The Perfect Spring Picnic Is Made Special With Collin Street Bakery

The Perfect Spring Picnic Is Made Special With Collin Street Bakery

spring picnic collin street bakery AD

This post has been sponsored by Collin Street Bakery. All opinions are mine. Contains affiliate links.

Late Spring is the perfect time for a picnic.  The weather is usually perfect for a picnic by the lake, at the park, or even in your own backyard.  We like to have picnics in our backyard, just as a fun way to take family mealtime outdoors.  It provides a fun change of scenery and helps us, as parents, loosen up a bit and enjoy our family and not the spills and messes.

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Give Your Kitchen A Spring Makeover!

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

Give Your Kitchen A Spring Makeover!

Best Buy Kitchen Aid

I spend a huge amount of time in my kitchen.  Preparing school lunches, breakfasts, lunches, dinners….and then brunches, snacks, 2nd snacks and after dinner snacks, too…the kitchen gets lots of my attention.  If I was able to give any room in my house an upgrade, the kitchen would be my top choice, hands down.  The appliances are reliable, but they are very outdated.  I would love to refresh the old appliances with elegant, updated appliances that do more and use energy better, too.

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Why Should You Have Your Glove Steamed?

Why Should You Have Your Glove Steamed? 

Mizuno Glove Steaming

This post has been brought to you by Mizuno. All opinions are mine.

The Captain played modified t-ball last year and really got into it!  He loves batting practice and also playing catch with us.  He had a hand-me-down glove last year, but we found that it was a little small for his hand.  Luckily, a teammate let him borrow his Mizuno glove and it made a big difference.  His confidence grew when he could actually catch a ball with ease.  The proper sports equipment makes it more fun to play!

glove-steaming-1We were able to visit our local Dick's Sporting Goods and check out their awesome choice of Mizuno gloves.  The Captain, of course, picked out a red one for 7 and 8 year olds, and it fit great!  I did notice that it was a bit stiff, however.  


The Captain was thrilled when we saw the sign for a free glove steaming RIGHT when we walked into Dick's Sporting Goods.

We saw the sign for a free glove steaming when we walked into the store, but honestly, I had no idea why one would even need to have their glove steamed, but after we went through the process, it became very obvious!  

Reasons You Should Have Your Glove Steamed:

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Three Ways To Grow Spiritually In The New Year – Prayer Wall DIY

This post was brought to you by Family Christian.  All opinions are mine.  Three Ways to Grow Spiritually in The New Year and Prayer Wall DIY

Three Ways To Grow Spiritually In The New Year and Prayer Wall DIY

Three Ways To Grow Spiritually In The New Year

It is always funny to me how at the end of the year, we are so busy and things are so chaotic.  The Christmas season is supposed to be about remembering Jesus and celebrating his birth here on the Earth, but quickly becomes about cooking, gifts, travel, parties, and other worldly things.  For me, every year's end, I find myself wishing that I had spent more time with Jesus and making plans to be better in the new year.  

Here are three simple ways to grow spiritually in the new year. Of course you don't have to start January 1st.  Any time is a good time to focus on Jesus, and these ideas are good year-round.  

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Visit Texas Christkindl Market Arlington TX

Christkindl Market Arlington TX

Texas Christkindl Market Arlington TX

This post has been brought to you by the Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau. All opinions are mine.

Arlington 2011 Christkindl Market Day Two photographed Saturday, December 2, 2011. Photography by Bruce E. Maxwell.[/caption]

We love holiday events, but are always unsure about the best ones in our area, and if they are even family friendly.  This year we will be attending the Texas Christkindl Market in Arlington, TX and here's why!  

First of all, the event is free and parking is free.  It's not a gamble to if your family will like it and if it's "worth it," because you only spend what you want to spend.  It's an open air market where you can shop for gifts and holiday decorations, enjoy German cuisine, holiday beverages, live entertainment, events for the kids, and much more.

