Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween and Last Day

Happy Halloween!!!  I hope that you all are having a great day!  Here is a quick picture of my kids this morning before school.  I can't wait to get us all dressed up tonight, when all of the Avengers assemble together!

Real quick I wanted to let you know that today is the LAST DAY to print off the $2 off coupon for Snickers and Milky Way.  You can get an 7-8oz bag for only $.50, can't beat that.  Plus this are GREAT for cooking because they are unwrapped.  So hurry and print off your coupon.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Funfetti Cake Cookies

I love cookies and I love cake, so of course I would love cake cookies!  These are amazing, I seriously could not stop eating them!  They are so soft and moist.  I just got it off of the box, but still wanted to share :)

Funfetti Cake Cookies
This is what you'll need:
1 box of Funfetti cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1) Mix ingredients together and roll onto into balls
2) With a spoon, flatten the dough
3) Bake at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes.
Funfetti Cake Cookies (1)
You can add frosting but they taste great plain.
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How to Take Your Own Family Pictures With Young Kids

It’s the time of year for family pictures.  The colors are changing and outside it is just beautiful.  But I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the money to pay for a professional photographer every year plus getting new matching clothes for everyone.  Someday I will hire someone to take our pictures but right now I just can’t.  For the past few years we have been taking our own family pictures and I feel like they turn out pretty good.  We just use a tripod and the timer on my camera and it seems to work out pretty well.  I set my camera to take 3 pictures at a time.  I like to use the tripod because I have control of the settings of my camera.  I set it up, then push the button and then run to get into the picture.  Then I check the pictures afterwards to see if they turned out and if I need to adjust anything.  

I’m not professional photographer, heck I don’t even think that I’m that good at taking pictures, so anyone can do their own family pictures.  Here are a couple tips that I have learned over the years.  All these pictures are completely unedited (well I did crop a few). 
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Finding a good place to take pictures is key.  It helps a lot to have a nice background.  We went with a windmill because it is something that represents where we are leaving right now.  Also having matches outfits is great.  You don’t have to match perfectly but having a color scheme is a good idea.  I like to dress the boys in one color and the girls in another.
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Every once in awhile you need to have a crazy photo for the kids to just be crazy!  Get some energy out of the kids.
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I take the individual pictures and sometimes you just have to go with what they are doing at the time.  My little girl was obsessed with throwing dirt and would not stop doing it.  So instead of starting a fight, I just took pictures of her doing it.  The background isn’t pretty but she sure has a super cute smile on her face.
family pictures individuals
One of the hardest pictures to take (after the whole family picture) is the one of all of the kids.  You know what we do?  My husband stands behind me and does CRAZY things.  Like pretends to fall down.  Or makes my hair stand up.  Or pokes me with a stick.  Anything to make the kids laugh and look in our general direction.  How many times have you told them to look at you and say “cheese”?   And then you get weird smiles and half the time they aren’t looking.  

He would also do weird things during our whole family pictures, like yell out crazy things.  Or pretend to trip as he was running back from the camera.
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I also like to do pictures of the boys and the girls.  I take their picture.
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Then I have my husband take a picture of us.  I make sure the settings are all correct when he takes the picture.
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We even have our son take pictures for us sometimes. 
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There are a few other things that we did to get the kids to cooperate:
We bribe them.  We told them that if they all smiled for us that they could have root beer floats afterwards and that we would pay them all $5.  Money well spent! I was serious  about it too, my 8 year old liked to make silly faces in the pictures and had we not gotten a good picture because of it, he would have not gotten the treat and money.

Patience is key.  The kids are going to be crazy.  They aren’t going to want to hold still.  I still struggle with this but I am getting better at it. 

Don’t expect to get that “perfect” picture.  Honestly I just want everyone to be looking in the general direction of the camera and not to have a weird look on their face.  And with a big family getting 5 out of 7  people smiling is really good! 

Have a plan of what kind of pictures you want to do before you go.  What poses, where angles, what locations.  Because once the chaos starts, it’s hard to think straight and see what will be good.

