Mommy Monday Linkup – Summer Crafts

Mommy Monday Link Up – Week 22 – Share A Summer Craft

Mommy Monday

Welcome to Mommy Monday!

Mommy Monday is a prompt based link up party with a theme.  We'll supply the prompts and you link up your related posts.  Anything and everything family friendly, old, new, even reviews and giveaways are welcome, as long as they relate to this week's prompt.

This Week's and Next Week's Prompt

This week's prompt is to share a summer craft.  Add your link to your post with this theme in the linky below.  

This will be the last Mommy Monday link up…at least for awhile.  Thank you all for linking up!

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Real Food and How It Saves You Money

Can Real Food Save You Money?

Does your family eat real food with every meal or are boxed mixes and meals a regular part of your meal table? If you’re spending money on boxed convenience items, you’re not only wasting money, but you’re also probably not feeling the best. Real food, such as fruits, vegetables, fresh eggs and fresh meat on the other hand not only tastes much better, but saves you money over time.

To start, let’s look at the actual savings. A bag of flour, frozen veggies, chicken, soup and some cheese can create around 4 meals alone. You’ll spend around $2.50 for flour, $5 for the chicken, $2 for the vegetables, $1.00 for the soup and $2.50 for the cheese. For just over $10.00 you’ll cook 4 meals meaning that you’ll be paying around $3.25 for one meal.

Catch that word? MEAL. Not per serving.

For a boxed mix, you’ll spend $2.00 on the mix, $3.00 on the hamburger and get one meal. That’s $5.00 for one meal.  $1.75 extra per meal might not seem like a huge amount of money, but over time…it is. That equals out to $12.25 per week, $49.00 per month and $588.00 per year. What would you use it on if you had an extra $588 per year?

If that doesn’t convince you to cook real food, maybe this will:

Boxed meals are packed with chemicals and sodium. Most of them are VERY high in sodium…so high in fact that they can do damage to your body. When you’re not feeling well, you have high bills for medicine and doctors’ visits. Eating real food not only makes you feel better, but it actually keeps you healthier. Lower medical bills will save you money time and time again.

If you’re looking to cut your food bill, consider making the change and eliminating any processed foods in your home. By doing so, you not only save money, but you will feel better, your family will feel better and your wallet and home will be a calmer, happier place.

You can't always eat real food, it's hard, I know.  I strive to cook at home as much as possible, but there is always room for exceptions.  

To help you out, here are a few of my favorite real food recipes:

One Skillet Pork Chops and Orange Vegetables

Coconut Chicken Strips

Queso con Carne without Velveeta!

and for a great substitute in many casseroles:

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

Stability in Uncertain Times: Why Life Insurance Is Necessary

This life insurance post was brought to you by Savings Bank Life Insurance.  All opinions are mine.

Why Life Insurance Is Necessary

Parents never stop worrying about making the best future possible for their children.  We try to give them the best education and opportunities so they can succeed in life.  What is commonly overlooked, however, is making sure they are financially taken care of.  It seems we all work hard for the present, but give little thought to our financial futures.  Maybe we don’t think it’s possible to spare another dollar right now, but having life insurance is very necessary to create stability for your children in uncertain times.

Why Life Insurance is Necessary:


  • if anyone is dependent on your income, a life insurance policy is crucial
  • gives you peace of mind to know that your dependents are taken care of
  • you can “borrow” the cash to use as you see fit (whole life insurance)
  • the cost of replacing all that you do is more than you think (daycare, chauffeuring kids, putting kids through college, taking care of older family members, etc)
  • eliminates stress and worrying


Many companies provide life insurance for their employees, but what about those that are self-employed, not employed, or their company doesn’t provide life insurance?  Life insurance is less expensive than you think and it’s important to have the discussion with your family members and a trusted agent to secure a good financial future for your family.  A Savings Bank Life Insurance agent will work with you and your family to find a plan that fits your budget.

Visit SBLI to learn more and check out the No Nonsense Life Insurance Quick Guide for more information.



Join us for a #LifeProtected Twitter party to raise awareness about the importance of life insurance!

This September marks the 10th anniversary of Life Insurance Awareness Month – an effort to raise awareness about the importance of having life insurance to financially protect those you love.  This year, we’re celebrating with a Twitter party to dispel eight myths commonly associated with life insurance and share tools to help you assess your life insurance needs. We’ll also be sharing tips on ways to have that important conversation – we call it the No Nonsense Conversation – about your family’s financial security.

