New Snack Recipe – Peanut Butter Balls

We love peanut butter balls!!  They are delicious peanut butter and soft chocolate goodness I like to snack on. We make them all the time around here! They are one of the most accessible recipes to make even my kids can do it on their own. They only require about four ingredients along with water. Super easy run to the grocery store and BAM a yummy treat for everyone in the house. My mom used to make these when I was a kid, and I still remember them to this day! I figured I might as well pass them along to the world. So let’s get started!

Peanut Butter Balls Recipe:

1 Cup Peanut Butter ( Creamy )

1 Cup Powdered Sugar

1 Cup Chocolate Chips

1/2 Cup Dry Milk

2 Tablespoons Water

Directions:

  1. Measure all ingredients out and pour into the bowl ( except water )
  2. Add two tablespoons of water and stir
  3. Make sure ingredients are mixed well with a spoon.
  4. Roll into one inch balls on a plate
  5. Put the plate in the fridge for about ten minutes so they can get firm

PS. You can eat them frozen, from the refrigerator or soft when they first get made. We like to put them in a ziplock bag and stick them in the fridge!

PSS. You can also sub in m&ms instead of chocolate chips – too delicious!

How easy does that look? Now, don’t get me wrong…. I know they aren’t the best on calories but sometimes you need a little peanut butter and chocolate right?! My kids can make them for me and have them stocked in the fridge for parties or get-togethers. This recipe I have more or less kept to myself, but they are delcious and decided to share it with the world. Let me know what you think if you give them a try!

Fruit Infused Water Recipes – Taste Delicious & Easy To Make!

Fruit Infused Water Recipes are one of my favorite things to put together on the weekend!  I am so in love with these that I had to share with all my readers! A goal of mine for this year is to drink more water. Everyone is always talking about their water intake is lower than it should be. So I took it upon myself to share some incredibly yummy & simple recipes that help me to drink water throughout the day. I seem to do good with plain water for about two days then get bored of it. These infused water jars help me to stay on track. The recipes are easy to throw together and I love the mason jars to store them in. Not only do they look super cute but it helps me get through the week & stay fresh! If you haven’t tried something like this yet – you are totally missing out. They are so refreshing and hardly taste like you are drinking water! Each recipe has a different unique taste that you are going to love!

I literally just unscrew the lid and add a straw like you see in the pictures below. EASY PEASY! The best suggestion I can give you is to buy the fruit over the weekend and make your jars on Sunday. Then the rest of the week they are ready to go! This is just what works for me but I know I am home all day during the week. On hot summer days, you will be amazed how good these taste. My kids are in love with these fruit infused water jars too! It is a great way to get them to drink water and stay away from juices. To me, that is a win-win!

Here are 4 of my favorite recipes to make – let’s get started!

Strawberry Watermelon Water – cut up strawberries and watermelon. This one is super simple and I used seedless watermelon for this recipe. I didn’t want to be sucking up black seeds or hunt them down while cutting it up. I love to eat watermelon throughout the week so I spent Sunday cutting up and making a bowl for me and the daycare kids… then use the rest for my mason jars. If you love watermelon and strawberries alone you should give this one a try! It’s delicious!

Strawberry Lemon Water is one that I make weekly. It has lemons as a main ingredient and I have always read that lemon water is super helpful in aiding weight loss. So this recipe is one I stick with on a daily basis and try to drink it more towards the morning. It is also one of my favorites on taste because the lemons seem to be more powerful and strawberries take a backseat on the flavor. This one is simple to throw together – just do 3/4 strawberries and 1/4 lemon. Try this one out and let me know what you think!

This recipe reminds me of my favorite drink at Sonic – strawberry limeade! I love that drink so much that I put together this infused water recipe. This one is just 3/4 strawberries and 1/4 lime. The lime can be overpowering so be careful with adding too much. The mix of strawberries and lime can be so refreshing – this one might even turn into one of your favorites with time. Give it a shot, what do you have to lose?

