Dr Pepper Peanut Brittle

I still remember how much my grandmother loved peanut brittle when I was little. She’s actually the one who introduced me to it and I absolutely fell in love. It’s one of my favorite traditional candies and I thought it would be fun to give it a little twist, adding another one of my favorite things — Dr Pepper. This turned it in to Dr Pepper Peanut Brittle and gave me a great little dessert gift idea!
Dr Pepper Peanut Brittle [Read more...]

Magnolia Design Center at Best Buy

One of my favorite places to visit during the holidays is Best Buy. I can find a gift for so many people on my Christmas list and of course add so many things to my own wish list. From cameras to computers and even TVs, I’m in love with all of it! I literally could send hours just browsing and even learning from the employees who work in each department. My last trip to my local Best Buy in Frisco, I took a little trip into the Magnolia Design Center just to learn what all they do in there and what they have to offer. 
Magnolia Design Center

Family Room Showroom

When I first walked into the Family Room Showroom, I was blown away by the fact that this room even existed inside of a Best Buy.  I was asked what I noticed right away and I thought, “For a room that’s all about high tech and fancy electronics, where are all of the equipment and wires?” It’s all hidden and designed to be that way. Just before this picture was snapped, there was a gorgeous fire on that bottom middle screen. I loved the relaxed feeling if gave you inside of the room. 

magnolia design center

I was also told that with one push of the button, everything can be transformed into a relaxing movie or music listening experience. This Control4 keypad dims the lights to movie mode and the art over the fireplace rolls up to reveal a 60″ HDTV. The shades go down over the windows and the sound system comes on. Just looking at this control system, I’m just blown away. So fancy and awesome!

magnolia design center

After being blown away by everything I saw (or didn’t see) in that room, we moved over to the Listening Room.

Listening Room

I had absolutely NO IDEA what goes in to picking speakers, but apparently there is a LOT of decision making that goes in to this process. Just look at all of the options in this room.

magnolia_design_center_listening_roomMagnolia Design Center magnolia_design_center_listening_room_2

All I could think of is how can anyone possibly make a decision with this many options? I was reassured that these home theater designers are heavily trained and will walk their clients through every step of their own design process. I also learned that one speaker is not great for every person. With each speaker offering its own tone, timbre, bass, and extension, you can pick how you want your movies or music to sound. I had no idea!

Magnolia Design Center

I also didn’t know speakers could cost around $75,000 and the people in the Magnolia Design Center have the capabilities of getting their hands on speakers that cost $200,000. Now THAT has to be an amazing sound experience! I just love that there are so many possibilities in the creating a movie or music experience you really love.

You can even bring in your favorite CD, which is highly encouraged, to have your own listening experience with music you love.

With all of the unique option you can find in the Best Buy Magnolia Design Center it’s hard to imagine someone leaving there not finding exactly what they want. 

Magnolia Design Center magnolia_design_center_speaker_options

No matter how big or small you want your home theater system to be, their goal is to get you the ultimate home entertainment solution that works perfectly in your home. When you’re ready to make a design for your own home, I can’t imagine making that plan anywhere other than the Best Buy Magnolia Design Center. 

Magnolia Design Center

Is there a home entertainment system in your home’s future?

Be sure to like Best Buy on Facebook and follow @BestBuy on Twitter to learn more about the stores, upcoming promotions and exclusive product news.

Time for a New Cleaning Schedule {Free Printable}

This time of year, it seems the flu is all around us and if it’s not the flu, it’s something else that can run rampant through our home! As a mom with five kids in our house, it’s a little terrifying. I thought I had a pretty good handle on teaching our kids about germs and how to get rid of them, but the truth is, they’re everywhere and kids only spread them to more places than we can imagine, making it a daily battle. After learning a little more from the study conducted by The Clorox Company and global public health organization NSF International, I knew it was time to step up my game and create a new cleaning schedule.

Cleaning Schedule

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Find a Family Gift with Canon at Best Buy

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

I’ve been a lover of photography for as long as I can remember. I’m always trying to learn as much as I can to take the best pictures I can, in an effort to document the story of our familiy. I could spend hours in Best Buy dreaming of the next best thing I’d like to have. After my husband bought my T1i from Canon at Best Buy a few years ago, I’m amazing at how things are improving. I’m obviously thankful for what I have but when I see the latest and greatest, I can’t help but get a little green with envy. 

I mean, just look at this beauty, the Canon EOS Rebel T5i.Canon at Best Buy

Canon at Best Buy [Read more...]

Chocolate Chip Pie Dessert Bites

Tracking PixelThis time of year seems to be all about the sweets and the snacks. People are serving them, gifting them, and just getting through these hectic days with them. I’m a sucker for them, too, and I love learning fun new ways to make ordinary old favorites into extraordinary new ideas. A big thanks to Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry for sponsoring today’s post! I’m so excited to share these Chocolate Chip Pie Dessert Bites with you!