We will be giving away FIVE PRIZES to randomly selected winners. Five winners who answer trivia questions during the party will receive $50 VISA gift cards!

When: Tuesday, September 16, at 1 p.m. ET (the party will last one hour)


Where: You can see the details and RSVP via this Twtvite:


Hashtag: #LifeProtected


Prizes: We will be giving away five prizes to randomly selected winners. Five winners who answer trivia questions during the party will receive $50 VISA gift cards!


Host: @SavingsBankLife
SBLI Website:

SBLI Facebook:

SBLI Life Insurance Quick Guide:


@brandyellen@ThriftyJinxy@dawnchats@naptimeismytime@CptFussybuckets@TheRebelChick@AFewGoodJens@ExpDomesticity@familyfocusblog, and @adventuresof8


I hope to see you there!


Enjoy Breakfast For Dinner…23 Delicious Recipes!

This breakfast for dinner collection and post was brought to you by  All opinions are mine.

23 Breakfast for Dinner Recipes

Check out Breakfast for Dinner

by Gena at

I am the mother of three boys with very different tastes.  I don't like to call them picky, but they do all like different things and it is very hard to get them to agree on anything.  We almost always agree on breakfast, however.  We love our eggs, toast, pancakes, waffles, bacon, sausage…you name it….we will eat it!  One of my go to recipes is breakfast burritos because they are quick and easy to make and the boys just gobble them up.  I am also NOT a morning person, so breakfast is usually made for dinner.  Anything goes with breakfast!  I have collected some amazing breakfast for dinner recipes on Foodie and I would love for you to check it out!  There is something for everyone….sweet, savory, hearty, quick to prepare, casseroles, bite sized breakfasts, and even a recipe for homemade granola because well, cereal works for dinner, too!  Enjoy!

Also, check out these delicious Peach Yogurt Muffins and Hatch Chile, Egg, & Potato Casserole!

Costco $50 Cash Card Giveaway + Get Huggies PLUS Diapers and Wipes Exclusively at Costco {giveaway closed}

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Huggies® Brand. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for participating.  I am happy to be participating in the Huggies Costco Ambassador program.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned how Costco is now offering an exclusive – Huggies Plus diapers and Natural Care Plus wipes.  So, while you're shopping at your local Costco, you can stock up on diapers and wipes that are high quality and in bulk, so you will be set for awhile!

Costco Huggies sample

Costco Members – Click HERE to register for a FREE sample of the Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus and Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes. Hurry and register now, there will be a limited number of samples each day while supplies lasts, so try back tomorrow if you aren't able get a sample today! You must be Costco member to get a sample.  Limit 1 sample per household. 


We are giving away a $50 Costco cash card!  Leave a comment for each entry.  Nothing is mandatory, just pick and choose what you would like to do.

  1. Leave a comment telling me what you love to purchase at Costco.
  2. Leave a meaningful comment on my Huggies post, then come back and say "I'm commented on the Huggies post!" in the comments below!
  3. Follow me on Facebook.
  4. Retweet this tweet and leave me your Twitter name in the comments below.
  5. Follow @Huggies on Twitter.

Costco Giveaway

Contest entrants are only eligible to win once per sweepstake, per household as part of a campaign sponsored by Mom Central Consulting.  This contest is in no way affiliated with Facebook.  Winner will be chosen after 11:59 PM EST on 8/18/14 with

Father’s Day Gifts He Will Love From Best Buy #GreatestDad

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.

Father's Day gifts at Best Buy

Daddy Fussybuckets is a huge entertainment guy.  He loves to sing, play the drums, and the piano, watch movies, and basketball games, too.  His favorite thing to do, though, is to make sure we are taking tons of pictures and videos of the boys AND backing them up so they won't be lost.  He keeps our iPhones updated and the pictures saved on our hard drive.  He is always making clever videos that the boys will cherish always.  He recently told me about the GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition Action Camcorder and was listing off all the fabulous things he could use it for.  Think soccer games, home videos, riding a bike, and more.  The GoPro is right up his alley, like it was made for him!  He could be hands free as he records special moments in the boys' lives!

Best Buy has a great selection of Father's Day gifts for your father, husband, or special guy in your life.  Whatever your guy's personality may be, Best Buy has you covered with a long list of gifts at different prices, so you're sure to find the *perfect* gift.  