Christkindl Market Arlington TX

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Family Dinners are Important, Even On Busy Days {Dinner Table Question Game Printable}

This family dinners shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BlakesAllNatural #CollectiveBias
Make Family Dinners Special #BlakesAllNatural ad #cbias

Fall is a busy time of year for us. Like most families, we have school, sports, and church events, holidays, and also three birthdays!  All of the boys were born in November or December and it's a crazy time of year!  Some days are so jam packed, that we resort to quickly eating whatever we can find in the fridge or going out to eat.  I simply cannot be stuck in the kitchen for hours, although I want to always provide my family with good tasting, all natural foods.

Keeping the freezer stocked with easy to prepare foods is a must for this time of year.  I was thrilled to see the selection of homemade comfort foods by Blake's, at Walmart the other day.  And right now, there's a great deal on ibotta that will make stocking up on Blake's frozen foods even smarter.

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VeggieTales Live! Little Kids Do Big Things! Coming to Verizon Theatre, DFW!

If your kids love "Veggie Tales" and you're in the Dallas/ Ft. Worth, Texas area, you should definitely take them to "Veggie Tales LIVE!" on November 28th at the Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie!  Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber, and all of their Veggie friends will be there for the VeggieTales Live! Little Kids Do Big Things tour.

Fans of all ages are sure to love this show.  Join the crew in a musical review that celebrates kids and the fact that with help and faith, they can do big things, too!  This all new production features live performances of Veggie silly song favorites like The Hairbrush Song and I Love My Lips as well as songs that inspire like Big Things Too.  This high-energy show is jam packed with VeggieTales greatest hits.

VeggieTales provides wholesome, quality entertainment that promotes values and lessons kids use for a lifetime such as telling the truth, sharing and forgiveness.   

Tickets to VeggieTales Live!  Little Kids Do Big Things tour can be purchased at, by phone 1-888-929-7849 or at the theatre box office.  A limited number of VIP tickets are available, which include premium seating and a special meet and greet with your favorite VeggieTales characters!

For the most up to date tour itinerary and additional ticket and tour information please visit

HUGE Best Buy Holiday Shopping Event: This Saturday, November 7!

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10 Things Every Family Should Keep In The Car

We spend much of our time in the car- going to see family, driving to and from sports practices and events, going shopping, to church, to school, and many other things during each and every week.  We are very thankful to have cars to take us to the places that we need to go!  It's important to remember that because we are in the car so much, it's helpful that we keep them well stocked with essential items in case we need them.

With winter approaching, it's important to keep things in your car that are specific to your climate.  This is just a general list, but obviously if you live in Alaska, you will need to add more things to your car essentials list!

Ten Things Every Family Should Keep In The Car

1.  First Aid Kit – You can purchase a first aid kit specifically for your car or create your own, but it should have things like band-aids, first aid directions, gauze, scissors, tweezers, vinyl gloves, alcohol prep pads, and more.

2.  Extra Clothes –  Accidents, spills, rain, and more happen!  Pack underwear, socks, a season appropriate outfit, and a jacket for each member of the family.  You can save money by shopping thrift stores for extra clothes.

3.  Water – There have been so many times that the kids have been thirsty and completely drank all of the water they had when we left the house within the first ten minutes of the trip.  Always grab two times the water that you think you will need.  Leaving water in plastic bottles in the car in the hot summer days isn't a good idea, but storing water in glass bottles or stocking up each trip is a good idea.

4.  Snacks – Any parent knows that this one is a biggie.  Kids get hungry, even when you thing there's no way they could possibly eat another bite.  Keep a stash of granola bars, crackers, or other snacks in the car at all times to be prepared for any bouts of hunger.

5.  Jumper cables – If you ever need help starting your battery, it's better to have a set of your own jumper cables instead of trying to find someone who has some that you can use. 