Chocolate Chip Pie Dessert Bites

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Perot Museum Offers Learning Fun for All Ages + GIVEAWAY

We’re so fortunate to live in a beautiful city that offers so much for our family. Recently, the kids and I have fallen in love with The Perot Museum of Nature and Science! For our second trip, we were invited to attend a Parent Blogger Event, which included lunch for my family and free tickets for the day. How could I say NO?!? :)
Perot Museum

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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Thanks Mezzetta for sponsoring this Roasted Red Pepper Hummus post! All opinions are my own.

One of my very biggest weaknesses when it comes to snacks are chips. I’ve always loved chips and salsa, but over the past few years, I’ve fallen in love with hummus dip. I’ve usually been happy with what I’ve found in the store, but I always wanted to create my own at home. I finally made it happen with this Roasted Red Pepper Hummus dip and now I don’t think I can ever turn back.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

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Pay It Forward Holiday Twitter Party

Happy to be partnering with SBLI to promote something we all need a little more of — paying it forward in acts of kindness. All opinions are my own. :)

Have you ever found yourself on the receiving end of a random act of kindness? It happened to me last week. When I pulled up to the Starbucks window and handed my card over to pay, I was shocked when she told me my order had been paid for by the car in front of me. Literally, shocked. I wanted to chase that car down to thank them. But, that would have been silly, so I did the next best thing. I paid for the car behind me. I left that drive thru with the biggest smile and a full heart. It’s just so nice to see people doing such nice things for other people. 

Pay It Forward Holiday

It’s something about the holiday season that inspires us to pay it forward in kindness. I love it! As my kids are growing from toddler into kids who are starting to understand more about the world around them, I desperately want them to know how fortunate they are and yet how amazing they can feel when they perform the simplest acts of kindness for other people. 

Did you know that doing a simple act of kindness for another person can make you feel happier and less stressed? It’s true! Sometimes we get so caught up in all of the demands of the holiday season that we forget how good it can make you feel to do something nice for someone else. 

Pay It Forward Holiday Twitter Party

Now that I’ve got you interested, wouldn’t you love to learn more ways you can provide acts of kindness to those who least expect it?! :) Join SBLI (@SavingsBankLife) and Charley Johnson (@charleypif), President of the Pay it Forward Foundation, for a Twitter party TOMORROW to share tips and ideas for how we can pay it forward this holiday season. We’ll also be talking about how you can get the whole family involved in paying it forward, and how to teach your kids the importance of spreading kindness.

When: December 10th, 12:00-1:00pm CST

Where: We’ll be on Twitter using the hashtag #GiftOutsidetheBox. You can see more details and RSVP for the twitter party here: http://vite.io/GiftOutsidetheBox

Prizes: Every twitter party must have prizes! 5 winners will be randomly selected during the party. Winners who answer trivia questions during the party will win $50 Visa gift cards and a Pay It Forward bracelet.

So make sure you join us tomorrow for our hour long chat. You’ll definitely learn some great ideas for spreading a little extra kindness this holiday season. And, while you’re at it, you might even find yourself with an extra $50 Visa gift card in your possession. :) Hope to see you there!

What’s the best random act of kindness you’ve been a part of?

Verizon Wireless Offers Hot New Technology

Last week, I had a fun opportunity to visit with and learn from the fun, friendly, and informative people at Verizon about all of the new Verizon technology and accessories coming out this season. When I say fun, friendly, and informative, I mean it! Just walking into the room full of fun music, I knew we were going to have a great time, and we did. Just take a look at this selfie we took with the new Samsung Galaxy Note 4 wide-angle front camera.

Samsung Galaxy Selfie

Obviously fun was in store for us but what I didn’t realize was how much I would learn! So much exciting information was shared with us and I wanted to give you a little insight into all we learned about.

Crayola DigiTools Paint Pack

I had never heard of Crayola DigiTools Paint Pack before but now that I have, I NEED them for my little people! :)

Crayola DigiTools Paint


Crayola DigiTools Paint


Thanks to the Crayola DigiTools Paint Pack, young artists can have instant access to all their favorite Crayola paint colors in a convenient no-muss, no-fuss, kid-friendly digital package. Using spray-paint effects, a paint roller or traditional paintbrush patterns, kids can take their works of art outside the lines of the digital coloring book—adding digital stamps, mixing their own colors and using other cool special effects in their virtual masterpieces.

Kids can make their own creations anywhere they go, playing with different textures and backgrounds and the best part is they can unlock new canvases as they play, so you don’t have to worry about in-app purchases. My kids would LOVE this!

Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband

Verizon fitbit


I may be one of the last people to have any familiarity with fitbit. I hear people talking about them all of the time, but for some reason, I’ve never taken plunge. The fitness lover inside of me may have just been convinced to give it a try. This thing is so neat! You can track your steps taken, calories burned, distance covered, and even keep track of your sleep patterns. I never really think about sleep except that as a mom of little ones I don’t get much of it, but it’s so important to your fitness goals! Silent Wake technology will also gently wake you without having to worry about disturbing your partner.

UE Boom

For the teenager or music lover in your life, this is the perfect gift! Music can be heard from all corners of the room and you can even adjust volume, change songs, or take phone calls from up to 50 feet away! 

UE Boom Speaker


Droid Turbo by Motorola

Droid Turbo


  • turbo processor with 2.7 GHz speed
  • BIGGEST battery with 48 hours worth of charge. It even comes with a turbo charger, giving you 8 hours of battery life with just 15 min of charge.
  • 21 MP camera with dual flash
  • 5.2 inch Quad HD display
  • Metallic Glass Fiber gives you a rugged but smooth finish
  • Water repellant coating

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

As you saw the group selfie we took, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was pretty amazing with some fantastic features to brag about!

  • Quad HD Super AMOLED Display on the bold 5.7 inch display
  • The S Pen is designed put writing to text, meaning you can finally put paper away!
  • 3.7 mega-pixel front camera also features a 120-degree pan to fit more friends in the picture
  • Ultra Power Saving Mode turns your display to black and white, shuts down unused apps, and even allows the last 10% to last up to 24 hours.
  • MY FAVORITE FEATURE: A built-in kids mode allows your child to play with your phone while also needing a password to get out of kids mode. Say goodbye to the accidental phone calls or texts made without your knowledge. LOVE IT!!

With so many amazing features, it’s hard to realize where to start when you think about upgrading or just gifting new tech this holiday season. One thing’s for sure, Verizon has you covered.

And to sweeten the deal just a little, Verizon is offering free phones, free tablets, and free data for new and existing customers. Get a free phone with the trade-in of a working smartphone (up to $200 value). Plus, get a free tablet! Yes, both! For all plans with at least 10GB of data you will get 10GB of additional data every month for the next year! Amazing, right?!

What Verizon smartphone or accessory are you most excited about this holiday season?

A big thank you to the Verizon team for the gift of the Droid Turbo. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Help Provide a Holiday Makeover for a Local Food Pantry

I don’t know about your experiences grocery shopping, or if you’re even responsible for most of the grocery shopping in your house, but I do all of the shopping in our house, and rarely do I get the opportunity to do that without kids. Because of that, I’m often finding myself in Walmart. The prices are usually better and I’m not really embarrassed if one of my kids decides to have a meltdown in the store. ;) Not to mention, have you heard about their Savings Catcher app? They just offered me $15 back after I scanned the receipt from a big shopping trip, using my phone app. They scanned local stores and found better prices, and then offered me a refund on those products. I’m addicted to that thing now. ;)

But, the prices and laid back atmosphere aren’t the only things I love about Walmart. When I hear about Walmart’s desire to make an impact on something so big in our country, like hunger, it makes my heart happy. 

Walmart’s Local Food Pantry Holiday Makeover

Did you know that more than 49 million Americans, including 16 million children, experienced food insecurity in 2013?  Food pantries have to meet the demand during the busiest time of year — the holiday season. It requires more meals to get the job done and that’s hard to do when the facilities are suffering, themselves.

That’s why Walmart’s Food Pantry Holiday Makeover is such an important campaign I’m more than happy to support and promote to all of you. After all, these food pantries need us!

local food pantry holiday makeover from Walmart

All you need to do is vote and voting is so easy. Vote for your local food pantry once a day until Dec 12th by visiting http://www.walmart.com/holidaymakeover.

Local Food Pantry Holiday Makeover from Walmart


At the end of the campaign, the 75 food pantries with the most votes at the end of the voting period will each receive a $20,000 grant. So, let’s each do our part and vote!

I’ve already cast my daily vote for Minnie’s Food Pantry, which is the food pantry closest to me. I’d love to see them benefit from this awesome campaign from Walmart!

Walmart’s Commitment to Fight Hunger

As the nation’s largest grocer, Walmart is in a unique position to take a leading role on the issue of hunger in our country. Their $2 billion commitment to fight hunger in America has been hit one year ahead of schedule. They’ve also donated more than 1.5 billion pounds of food to those in need across the country.

And one more thing to really drive home my happiness with Walmart! They’ve recently announced new goals to provide access to affordable, nutritious, sustainably grown food to those in need. This includes providing four billion healthier meals to those in need in the U.S. over the next five years. To learn more, visit foundation.walmart.com.

Every little bit to help end hunger counts and I’m so happy to take part in spreading the word about an amazing campaign like this!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walmart. All opinions are my own.

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