Saturday, July 26, 2014

Chocolate Chocolate Banana Muffins Recipe

I like bananas. I don't like buying bananas at 54¢ per pound. I try to competitive ad shop them as much as possible if I can't get to Aldi- the cheapest place I have found to buy bananas. I bought these bananas on Wednesday at 44¢ per pound. 

They were green. Because that is the way I eat them. Firm. Now don't get me wrong. I have tried everything I can to preserve bananas. Separate them. Aluminum foil/Saran Wrap. And I even freeze. But today, I was just sick of it. I decided I needed to bake. BAKE? In the middle of Summer. Oh yes I did. Banana bread? Maybe. But I wanted something a little different.Something with chocolate.  Something that maybe I could make with school coming up, something that the kids could grab as a quick breakfast in place of a Poptart. So I went to Pinterest. There are lots of recipes. So I looked at a few and came up with this one. Modified from a bread recipe. I wasn't quite sure how it would turn out or how many it would make. I was happy with my results. 

Of course I let the kids lick the beaters. My Moma always let me....

Take a look at the inside of this muffin. Yummy. The kids loved them. Let's see if the Honey does when he gets home from work. Let me know if you try them. 

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Enough: 10 Things We Should Be Telling Teenage Girls Book Giveaway

I think know it is so very cool when a fellow blogger becomes a published author. In 2012, I actually did read the blog post by Kate Conner- Ten Things I Want to Tell Teenage Girls, a post that received over 2 million hits in two weeks. A post that has now resulted in a book. A book that tells teenage girls that: 

You are beautiful. You are valuable. You are enough.

I don't even have a teenage daughter yet, but I do have a teenage niece and my son does like teenage girls. Two years ago when God called me in to work with HIS children in HIS church, I began to see what an influence I can/do have in the lives of HIS children. Kate identified in this book 10 things that these girls need to hear today from someone who loves her. This book is so easy to read. Kate is funny, relational, and honestly I had many been there done that moments throughout the book. Shocking. I know.

I texted the following pictures of the book to my cousin and BFF:

I absolutely LOVE this passage. We can't shelter our daughters/teens from everything. Teach them with "a filter". The Aristotle quote will adorn my cousin's high school English classroom this Fall.

Kate is a former youth-worker, wife to a college minister, and a young mom in her twenties, Conner stands squarely in generational gap, the perfect place from which to bridge it. Conner offers herself as a translator, helping you to speak your teenager’s language and equipping you with a fresh perspective from which to engage your teenage girl—one that may enable her to truly hear your heart (and your wisdom) for the first time since puberty.

One of my readers is going to get their very own copy of this book. All you have to do is tell me you in the easy Rafflecopter entry form who you will share the wisdom of this book with. Bonus entries are available. 

Here’s the official website for the book:

Check out all of Kate’s social media sites here:

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"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. This Giveaway is open to U.S. & Canada only.a Rafflecopter giveaway

First Things First/Moon Pie Family Giveaway

Summer is all about family and spending quality time with the ones you love. And the more skills you develop the more time you invest in your family and your relationships. First Things First (FTF) is an award winning not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening families. The website and online resources are AMAZING!

I was asked by one of my blog partners Partners Hub to watch 5 FTF videos and to pick my favorite to share with my readers. First off, I just want to say I loved them all. Each one spoke to me. My absolute favorite though was this one: 

There is nothing like a Daddy/Daughter relationship. I was just watching some home videos earlier this week of my husband and daughter. So sweet, and almost anytime I go to photograph the two she always wants to kiss his cheek. She loves him. He loves her. WE need more dates! She needs to see her parents date more and she needs a few Daddy/Daughter dates.

What do you think about the video? Tell me on the easy Rafflecopter form below and you will be entered to win a

MoonPie / First Things First Family Prize Pack, which includes: -His and Hers MoonPie T-shirts (2 Large T-shirts) and 2 Boxes of MoonPies.

I'm thinking an RC Cola and a Moon Pie would make an excellent date! 

About First Things First
First Things First (FTF) is an award winning not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening families in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

FTF is a resource that collaborates with and is supported by a broad cross-section of community organizations, groups and individuals.

FTF accomplishes it mission through meaningful media messaging and skill building classes.

Did you know:
• 24 million children are growing up in homes without their biological fathers.
• Only 30% of divorces are due to infidelity, addiction or abuse, 70% of divorces are due to couples feeling disconnected.
• Couples who manage to devote time specifically to one another at least once a week are markedly more likely to enjoy high-quality relationships and lower divorce rates, compared to couples who do not devote as much couple time to one another.
• Fathers provide unique benefits to their daughters through their active and positive presence from the time of birth all the way through adulthood.

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Disclosure: Many thanks to PartnersHub & FTF for providing the prize for this giveaway. Each household is only eligible to win One (1) First Things First Moon Pie Prize Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ranch Style Pretzels Recipe

Today I walked into my kitchen and found this.

A split down the middle, opened bag of broken pretzels. Further down in my snack bucket I found some of its cousins in a ziploc bag- poor forgotten pretzel sticks.

For the love of snacks. For the love of my grocery bill this summer. Can we please quit wasting food? I mentioned in a post earlier this week that one of my favorite things to pack when we go to ball games is pretzels. So I decided to go ahead and prepare a fun twist on this snack for this weekend's games. 

Ranch Style Pretzels.