 

The last recipe I have to share with you all is Citrus Water! This one is the combination of all citrus – I have used lemons, orange, and lime. There is no ratio you need to use for this recipe, just mix and combine as you like. You can also add any other citrus you like such as grapefruit. This one is delicious and the options are endless.

Making fruit infused water recipes are super exciting.  You can be as creative as you like as you start putting these together. I absolutely love to mix and match fruits to try out new things. There are so many different ideas out there –  you can even add in some veggies! As you all start putting together your own ideas… share them here in the comments with us! I would love to hear your favorites.

Spring Is Here – Bring On The Butterflies!

 

Spring is finally here in Arizona. We are super excited about spring around here – I love when we get to open the windows to enjoy the beautiful weather, play outside, and plant new things! We have a garden in the backyard that currently has mostly vegetables. We have been changing things up from year to year in the garden pots but this spring we decided to give growing milkweed a try! I got a cheap pot from Target and ordered some seeds on Amazon… and now we wait! I wanted to write a blog post about it so we can keep you updated to see how it goes and if we can get some butterflies to show up around here!

 

My youngest went to Butterfly Wonderland with his class recently and I had the opportunity to chaperone his class. It was so amazing to see all the different butterflies, the stages of the caterpillar, and how it transforms into a butterfly. We learned that with milkweed added to your garden you can bring the butterflies to you at home too. That’s exactly what we wanted to do! The process is just like any other type of plant – pot, soil and seeds planted. We have been watering it every day here as it is getting hot and seems to dry out quickly. We have also spent some time on the internet researching the plant and what exactly to look for. Its been quite a process for us but the kids have had fun and we all have learned something!

 

 

As far as research goes – we found out that the parents lay the eggs on the underside of the milkweeds young leaves. The eggs then hatch and feed on the plant to grow into caterpillars. Once they are big enough and go through their five stages as larvae they then will create the chrysalis on the plant as well. Two weeks later we should see the butterfly emerge! I am really hoping it works out and we can see all this happen. So far as of today we have seeds sprouting so we have been extra excited! That obviously was a basic run down for you all but there is tons of research out there so you can learn more! We will for sure keep you updated as the plant grows and post some pictures too!

 

 

Here is the link for the seeds if anyone is interested in trying this at home too! πŸ™‚
David’s Garden Seeds Wildflower Asclepias Milkweed Tropical OS119FGR (Multi) 500 Open Pollinated Seeds

 

In Love With Leggings!

If you are an individual on my page that seems to know me pretty well… you know I am obsessed with wearing leggings whenever I can. I’m literally in love with leggings. Now my husband doesn’t seem overly impressed with them but after a long 12 hour day of kiddos at my house – I wear leggings daily! Fabulegs is one of my favorite brands to wear as they seem to last and not fade like some of the other ones I have tried. These ones above are called the ‘coloring book’ and they are one of my favorites so far! She comes out with new patterns each month and you get the opportunity to vote on which ones you want to be printed. I love that she listens to her fans and takes them into consideration. If you have some time take a little time to check out her site – www.fabulegsmelissa.com!

Another really neat thing about these leggings are the sales she runs! They are amazing and the leggings are such a great price you can’t beat it. I seem to buy a pair or two at every sale – they are prices you can afford. These two above are new ones I just got in the mail along with a pair of plain black. How cute are they and the shamrocks are PERFECT for St Patricks Day this weekend. I’m literally so excited! They come in all sizes from Small-XL and even kids sizes! If you are interested to join her on facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/fabulegsmelissa/! Also on Instagram is @fabulegs. Right now she offered me a free code to share with you guys which is QCFREE – and you will get free shipping on your order.

 

Let me tell you a little more about these amazing leggings. They are super soft like butter and made with high-quality material. They aren’t thin and see through like a lot of leggings you see other women wear. The colors are bold and bright and the patterns are made to last for sure. They offer all different sizes and even kids. Another thing I love is the capris that can be worn during the summer months instead of the long leggings. Melissa offers a variety of styles and even shirts to go with the leggings at a great price. She also has an amazing heart and helps a lot of charities along the way. I am very impressed with how she runs her business and grateful for her big heart too!

