals need a healthy balance of fat for energy, healthy skin and coats, joint and eye health.

Taste, Texture and Variety

Peas, carrots, sweet potatoes and broths will give your dog variety and make their meal more palatable.

Minerals

There are too many to go over today but all those __ sulfates, __carbonates and __phosphates deliver your dog with the minerals needed for all sort of functions including strengthening bones, boosting immune system and maintaining fluid balance.

Vitamins

Vitamins is another area where there are just too many to discuss. Biotin, vitamin A, folic acid, vitamin B-12, riboflavin are a just a few. Just like humans, animals need a all kinds of vitamins to metabolize their food and convert it to energy. Not to mention, vitamins help support vision, skin, bone, and muscle health.

Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein – we all remember that from high school science, right? Ingredients like taurine and L-cysteine will help strengthen muscles and promote heart health.

Have you checked your pet food lately? Now you have the information to read your dogs food label to ensure you are feeding your dog a formulation that is supplying the balance of nutrients they need. Make sure you are flipping that dog food bag and reading the label.

What personality trait makes your dog extra special? I want to hear about how your dog is part of the family in the comments below. 

 

Tips For Managing Postpartum Depression

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Tips For Managing Postpartum Depression

Being diagnosed with postpartum depression feels like the end of a dream.

Once upon a time, you may have had a vision of a perfect life with a baby and you snuggled up, happily. You were the most in control, well-managed mom, and there wasn’t a single issue. The baby’s health was excellent, your health was excellent, and everyone lived happily ever after.

That’s a beautiful fantasy, but for some of us, the reality is a little different.

The baby’s health was excellent, your health was excellent, and everyone lived happily ever after. That’s a beautiful fantasy, but for some of us, the reality is a little different. Click To Tweet

Life post birth comes with the same troubles that life can often bring, and that can seem really unfair. Once you’ve been diagnosed with postpartum depression, your life is going to change, and don’t worry, it isn’t all bad. You can still be an amazing mother; and the baby? Well, that brand new life is pretty perfect, isn’t it? You’re not broken, you’re just struggling right now, and you’re in need of some help.

Fortunately, that help is available to you.

What you’re going to focus on once you’ve been diagnosed with postpartum depression is getting about the business of living well and managing the condition. But how do you do that?

Tips for managing postpartum depression:

  1. Do not be afraid to ask for help – research shows that women who have practical and emotional support from their partners, family, and friends, are less likely to suffer from postpartum depression.  Those who have already been diagnosed need that support even more. There’s no shame in it, so try to be patient with yourself and ask for what you need.
  2. Follow the treatment plan – remember that you went to the doctor for a reason, and they gave you your treatment plan so you could begin getting better. That means you need to follow the treatment plan to the letter. Go see the therapist, take the medication, or do whatever you need to do in order to get well.
  3. Let go of your perfectionism – easier said than done, I realize. When you envisioned being a mommy, this was not the plan. That’s a hard thing to let go of, but you’re here now, and it is OK not to be perfect. You’re doing everything you possibly can to keep yourself and your child safe. That IS perfection if you think about it.
  4. Join a support group – occasionally you’re going to try to explain to your loved ones what you’re experiencing and they just won’t understand. Joining a support group gives you access to people who share your struggles, and have been in your shoes. Having someone to say they understand is majorly validating. You owe that to yourself. If you can’t make it to an in-person support group, consider an online support forum or Facebook group to talk with women who understand.

You are doing so much better than you think you are.

Learning to respect and care for your mental health post pregnancy is critical to doing well with postpartum depression. Be certain to reach out for your support system, especially on the days when you are struggling. If you can manage this, you won’t fail.

 

About Rachel

Rachel Fink is a blogger at Parenting Pod and a mom of 7 kids. She is passionate about spreading awareness for mental health issues such as postpartum depression and ADHD. Make sure to follow her on Facebook HERE

Tips on managing postpartum depression