I bet they don't last past today, it's rainy.  It just takes 4 simple ingredients. 

I didn't have a full bag of pretzels, so I added popcorn to mine after I baked. Also, I ALWAYS mess up and grab the wrong Ranch mix. This one tastes just fine. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ideas for Fundraising and Surviving Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities can be expensive. Not only the cost of the activities, but the cost of going to the games, concessions, and other expenses that may arise.

My son has been involved in sports since he was in 1st grade. My daughter has been in ballet since she was three. He is now 13, she is 7. To be honest, the cost of these activities are very hard on our budget. Especially lately. My son this year decided to narrow his sports down to only one and focus on basketball. He was asked to play on a summer tournament team. The estimated cost is around $1000. The cost includes practice gyms, uniforms, coaching fees, tournament fees, and insurance. Hello, I lost my major source of income the minute school was out. The teacher I sit for does not bring her baby for me to watch during the summer months. Imagine that.

So rather than sell my kidneys, plasma and my children’s vital organs in order for him to live out his team’s aspiring dreams of NBA stardom. I get creative.

I created a board on Pinterest called Fundraising of course and started my research. I needed something that he and possibly even his team could get involved in. After all, if these boys want to play I think they are old enough to work along with us parents to reach that goal.

Here are a few ideas that I passed along to the team mom for possible use now and in the future.

1. Sonic Community Cards- sell for $5 each 100% profit. Each card has a minimum value of $17. 
Who needs a card or ten? These make great teacher gifts! I can mail. 

4. Restaurant nights. Below is a list, certainly not all inclusive. Most of these you don't have to be present for, you just make sure the word is out that your team/organization is holding the fundraiser and either send a flyer or have them mention your organization to get a percentage of the before tax ticket value. You will of course need to organize and consult with your local restaurant manager beforehand for arrangements.
Cheesecake Factory
Outback Steakhouse
Panda Express
Red Robin
On the Border
Papa John’s

5. Banner- Sponsor banners. Get 10 logos for the banner at $100 each... Bam $1000. Get the banner company to in kind donate with their logo then you are not out of pocket any money..

6. Big item donation/raffle. ex: iPad, vehicle, Playstation, etc.

7. Host a tournament

8. Carwash

There are a lot of fantastic ideas on my Pinterest board, but probably our best resource was right under my nose. In addition to #1 above, I already crafted Spirit Flip Flops for proud sports moms and girls who play sports. So, I used my Facebook and Instagram to get the word out and my fingers got busy. See my FlipFlop board or my Facebook album for more of my work.  So far my son has raised about $200 on just FlipFlops alone. (I keep $5 of every $15 pair to reimburse myself for expenses)  Let me know if I can make you a pair or three! 

How do I keep actual game attendance costs at a minimum? Obviously, there are a few expenses that are beyond control like spectator tournament entry fees. So far these have been up to $7 per person per day- two to three day tournaments. Ouch. I can control expenses such as concessions and food. I am a sports bag Moma. Snacks and drinks are ready to go. Some of my favorite snacks to pack are pretzels, crackers, grapes, string cheese and bottled water. 

Another thing that I am preparing for are the out of town tournaments. has excellent go to savings and rebates on hotels. I will definitely be utilizing these savings. What about gasoline? Do you have a local supermarket that partners with a fuel center to save at the pump? I do. I earn 3 points for every $50 I spend in groceries in a single or multiple transaction before tax at my local Reasors grocery store. This is a 3 cent savings per gallon at the pump, with no limit as to how much I can accumulate. The points expire after 60 days though.

These are only a few of my fundraising and money saving ideas as a sports mom. Maybe some of these ideas can help your team, club or organization out.  I would love to hear other frugal suggestions and ideas that you have tried.

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Disclosure: I am not being compensated by, Reasors or any of the restaurants mentioned in this this post. Portions of this post may appear as a guest post on the blog at a future date. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Love Dare For Parents Book Giveaway

Do you remember the movie Fireproof? The one in which Kirk Cameron was a fireman and fought to save his marriage? The movie was based on the international best-selling marriage book The Love Dare by authors Stephen and Alex Kendrick. 

The Kendrick brothers have teamed up again to bring The Love Dare for Parents. 

The Love Dare for Parents, a 40-day journey of “dares” challenging one or both parents to understand, practice, and communicate Christ-like love to their children. Easy to read and work into a busy schedule, The Love Dare for Parents is designed to “turn the hearts of parents to their children and turn the hearts of children to their parents” (Malachi 4:6) so that moms and dads can more fully enjoy and delight in their children while maximizing the positive impact they have on their lives long term.

Each day brings a promising key verse from Scripture, a biblical principle about love that applies to parenting, a specific challenge the parent does for the sake of their child, and space to journal thoughts and reflect on what happened that day.

My husband and I actually began this book together this past Sunday. I'll be honest with you, the journey for us is very intimate and private. Every parent has its strengths and weaknesses when it comes to parenting. I was even surprised when I took the online assessment. We both look forward to the daily dares, and want to be more Christ-like in our parenting. 

I wanted to share with my readers that we are going through this 40 day journey, so that you remember us in prayer. I also thought it only fair to bless one of my readers with their very own copy of this book now rather than wait until after we finish it. I want to pray for you as take the dare. 

The mandatory entry is easy. Answer this question: Are you ready to take the dare?

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Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Icon Media Group for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”
a Rafflecopter giveaway