More Great Gift Ideas for "Memory Maker" Dads:

  • Nikon D5300 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens
  • GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition Action Camcorder
  • GoPro Headstrap Mount
  • Canon PowerShot ELPH 115 IS 16.0MP Digital Camera
  • Samsung Galaxy 2 Camera
  • Canon EOS 70D DSLR Camera with 18-135mm IS STM Lens
  • Canon VIXIA HF R50 8GB HD Flash Memory Camcorder
  • Geneva 10 Camera Case
  • Newport 30 Camera Case
  • SanDisk 32GB Ultra Micro Memory Card
  • Canon SELPHY Wireless Compact Photo Printer
  • OlloClip Photo Lens for iPhone
  • mophie space pack
  • HTC One (M8) Amber Gold
  • $50 iTunes Card

Best Buy also offers free shipping on qualified orders and a low-price guarantee.  Check out Best Buy for the perfect Father's Day gift!

What will the special dad in your life be getting this Father's Day?

Best Buy

25 Delicious, Real Food, No-Bake Recipes for Summertime

This no-bake recipes post has been brought to you by Foodie.  All opinions are mine.

25 Delicious, Real Food, No-Bake Recipes

Summer is coming and soon our days will be H-O-T.  We don't like to turn on the oven much during the summer because the air conditioner just can't keep up and it makes it miserable inside.  I've made a Foodie collection of delicious no-bake recipes made with REAL food.  There are snacks, desserts, and even a few dinner meal ideas in my collection, and you're sure to enjoy them.  

Check out 25 Delicious, Real Food, No-Bake Recipes

by Gena at

Create your own Foodie collection with these and any other recipe on the internet, so your favorites will always be right at your fingertips.  Be sure to check out my 13 Mouthwatering BBQ Recipes for Grilling Season, too.  Have a great, safe summer and enjoy the air conditioning!

Win a RECARO Performance SPORT Harness to Booster Car Seat

Disclosure: I was not compensated for sharing this post. The Sponsor (RECARO) is responsible for prize fulfillment.  This post contains affiliate links.


For more than 100 years, RECARO has been manufacturing high quality, innovative, durable seating of all kinds including aircraft seats, automotive seats, stadium seats, children's car seats, and seats for special fields of operation.

Buy It


You can purchase one of RECARO's top-of-the-line car seats via various local and online retailers including Babies R Us or

The Prize

RECARO Performance SPORT in HazeOne RECARO Performance SPORT In the Color Haze $270 ARV



  • Car Seat Dimensions
    • 27.5" to 31.5" high by 19" wide by 21.5" deep
  • Seat Weight
    • 25 pounds
  • Child's Weight/Height
    • Harness Mode: 20 to 65 pounds/27 to 49 inches
    • Booster Mode: 30 to 120 pounds/37 to 59 inches


  1. Mesh Pockets. Two mesh pockets on either side are provided to hold cups, snacks, or toys that are easily within reach.
  2. Safety Stripe System. This one-of-a-kind racing-inspired white stripe, clearly visible on the outside edge of the 5-point harness, alerts parents to improper harness alignment.
  3. CoolMesh Air Ventilation. Four zones of luxurious, temperature balancing fabrics to prevent child from sweating.
  4. EasyAdjust 5-Point Harness. Whether in Harness or Booster mode, each belt guide is color-coded so you can easily identify the proper belt path and positioning of either the LATCH strap or vehicle seat belt.
  5. Side Impact Protection. RECARO's Side Impact Protection is designed to distinctly protect 5 vulnerable areas of a child in a side impact collision–their head, neck, face, torso, and pelvis.
  6. SoftTouch Seat Cushion. Memory foam cushion in the seat of the Performance SPORT ensures a comfortable ride.
  7. ErgoShell Structure. The shell is designed to offer child occupants the comfort qualities RECARO seats are known throughout the world for.

Enter to Win

Open to U.S. Residents 18 Years+ Ends June 9, 2014




This giveaway brought to you via Measuring Flower Events.

Making A Good First Impression: Tips to Help You Land a New Job

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Mom Corps YOU. I received a free trial to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Making a Good First Impression:  Tips to help you land a new job

When I was looking for my first real job after college, I went through 13 interviews to find the perfect one.  It was a time of high anxiety for me.  I really went into the interview process blindly.  Well, I learned a few things in college, but I could have used some more tips and extra support.  Interviews are ROUGH…especially when you're faced with a panel of judges interviewers who are there to pick you apart to see if you are the best fit for their team.

