Cinnamon Zucchini Bread Recipe & Smart Balance

Cinnamon Zucchini Bread Recipe & Smart Balance
I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Smart Balance. I received product samples, and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Nothing says Back to School to me like a good loaf of Zucchini Bread! I grew up loving this stuff and a favorite memory from when I was in public school was my mom packing 2 slices of it in my lunch box–one for me and one for my friend Delana who loved it as much as I did (I will still occasionally make her a loaf if I’m in Wyoming around Christmastime!) It’s super delicious and just tastes like a soft, cinnamony desert–you can’t even taste the zucchini! This recipe is originally from a recipe by Faith Baptist Church in the Red Cliff Camp Cookbook, but my mom has adapted and tweaked it quite a bit over the years so now it’s pretty much her own 🙂

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Top Five Home Schooling Questions Answered (& Myths De-Bunked)

Top Five Home Schooling Questions Answered

Today I’m writing a post that has been in my mind and heart for years. It never quite seemed the right time to write it, so it’s always just kind of bounced around in there waiting. I feel strongly that this is the right time, however, so here it is!

This will actually be a two-part post because it would have been far too long to put into one post. Actually, this post is suuuuper long as well but I have been asked these questions so often throughout the years I was home schooled and even up until just a few weeks ago, that I feel they really deserved thoughtful and thorough answers.

So today I’m going to talk about My Experience With Being Homeschooled & Why I Loved It and later I’m going to follow up with a look into my views on if homeschool is the right option for everyone, all the time, and why my thoughts on this topic have radically changed. So be sure to read both!

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Outsmarted by a Two Year Old

Legalese Nonsense: One look at Tyler’s messy face and you KNOW I have some funny feeding stories to tell–thanks to SocialMoms and Happy Family blogging program sponsoring this post I get to share one with you! All messy, clever babies are my own!

If you’ve read this blog much at all over the past 3 years you know that Tyler is my little “messy monster”. He is rarely ever to be found with a clean face, and after I realized this is just one of those facts of life I really quit caring so much about it. I mean–he’s a little boy and I’m much too busy to be following him around with a washcloth all day long!

With his bent for mess-loving mealtime has always been very interesting. Always strong willed he’s insisted on feeding himself since he was just learning how to eat solids. Usually I managed to come away with the upper hand, there was one time, however, where he definitely outsmarted me!

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Great Grains Crunchy Cookies Recipe

Great Grains Crunchy Cookies Recipe Shirley Timeless Grains Cereal
Who can resist a warm cookie? Not me! So anytime anyone (say, in this instance Shirley J) is willing to send me ingredients to make one I will say “Yes!” All cookies that disappeared far to quickly and hungry breakfast munchers are my own.

With back-to-school just around the corner I’ve been trying to get some nice, easy breakfast ideas as well as some that are a little more fancy for weekends now that they’re going to be a special treat since both Bob and Amber will be gone during the week!

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Sidetracked by Francesca Gino

Sidetracked by Francesca Gino

The human mind has always fascinated me–my favorite college class was Psych 101 and I almost switched my major to Psychology until I figured out that I would need at least a Masters to do much with that degree. I still enjoy learning about the human brain, however, and what effects our thoughts and actions, so when Francesca emailed and asked me if I would enjoy reading and reviewing her book Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed, and How We Can Stick to the Plan I couldn’t say no!

Francesca Gino is a smarty pants–she’s an associate professor of business administration in the Negotiation, Organizations, & Markets Unit at Harvard Business School. In Sidetracked she explores and expounds upon the fact that simple, irrelevant factors can have profound consequences on your decisions and behavior, often diverting you from your original plans and desires. She backs up her book with research she and others have conducted and often  shares the tests preformed, the results gathered, and what it all means to us and what it shows us about our behaviors and our decisions.

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Fall Fashion 2013 ~ Darby’s & Bootights

Fall Fashion ~ Darby's & Bootights
Legalese Nonsense: knowing how much I love boots, I couldn’t say yes fast enough when I was offered to review tights & knee highs specifically made for them. All modelesque poses, new hair cuts & coloring, and massive amounts of boots are my own.