The kids attention spans are really short, so you have to do things quickly.  I think we took about an hour to do these and by the end they had had enough!  They were were getting cold, starting to play in the mud and getting grumpy.  Trying to get a grumpy toddler to smile is not an easy task.
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Keeping Your Cat Happy and Healthy with #ShebaCat food

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.

Most of you know that we have a cat.  I have done a few posts about her.  We have had her for 14 months and she is definitely part of the family, not enough to have her in family pictures though ;).  Her name is Jumper and her being healthy and happy is really important to us.  She is like a "kid" to me and when she's not happy it makes me sad. A few months back we got another cat, for a companion for Jumper.  Well this cat turned out to be evil to Jumper.  It caused her to become stressed out, hide in my closet all day and to gain a lot of weight.  We got rid of our other cat and then soon decided that we needed to get her healthy again.

We have been searching for a good and healthy wet cat food.  Well we found it!  Sheba cat food has been perfect for her.  She is pretty picky and likes cuts of meat instead of pate.  So I was excited to see that there were several kinds of food that were cuts and not pate.
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Here is our kitty enjoying her food.  The size of the can is perfect too.  Just the right amount to keep her healthy and not gain weight but enough to keep her going all day long. She really likes fish, so I knew that she would enjoy the salmon entree.  And I was right, she ate the whole thing (which is saying something for her, she doesn't always finish it).
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Another thing that I do for Jumper is I am constantly playing with her.  She loves my baker's twine, so I'll tie a little loop at the end of it and put it on my finger and while I am cleaning the house, I will drag it around with me.  I do a ton of walking while cleaning and she loves to chase the twine. She especially loves it when I go up and down the stairs. It keeps her active and not lazy.  Plus I enjoy doing it, it's fun to play with her.
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I got the #ShebaCat food from Walmart.  There is a coupon you can print off from the Sheba website that you get 1 can free when you buy 6 cans.  They are a great price too, only $.50.  I used the coupon and got the salmon entree, whitefish & tuna and more seafood dishes.  I was surprised by the selection that they had.  I'm really excited about these, I know that my cat will enjoy this wet food and it will keep her happy and healthy! 
#shop #shebacat
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Monday, October 28, 2013

Toilet Paper Mummies and Pumpkins #CottonelleTarget

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Cottonelle, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #CottonelleTarget

Toilet paper is one of those things we all have in our house.  We are constantly buying it.  Did you know that you can have fun with it too?  I have a couple of ideas that are perfect for family night this week and I know that your kids will love it just as much as mine did.  We whipped out the #CottonelleTarget and turned the kids into mummies and then made some fun pumpkins out of it.
I got the new 12 pack triple roll Cottonelle from Target.  They were perfect for these mummies, nice and soft and strong.  Plus because they are bigger it only took 3 rolls to cover all of the kids.  My kids LOVED this.  Seriously had so much fun.  My little girl was so excited when it was her turn to become a mummy.  She didn't move or talk because she didn't want to mess it up.  
#cottonelletarget Mummies
And of course when you have a ton of toilet paper on the ground, you have to have a toilet paper fight.  They were at this for awhile too!  I of course got into the action, can't pass up the chance to throw things at my kids!
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After the fight was all cleaned up, we made some fun toilet paper pumpkins for Halloween and fall.
#cottonelletarget pumpkins
These triple rolls were perfect for these, the bigger the roll, the fuller the pumpkin.  Using a fat quarter (18x22 inches) of fabric, a stick and some raffia, I let the kids make their own pumpkins.
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All you have to do is stuff the fabric into the toilet paper hole.
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Then add the stick for the stem.
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Here are all of their pumpkins.  
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As you can tell by the huge smiles on my kids' faces, they had a BLAST doing these activities!  I think they would turn themselves into mummies every day if they could :).

Right now at Target you can get the Cottonelle Triple Roll pack and using this coupon get a free box of Kleenex.  While supplies last.  Plus there is a $.50 off coupon on the package of Cottonelle too for more savings.

You can get a pack and have a fun family night and still have some left over to use in the bathroom.  We put the leftovers in the master bathroom because it's the good stuff, the kids can use the cheap stuff. :)
I would love it if you followed along.