Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A NEW Christmas Tradition Designed to #SpreadCheer + $20 Giveaway

Tradition is so important to my family, especially during the holiday season. We have a LONG list of beloved Christmas Traditions!

One of those traditions on our list is baking Christmas cookies together.  We typically save our baking until just before Christmas, but this year we're starting a bit earlier. We're participating in a NEW tradition and teaming up with Betty Crocker to #SpreadCheer!

My husband and I are working so hard to teach our kids how important it is to spend time together as a family.  We're working just as hard to show our kids how important it is to give to others.  We can have fun together baking cookies, and Spread Cheer along the way!


How exactly do you spread cheer?  It's easy!  It's exactly like Boo-ing someone at Halloween, only with Betty Crocker cookies! 
  • Visit the Betty Crocker #SpreadCheer page.  You can print a coupon and #SpreadCheer printables.
  • Use the coupon to buy Betty Crocker Cookie Mix and bake some cookies!
  • Package those cookies up and deliver them to someone who could use a little extra cheer this holiday season!  Toss in those printables so that person can #SpreadCheer, too!

#SpreadCheer with Betty Crocker and win a $20 gift card

I'm a busy mom, and I don't have much time to spend making cookies from scratch.  I kind of have my hands full with 4 kids! I love baking with my kids, though, so Betty Crocker has been a part of our Christmas Cookie Baking tradition for many years!  We ALWAYS use Betty Crocker Cookie Mix, and we add our own extra ingredients.  It's an inexpensive, quick, and delicious alternative to making cookies from scratch!


Over the long holiday weekend, I gathered up my crew, explained the new twist in our Christmas Cookie Baking tradition, and I put them to work!


Now...let me be completely honest.  THREE of my little elves worked.


ONE little elf just supervised.  Letting the toddler tornado assist in the mixing and baking would have been disastrous! 


They worked really hard!

#SpreadCheer with Betty Crocker

All that hard work paid off!  It was so hard to resist eating those delicious Peanut Butter Blossoms and Chocolate Chip Cookies, so they were rewarded with the empty bowls to lick clean.  OF COURSE!

#SpreadCheer with Betty Crocker

It was a GREAT family night!

 I got to bake with my kids.


Liam loved being the taste tester!


We spent some valuable family time together.


AND now we get to #SpreadCheer!


We packaged our cookies in cute cardboard holiday boxes, tossed in a printable, and added a pouch of Betty Crocker Cookie Mix. We delivered our first basket today to my dear friend, Amber! 


Right after that, my parents stopped by.  My mom is a baker so nobody ever bakes cookies for her.  She can't say that anymore! 


We have several more baskets going out this week.  Our goal is to #SpreadCheer throughout the next 3 weeks!

The second item on our Christmas Tradition bucket list is checked off and December JUST started!  We're on a roll! 

Now for the fun part...


One lucky reader will win a $20 gift card to Target! Betty Crocker wants YOU to join in on the fun and #SpreadCheer this holiday season!

Entering is really easy and fun! Betty Crocker wants this concept to go viral, and needs your help!
  • Visit the Betty Crocker #SpreadCheer page and print out a coupon and the #SpreadCheer printable. Let me know in the blog post comments which cookie mix you will buy and who you will #SpreadCheer to. Confirm your entry on rafflecopter.
  • Buy a Betty Crocker cookie mix, bake those cookies, and create a #SpreadCheer basket, box, or gift bag.
  • Post an original photo on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #SpreadCheer (Bonus points for nominating a friend or two to #SpreadCheer and for tagging me in the post).
  • Confirm your entry on the rafflecopter widget and leave your link in the comments of this blog post. 
*In order to win, you MUST participate. I will be confirming entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Who will you #SpreadCheer to? Use the hashtag #SpreadCheer on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Let's focus on giving this holiday season and make this concept go viral!

Thank you, Betty Crocker, for sponsoring today's post and inspiring my family to #SpreadCheer this holiday season!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Holiday Happenings and an Extra Special Birthday

It's amazing how quickly an entire week can fly by!  Celebrating Thanksgiving and Dylan's Birthday took up all my time, and there wasn't any time left over to blog!

Dylan's Birthday always falls just before or even on Thanksgiving, so Thanksgiving week is always very busy for our family. This past week was packed full of celebrations (and illness), and I'm just now getting a chance to sit down and breathe!

The craziness kicked off with a Thanksgiving event at Lily's preschool.  Thanks to being the class historian, I was able to attend and photograph the event!