 

Keep your eyes out on Instagram and Facebook for a giveaway of a pair of these amazing leggings! If you haven’t tried them out – join her facebook page & Instagram so you can see all the new patterns coming out each month. You will not be disappointed! Dont forget to use the free code to get free shipping too!

Butter Slime

Butter slime has to be one of our favorites to make now after testing out all sorts of different slime recipes. It is a super nice consistency without all the sticky mess! I am not a huge fan of the slime that makes a huge mess and is honestly a pain to clean up. I know most moms feel exactly the same way as me too. Have no fear, as this recipe seems to be fairly easy to do and seems to last a while. The only downfall to the recipe is you will need soft clay to make it. The link to the exact clay we used is here: Soft Clay for Slime, DIY Toys Clay for Homemade Slime. (pink). Now let’s get started!

 

Recipe:

Two bottles of clear glue

Soft Clay

Sta Flo

 

Directions:

So make up your slime. Take 2 containers of clear glue that are 5oz each and pour into a big bowl. Add tablespoons one by one until it starts to actually clump together. I know this part can be kind of confusing but keep going with the recipe! You want the slime to be on the tougher side in order for this to work. Just keep stirring and adding sta flo until you can get in one big clump and it’s not too sticky on the hands. If you have made slime before – make this batch a little more rigid. Once you have played with this first step of slime for a while start adding in the clay by folding it in. We found this works best. The soft clay comes in multiple colors so you can use whatever you like on this step. We used white clay and the exact amazon link is above. Once we started mixing it in we had to add more Sta Flo as ours turned into a sticky mess. This fixed the problem immediately.

 

Once the slime is light and fluffy – you will love it. I have to admit this is one of my favorites to play with when I am stressed or in the mood to do slime with my daycare kiddos. I’m in love with the fact that it doesn’t make a mess everywhere and is simple to put together. It makes a decent amount that can be shared with the kids. Make sure it gets put into an airtight container and saved once you are done. It seems to last a good amount of time at least two weeks or so. If you give this a try make sure to let me know in the comments and how it worked for you. I love hearing from you all!

 

My Kids Learning The Value Of Money!

We did a thing last week with the kids that I think was more fun than I was expecting. When I first mentioned it to them they cringed and complained of course, but after I got some rules drawn up they were more excited. I noticed recently how much more food costs and how quickly we tend to go through it-  especially with my oldest that is a teenager. Yes…. Yes… I know being a teenager and a boy, I should expect as much. I am pretty understanding,  but he is getting older and wanted to teach him a thing or two about money.  We went down to the bank and opened a teen checking account for him before we even started this experiment as well. The thought of him being able to work and drive here soon is sort of scary for me. It came quicker than I ever imagined! I was really hoping this exercise might open his eyes a little to the real world around him but I do realize he is still just a teen.

I came up with this idea in my head one night while taking a shower, my main goal is to simulate bills as an adult. It took some time to come up with ground rules but I eventually made a worksheet for them and each child got $50 to start off with. They would end up paying rent, electric, phone, water… etc. They could pay in advance or daily – it was their choice. Whatever they had left over or wanted to spend would go toward groceries. I took them each down to the store on Saturday to buy their own groceries for the entire week. I wasn’t sure how this would all pan out as we have never done anything like this before, but they finally started getting excited. Friday night when they got their papers and money, they started writing out grocery lists. It was pretty neat to watch them each go about it a different way. My oldest and youngest got together and used the Kroger/Frys app to figure out the cost of each item they wanted so they could total it up before going. While my middle one sat down in his room and used a little more organization and logic for his list. Surprisingly, they all paid in advance for the bills so they had a set number to use towards groceries. My youngest was really trying to buy as little as possible so he could purchase other stuff from the store which pretty much cracked me up.