Fall Fashion 2013

I can hardly believe it but the end of the month is sneaking up super fast and with it comes back to school and that means one thing for sure–Fall is going to be here faster than I can possibly imagine! While there are many wonderful things about Summer, down here in Texas my favorite seasons are Spring and Fall. Now only do they bring much appreciated relief from the intense heat and humidity, they also allow for a little more *fun* and variety when it comes to fashion–bye bye shorts, tank tops, and flip flops; hello jackets, sweaters, long sleeves, and new shoes! Fall Fashion 2013!

Now, I have a confession to make. I’m really not much of a shoe gal. In fact it hasn’t been until the past several years that I’ve learned to appreciate the beauty of a good set of heels or a pair of Mary Jane’s. I do, however, LOVE boots. And when I say I love boots I mean….

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Parent’s Biggest Smart Phone Concerns

I participated in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Zact. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating

When we were at the airport during our looong layover a nice lady beside us saw Amber playing Angry Birds. She told her, “Oh that looks like fun! And look! Your phone matches your shirt!” I was quick to jump in and let her know that no, my 5 year old does not own her own iPhone–Oy!!!

This, however, got me to thinking–and it’s going to be all too soon before Amber will have a smart phone of her own–even if I’m a mean mom and make her wait till she’s far older than most kids these days. Even if I wait until she’s a teenager I know I’m still going to have concerns about how she’s able to use it.

Just like me, other parents have concerns about their kids’ mobile device usage and the team at Zact conducted a survey to find out what’s behind parents concerns. Did you know 73% of U.S. parents are concerned about the lack of parental control of a child’s activities on mobile devices?

Check out See Zact infographic below for other great statistics on kids and mobile usage!

Does your child have a cell phone? Let me know why or why not–and what age you’re planning on letting them get one!

Zact Infographic

OMGuac Your Lunch Photo Contest

OMGuac Your Lunch
Legalese Nonsense: In order to feed my guac loving frenzy the lovies at Wholly Guacamole are sending me some in exchange for telling you about the contest. Win/win right?!

I’ve been ever so slightly obsessed with avocado lately! The only problem is that my family doesn’t quite share my enthusiasm for it (crazy people!) So when I discovered Wholly Guacamole I was in heaven, especially their minis which are only 100 calories and the “just right” size for me to use on my portion of dinner and lunch! Not only is their product amazing they also have all kinds of fun contests, so I thought I’d share this one!

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Philly Cream Cheese Jalapeno Poppers Recipe

Cream Cheese Jalapeno Poppers #shop
The Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community always hooks up me with the best sponsored posts! This time I got to make a delicious appetizer with philly cream cheese spread! #SaveonPhilly #cbias

Last Spring I took a Bible Study that was all focused around frugal living. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot, including to keep my eye out for high value coupons on grocery items I use frequently. Between bagels, desserts, and appetizers philly cream cheese is one of those items that we always are using at my house! So when I found out about the .50 Cents Off philadelphia cream cheese Coupon I went and printed it off right away! (The one I originally used is no longer valid but go ahead and click through and get yourself some coupons to use for this recipe–I’ll wait!)

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The Tooth Fairy is Tired

Tooth Fairy
Amber’s first lost tooth–June 16, 2013

No matter how completely amazing and awesome your mom was–I bet anything that there are a few instances in your childhood you can look back on where you vowed to yourself, “When I’m a parent–I will NEVER do that!”

One of those moments came when I was younger and lost a tooth. I was old enough to know that the tooth fairy wasn’t real, but young enough to still want to play along. I had a special little pillow to put my tooth in so I’d tucked it away, excited for the money that would be there the next day. The next morning came and I woke up excitedly and reached into my pillow to find….my tooth. I casually dropped a comment at the breakfast table about the fact the tooth fairy had been MIA and soon the situation was fixed–turned out the tooth fairy was running a little “late” it seems.

I’ll never forget the disappointment of reaching into the pillow, however, and vowed to myself that when *I* was the tooth fairy I’d never forget!

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