A few great tips that I've learned to be successful at your job interview:

  1. Know the company.  Do your homework, study up on what the company does and what it stands for.  You will be better prepared to answer any questions about how you will fit in.
  2. Dress appropriately – think about what kind of first impression you want to make.  Remember that modesty goes a long way.
  3. Have a portfolio to show off your past work
  4. Make sure that your resumé is up to date.
  5. Offer a firm handshake when you first meet your interviewer(s).
  6. Speak clearly and be aware of your body language.
  7. Be honest with all of your answers.
  8. Be professional
  9. Come with your own questions to ask afterwards.
  10. Send a thank you note after the interview.

I’ve partnered with Mom Corps YOU to share all the great innovations and resources the site has to offer.  Mom Corps YOU has many more great tips and advice for job interviews, creating your resumé, building a personal brand, and getting the support you  need from your peers.  And once you land that job, you can be prepared to manage your finances and other aspects of being a working mom.

Mom Corps YOU has some great webinars coming up to help working moms or those looking to reenter the work force.  TOMORROW, May 22nd, you can see "Transform Your Resume on Social Media" to learn how to enhance your online reputation.  On May 27th, join Mom Corps president and CEO Allison O'Kelly as she answers questions about the quest for work/life satisfaction.  Events like this are happening ALL of the time at Mom Corps YOU, to help and encourage the working mom!  And if you just can't find the answers you need, career counselors are always available to help!  These great features and more are included in your Mom Corps YOU subscription and available for an introductory price of $99.99 or $19.99 a month.  Visit Mom Corps YOU and check it out. 

So after you've landed your new job, may this be your next problem:  (haha)

social media job

Teachers Change Lives – One Student at a Time

teachers change lives

Call it following in my parents' footsteps or possibly just being a creature of habit, but I knew from a very youngage that I wanted to become a teacher.  My father was a high school English/Theater Arts teacher who also wore a lot of hats during his teaching career.  My mother has taught pre-k, kindergarten, and fourth grade.  They lived and breathed teaching.  I spent a lot of time at school when school wasn't in session and I learned what teaching was like through watching and listening to my parents.  I admired the hard work and dedication that both of my parents had to their profession.  I saw that to them, it was much more than a career choice, it was a love.

When I graduated high school, I went to college to become a teacher, as well.  I always have had a love for children and a desire to help them learn and grow.  College classes were fun…I got to make cute things and laminate them.  I had the opportunity to work with amazing kids and learn from amazing teachers.  But when I stepped into "teacher" role….things got real….very quickly.

Teaching is something you don't really understand until you're doing it.  You don't really learn a whole lot until you're put into a teaching role.  As much as I learned from my parents, teachers, and books, I never learned more than my first year as a kindergarten teacher.  It was such a hard year and I actually had a lot of support, unlike many teachers their first year.  The one thing that I found, though, was I spent a LOT of money on things for my classroom.  To get a classroom up and running effectively and smoothly is hard.  I even had lots of stuff given to me, but there were still things I needed and I had to pay for them out of my own pocket.  I cannot imagine how hard it is for teachers who have literally nothing.  What about the schools that have no money, the families they're serving have no money to spare, and these teachers are most likely struggling to pay their student loans and bills themselves?  These teachers need help, and Office Depot, along with the Adopt-A-Classroom nonprofit organization, have made it their mission to help teachers enhance the learning environment for their students.  Adopt-A-Classroom connects donors to teachers to help, and you can, too!  

Register Your Classroom as a Teacher:

  1. Go to the Teachers Change Lives website.
  2. Click on the red box that says "Register Your Classroom," which will take you the Adopt-A-School website.
  3. Follow the steps from there!

Donate to a Teacher:

  1. Go to the Teachers Change Lives website.
  2. Click on the teal "Donate to a Teacher" box, which will take you to the Adopt-A-Classroom website.
  3. Follow the steps from there!

Easy as pie to either register or donate!

I heard a statistic that most teachers teach fewer than five years and then switch careers.  Well, I taught for three years and then decided, along with my husband, that I would stay home with our first child.  Teaching gave me so many tricks and tips for raising my own children and my three years as a teacher were so important and such a life changing experience.  I wouldn't take those years back for anything.  Now, I appreciate my children's teachers SO much.  We need to support teachers and I'm thrilled that Office Depot and Adopt-A-Classroom are helping out!

Watch this video of Stephen Ritz, a teacher in the South Bronx. Stephen and his students built a tower garden in their classroom and turned it into a farm. He teaches his students how to go from seed to plate. Stephen hopes to help change schools in this generation, and fight juvenile diabetes and childhood obesity:



I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.