Once we got to the store, they had way more fun than I ever imagined. Granted I know they won’t choose the best meals but for a week they will live and its one of those experiences they won’t get often, right? Well, that’s what I keep telling myself. Ha! While picking up their food they shopped on their own and did the entire transaction by themselves with the cash they had. It worked out great and they did very well budgeting for the week. I think the oldest two children that are 15 and 11 really seemed to understand that you don’t get much but that amount of money seems like a lot when in hand. I loved watching them figure out what to do and what to eat especially for dinner. They did buy themselves some treats along the way whether it be a small thing of candy or six-pack of soda – which I don’t really buy anymore. So they got to spoil themselves a little too! I took photos of the kid’s stash of food for the week after we got home too – check them out below!

This is what my oldest ( Corbyn ) picked for food for the week. I think he did a pretty good job of picking out each thing. Now, he seemed to be the one that fought me the most on wanting to do this activity but by the time we got it done… you could tell he had fun. He was even telling other family members about it and how excited he was. I was so happy to see him come around! He seems to be the one that eats most of the snacks and sometimes even two dinners at night. He is a growing boy that is for sure and can eat so much! The pop tarts here are actually his “snack” not a meal. That part made me laugh a little.

The next food shown here is the middle one child – Caiden.  He is 11 years old and seems to not eat too much. He does like junk for the most part but he hasn’t hit his growth spurt of eating everything in the house. I am sure we will get there with time though. He did a good job and took a little more time to do his list and made sure he had enough stuff for school. He was determined not to be hungry in school, which was totally cute! He seemed to get a little more food than my first and planned to make it last. He had a plan and was going to stick to it.

Last but not least is my youngest – Kobe that just turned 9! He wasn’t too thrilled about this whole experience and needed a little more help along the way but overall he did pretty darn good too! Once the week seemed to go along he enjoyed it more and more! He got a good amount of stuff at the store and does an amazing job of budgeting his food out to last. He seems to be the worst one in the house to eat junk. He is very picky and honestly could eat top ramen if need be every single night.  He does football throughout the week so we did have to be careful with that so he wasn’t just eating junk and not feeling well at practice.

 

PS: I will do an updated post on the kids as the week goes along and maybe some things they learned along the way. I am hoping this is a learning experience vs something mom just wants to try out. I want it to open their eyes and also learn some skills. I do have to mention they did learn the value of a sale. That’s for sure! They mostly went for the cheaper brands as they knew it would save them money in the long run. I hope you enjoyed this blog post and seeing what our household does and our crazy antics! I love to try out new things and teach my kids as much as possible, but I do value that they are just kids too! Talk to you soon!

Spreading Kindness Throughout The World – Rock Painting With The Kids!

 

Hello, world! Today we are talking about kindness and this is my favorite kind to spread! Its easy, fun and the kids love to help. It cant get any better than that, right? My son and I just stumbled upon a cute little minion rock we found out in the neighborhood on our daily dog walk. As we looked it over we noticed it had been written on. It told us to post our findings on Facebook in a local rock group. How cool is that? We went home and found the group super quick. He was so excited to see all the painted rocks and he wanted to try to make some too! The men and women in this group did this daily- found rocks, painted them incredibly cool and then rehid them for someone else to find too! These individuals loved to see their rocks found but also loved the idea of spreading kindness on to others through their artwork. I wanted to walk through the process a little more so you the reader can also do this too! I would love to see everyone’s artwork being posted on here too!

 

We walked around our neighborhood and other ones nearby to gather up some rocks. We are lucky because we have a wash close by that my kids can ride their bikes to and pick some up! It makes it way easier than being in town, but if you are in town look for places that have decent rocks. We came home and scrubbed them off to make sure they were clean. We used all sorts of things to start the process of getting artwork on them. We have sharpies of all colors, paints, and mod podge. I will put the links for Amazon at the bottom of this post – which seems to be the cheapest option we have found so far! My son actually freehanded the Arizona Cardinals bird below and I was amazed by his talent. He recently just signed up for art and I think he is going to do amazing. I myself haven’t painted any yet but he seems to be doing it constantly in his free time. I love that he has this hobby!