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Make Fire Safety Fun! Throw a Party to Help Kids Learn and Make a DIY Paw Patrol Badge, too!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. Teach your kids about fire safety. #ChangeYourClock #CollectiveBias#ChangeYourClockOur boys have always loved to play dress-up.  If there is one real profession that they love pretending to be the most, it is a firefighter.  I think it has to do with getting to spray a really huge hose and that they drive huge red trucks, but the boys just love it.  Their love for being firemen has allowed us to teach them key facts when it comes to fire safety.  Since they were all old enough to walk, and probably even before, we have been teaching them that we do not touch hot things, don't touch the oven or stove, don't play with lighters or matches, etc, like all parents teach their kids.  But, there is really so much more to be taught when it comes to fire safety.

I realized it was time to have a big family discussion about fire safety, what to do in case there is a fire, and what a smoke detector is.  (I figured they should know that it's not just something that goes off when Mommy burns something.)  With the time change coming up, I had already picked up some Energizer® MAX® 9V batteries at Target to change out our existing batteries in our smoke alarms.


I told the boys that we would be having a "Fire Safety Party" and they were excited!  They dressed up in their fire fighter gear and we took the party outside.  I made it very kid friendly with a coloring sheet, crayons, cupcakes, and also a DIY Paw Patrol badge craft.
fire cupcakesMommy's attempt at fire cupcakes. The "fire" is melted cherry Jolly Ranchers that had been broken up.Fire Safety

Download the coloring page and Household Safety Checklist and printables that we used!

We then made a pretty simple DIY Paw Patrol badge.  I am confessing that I used a badge printable template online, and they were easy for the Captain to make.  The boys were so excited to have a badge like Marshall's from the Paw Patrol, which is one show that they all love!  Dogs helping out, who can resist?

DIY Paw Patrol BadgeMaterials needed for Paw Patrol badge:

  • one sheet of white foam
  • one sheet of red paper
  • one sheet of yellow paper
  • liquid school glue (glue stick doesn't work…we tried)
  • one large safety pin per badge
  • hot glue gun, for parents' use only
  • scissors
  • optional – badge template if you are like me and cannot freehand one!

paw patrol badgeDirections:

  1. Trace badge template or freehand a badge shape onto white foam paper.
  2. Trace smaller badge template or freehand a smaller one on red paper.
  3. Cut out white badge and red badge
  4. Use liquid glue to attach red badge on top of the white foam badge.  You don't want to use too much glue, so smooth it out with your finger or a paint brush prior to attaching it to the foam.  
  5. The foam is difficult to stick to, so I turned the badge over after I had glued the red badge on top and put a book on top for about 3-5 minutes to make it flat and smooth.
  6. Meanwhile, cut a flame shape out of the yellow paper.  This was a little trickier for the Captain, so I helped.
  7. Glue the yellow flame on top of the red paper on the badge.
  8. When your badge is complete, hot glue a large safety pin on the back of the badge, leaving the pin side outwards so it's easy to attach to your child's clothing.
  9. After the hot glue has dried, attach to clothing and let the Paw Patrol fun begin!

Paw Patrol Marshall Badge

After that, Daddy gave the boys a great lesson on changing the batteries in our smoke detectors.  He showed them how to do it, talked about what smoke detectors were for, and more about fire safety.

#ChangeYourClockHe then showed the boys how to check to see if the smoke detector was working properly with the test button.

#ChangeYourClocksD wasn't a fan of the loud noise, but it was helpful for him to see how and what the loud smoke dector is for!

Did you know that Energizer® and the International Association of Fire Chiefs started the "Change Your Clocks Change Your Batteries" program 28 years ago after realizing that many houses had smoke detectors with missing, disconnected, or dead batteries?   Throughout this important program, they have donated more than 5 million batteries in coordination with local fire departments to help make sure more families have working smoke alarms.  Smoke alarms provide an early warning to families and cuts the risk of dying in a house fire in half!  It's amazing that a simple working battery can save your life.  So remember that whenever it's time to change your clocks, it's time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors, too!  Teach your kids so they can help you remember and keep you accountable.

How do you teach your children about fire safety in the home?