After I finished taking pictures, I had to prepare for Dylan's birthday parties and birthday.  There was lots of shopping, cleaning, and preparation involved!


Dylan had two very small parties on the day before his birthday.  We had a few close family members over for the first party.

Dylan's family birthday party

After our family left, a few close friends arrived.


Even though his parties were very small, Dylan was still excited to have his closest family members and friends over to celebrate.  After Christmas, he is having a small celebration with a few of his classmates. Having a birthday during Thanksgiving week is tough because everyone tends to be busy!

We had 6 extra kids spend the night after the party!  It was a late night.  Meanwhile, Lily woke up covered in puke, and the house was trashed.  I finally headed to bed around 3 AM, and 4 of the kids were still awake with Grant!

Which leads to a few hours later...when we all woke up LOUDLY, Dylan was officially 11!!!


After all the extra kids left, Dylan got to open his presents from us. He was a happy kid!

Dylan's Birthday
Dylan's 11th Birthday

That evening, Dylan chose Taco Bell for his birthday dinner!


After dinner, he posed for a quick picture with his parents, then headed over to a friend's house to watch a WWE event.  His social life is busier than my own!

Dylan's Birthday

And just like that, our firstborn baby was ELEVEN!!!


And just like that, *I* got sick.  Nausea, body aches, fever, chills, and a bad headache. Once that passed, it turned into a nasty cold, which caused me to miss Lily's Thanksgiving party at school!  I was so bummed, but I only had enough energy to drive her to and from school that morning. I still have lingering mom guilt over missing it.

Then, Thanksgiving arrived!  We had dinner at my parent's house with my niece and her family, then stopped by Grant's Nannie's house to have dessert with his family. I didn't take very many pictures, because I was still feeling sick, but I am so thankful for my four little turkeys!


This past weekend was filled with another birthday party, middle of the night grocery shopping, and decorating our tree. Everyone is off tomorrow, too, so the holiday fun will continue. We'll be spending the day baking cookies and surprising a few special people with them (stay tuned), and Dylan has big plans to purchase an iPod Touch with his birthday money!

Dylan's birthday and Thanksgiving came and went so quickly, but we easily transitioned to Christmas!  I love the holiday season!


How was your Thanksgiving?


Monday, November 23, 2015

Spreading Comfort and Cheer with Kleenex®

Last night was rough.  I battled a fever, body aches, nausea, and a headache all night.  By the time morning arrived, I had a sore throat and stuffy nose, too. 

If I'm not pregnant or nursing on Thanksgiving, I have a cold. This unwelcome illness arrived JUST in time! I ended up missing Lily's Thanksgiving party at her preschool today.  Instead of volunteering as planned, I could only muster enough energy to drop her off. I felt some major mom guilt, but there wasn't anything I could do.

'Tis the Season!  Cold and flu season, that is. It's very fitting that I just stocked up on Kleenex® at Sam's Club on Friday!


Kleenex® is a staple in our home.  As a family of 6, we go through it quickly.  I'm very thankful that Sam's Club carries Kleenex® so I can buy it in bulk at a great price! We purchased a Sam's Club membership just so we could get great deals on all the items we regularly buy!

My husband is picky when it comes to tissues, and prefers plain old Kleenex®. He always tells me it's better than any other brand.  I suppose it's a comfort thing. In my experience, it is softer and more durable than other brands!


We fill our home with Kleenex® comfort. However, kids need a little comfort away from home, too!

It's just as important, especially during the cold and flu season, to spread the Kleenex® comfort and cheer to the places where our children spend a lot of time: their classrooms.  From wiping noses to drying tears, Kleenex® is there to help!

Shortly after my son started preschool, I spent some time in his classroom.  I couldn't believe how many tissues the kids went through in just one short hour! That was a learning experience for me. Since then, I regularly donate boxes of Kleenex® to my kids' classrooms.


If you have a child who attends school, please consider donating a box of Kleenex® to your child's classroom.  I'm certain the teacher would be very thankful!!!

An added bonus to purchasing Kleenex® brand facial tissue?  All those box tops to give to your child's school!


Although I prefer to purchase the Kleenex® Facial Tissue Mainline Club Pack at Sam's Club, they also carry:
More information about getting a Sam's Club membership can be found HERE.

As for me, I'll be going through a lot of Kleenex® over the next few days! Hopefully I can kick this cold before Thanksgiving!!!

How do you spread a little comfort and cheer with Kleenex®? #SpreadKleenexCare

Thank you to Kleenex® for sponsoring today's post and reminding me how important it is to spread a little comfort and cheer during the cold and flu season!