 

The next step after they are painted is to wait till they are completely dry. You need to make sure this step happens correctly or the mod podge will smear the paints on the rock and mess it up. We have learned this the hard way, unfortunately. These rocks above, we used the regular mod podge but we bought the sparkle and glow in the dark ones now. We are stepping up our game! Ha! I thought the glow in the dark one will make it easier for people to see as they take walks at night. It can soak in the sun all day and glow at night. I will have to update you on this trial and error test for us. We aren’t sure that is what will happen but it’s our next batch to go out and be hidden. We live in Arizona and evenings are the best for night walkers it seems like. I know if you live in the snow states this won’t work the same at all. Just get creative on what will work for you!

 

After painting them with mod podge of your choice and letting it dry…  I highly suggest painting the back of the rock. This is where you will put the information on them. It is way easier to write on them after they are painted with mod podge. We learned this the hard way too. It also keeps your sharpies nice and not break them down super fast. As for writing on the rock, we put ” Keep or rehide. Post on Facebook group – Mesa Gilbert Rocks” We also mark his rocks with CK – his initials so we know it’s his too! After a stranger finds it, they can post their find in the group with the initials. So far one of his has been found, the cool cardinals one he hand painted. There are groups all over the place. If you are local to me and want in on the fun – join this group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/MesaGilbertRocks/ otherwise try to search around you and you should find some groups to join. Also, you can start new ones if need be!

After we have a batch created and ready to go – it is now time to hide them! This is the super fun part in my opinion. Here is a photo above of my son hiding some of his out in our neighborhood. We like to put them in a spot so people can find them easily. We don’t try to hide them in hard places but I know some people enjoy doing that! Now, when doing this and hiding them – remember to not get too disappointed if they aren’t found and posted in the groups. I know that part can be hard when you spend lots of time on the rocks. Just know when someone finds it you are spreading kindness and smiles. This type of kindness can go along way and you just brightened someone’s day! My mom just recently painted some while she was here last weekend babysitting my kids and loved it. She didn’t realize how fun this could be and relaxing!  I highly suggest giving it a try and looking for a local rock group on facebook – you can spread some kindness of your own!

 

 

Sharpie 1949557 Color Burst Permanent Markers, Fine Point, Assorted Colors, 24-Count

Mod Podge Waterbase Sealer, Glue and Finish (16-Ounce), CS11202 Gloss Finish

Mod Podge Clear Acrylic Sealer (12-Ounce), 1470 Gloss

Mod Podge Waterbase Sealer, Glue and Finish (8-Ounce), CS15128 Glow in The Dark

Making Your Husband A Priority Again!

 

I am one that loves to make New Year resolutions every single year. Honestly, for the most part, I seem to crush my goals and move onto new things each year. The only real hang up I seem to have recently is getting some unwanted weight off… which seems to be EVERYONE’s goal but that’s a blog post for another time. This year my big goal is geared toward my husband – I want to make him a priority again.  I am totally not saying he wasn’t or isn’t a priority but with three boys and a crazy hectic schedule – things tend to go towards the children. I feel like now that things are a little more settled for the time being and my kids are getting older & less reliant on me, this is a great year to put a plan into place.

 

I have heard people talk about the book The Five Love Languages, often and how I really should read it. Its been years, but I finally got the chance this winter break to read it and take the online quiz. I also, had my husband take the quiz and much to my surprise we both have quality time as our number one ” love language”. I really didn’t expect that to be what we both require in our relationship and it was an eye-opener for me. For about a week I kept analyzing how I could use this book to make things even better with our marriage. I came up with a plan that I am very excited about. Now, I have to say I am lucky to have a wonderful mom that will help me with the kids whenever needed so it made it a little easier for me to plan out. The really cool part is I kept most of this a secret until recently too!

 

After reading the book, and taking in the information –  I knew I needed to change a couple things in my life to spend more time with him. As I began my list – evenings were my first things to fix. Granted,  I am a very busy person and I love to keep everything organized and clean. He is exactly the same way and I believe that is why we work together as a team beautifully, but his evenings seemed much easier than mine. He always makes time to sit down and enjoy at least an hour before bed. For years now, he will ask me to join him and some nights I do, while others I spend it getting the house cleaned up, dishes out of the sink, laundry started… whatever! For these first couple weeks of 2018, I now sit down with him almost every single night. He is more important right now to me. The housework will get done eventually, and he is beyond happy! To most people, it seems like an easy adjustment, but for myself, it is still hard some nights.

 

The second area I decided to focus on for the year is date nights. We tend to not take them very often unless it’s our anniversary or I start feeling like we really need to get out. Even then, it seems like it can be super hard to get it planned and actually figure out things to do. We mostly just go to dinner or the movies. I feel like we need a little more excitement! I came up with the idea that I would plan a night out every two months or so. I want each date to have a variety of activities. Our first one is actually this upcoming weekend. We are spending the entire weekend in Laughlin! I am seriously so excited to just get away for a weekend with just the two of us. I have lots of ideas for the upcoming months whether it be double dates, shows, sporting events, motorcycle rides… but whatever we decide to do, it should be fun. Sometimes life can get in the way and your marriage takes the back seat. I get it, but it doesn’t have to stay that way!  If you haven’t had a chance to take the online quiz or read the book, I highly suggest reading it. I will put the link below for you. If you have read the book, make sure to comment on which love language you are! I’d love to hear your stories!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bath Bombs In The Making!

Bath bombs are on the rage right now and I see them everywhere it seems like. I decided over the weekend we would give these a shot along with adding some of our own essential oils from YL in them. They were pretty simple to make but you had to have the right consistency for them to really form and stay together. Once we seemed to get the hang of it – it went pretty smooth. Let me share how we made them and the recipe so you can give it a shot too! My son got creative with me on these and loved doing this activity with me. I am now in love with putting Epsom salt and bath bombs in my bath weekly plus it gives your body some magnesium that it desperately needs! We made a couple different colors and I’ve seen so many styles made as well. We will be buying some new shape molds in the future to attempt some holiday ones. There is honestly no limits to what you can do when making these. Definitely, use your creativity!

 

The supplies you will need: baking soda, citric acid, Epsom salt, cornstarch, Mica Pigment powder, Coconut Oil, Water, and Essential Oils – we used Lavender, RC, etc. All of these supplies can be bought on Amazon and I provided exact links below to make it even easier for you! The molds I use are metal ones versus the silicone ones because I find it easier to work with but silicone can ones will do the job too.

1 Cup Baking Soda

1/2 Cup Corn Starch

1/2 Cup Citric Acid

2 Tbsp. Epsom Salt

Mica Powder – just add a small amount, to begin with as it will get darker as you add water

2 Tbsp Coconut Oil

15 Drops Essential Oil

5 Tsp Water

 

 

Directions:

 Whisk together first 5 dry ingredients.

Add in Coconut Oil and Essential Oils – blend well.

Add water 1 Tsp at a time. It will foam, but that’s natural.

Mix with hands until it is mixed evenly.

Fill your molds & pack down lightly. Overfill slightly.

Press together in a slight twisting motion, holding it tightly together.

Remove carefully from the mold and set on wax paper to dry.

Let them sit for an hour before using, wrapping, or moving them.

 

A couple of hints when making these too – the constancy should be a mix of wet and dry. If the mixture is too dry use a spray bottle to add some moisture to it. If it is too wet give it time to sit as it will dry up on its own. Also, if the bomb crumbles apart after being sat down on the wax paper you do need to start over and add more moisture. Once you make a couple of them, you will get the hang of it. This was our first time and we had a blast making them for gifts.  We tested out these in the bathtub the day after we made them and they were amazing in the tub! I actually got some relaxation time without my kids and I smelled amazing right before bed. The lavender has to be my favorite ones so far. We used the rest of our batch for holiday gifts and wrapped them up in cute bags with ribbon. I highly suggest giving these a try, you won’t regret it!