my life homemade


{AD} Host a Back to School Breakfast

This post is written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. All opinions are entirely my own. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #StockUpMakeSmiles #CollectiveBias

It's that time of year where we put away our swimsuits and beach bags and pull out the school uniforms and backpacks. The summer is winding down and we are celebrating the start of another school year. As my boys get older, back to school seems to be more and more hectic. With school supplies shopping, finding the best colors for our uniforms, the perfect lunch boxes, and of course, throw in the start of football practice, after school clubs, and our volunteer commitments, life gets busy!

But, that doesn't mean our breakfast has to be boring or rushed. I know I can give my two boys a delicious breakfast whether we are relaxing on a Sunday morning or rushing down the stairs after an early wake-up call on Monday morning, especially with the help from Jimmy Dean® Pancakes & Sausage Bites that I found in the frozen breakfast section at Walmart.

To celebrate the start of our third and fifth year of school, I wanted to end the summer with a bang and start the year off on the right foot with a fun and simple back to school breakfast. Hosting a back to school breakfast, or breakfast in general, doesn't have to be a huge task. Grabbing a few important essentials, like the new Jimmy Dean® Pancakes & Sausage Bites, a few sides, and some juice, you're good to go!

What you need:

  • Jimmy Dean® Pancakes & Sausage Bites
  • Assorted fresh fruit
  • Bread, toasted
  • Milk and/or Juice
  • Syrup for dipping (optional)
  • School supplies for decoration
  • Mini chalkboards
  • Small dry erase boards used as plate chargers

Host the perfect Back to School Breakfast:

1. Set your table by adding mini chalkboards with their names written on them at their place settings. I used clear plates so the small dry erase boards I used as plate chargers would show through. This played double duty as an activity while they waited for their food or in between eating. I tossed in rulers around the table to complete the look.

2. Place markers and sharpened colored pencils in containers as your table centerpieces. They add amazing color to your table and are in easy reach for little hands that get busy.

3. Glass bottles with straws filled with milk and juice set at each place setting. Any cups will do but I preferred the clear glass so the milk and juice would stand out.

4. Add in an assortment of fresh fruit and sliced toast to give a variety of choices for breakfast.

5. The staple of our breakfast is, of course, Jimmy Dean® Pancakes & Sausage Bites.

Now you can enjoy your breakfast favorites anytime with these yummy pancake and sausage bites. Add these to your morning routine to help save time when your schedule gets busy.

Plus, you can earn up to 600 kicks when you buy three (3) participating Tyson® products* at Walmart with the Shopkick app.
  • *Chicken nuggets, chicken strips, Any'tizers® Snacks, Grilled and Ready® items, Hillshire Farm® Lunchmeats, and Jimmy Dean® frozen breakfast items.

So, be sure to head to your local Walmart and pick up Jimmy Dean® Pancakes & Sausage Bites and everything you need to get a head start on your back to school breakfast and to get set for the new school year.


Video Game Arcade Birthday Party

My boys are growing up so fast. I still cannot believe that we celebrated my oldest son's 10th birthday over the summer. It seems like just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital and I spent countless hours trying to get him to sleep through the night. Those days seemed like they would last forever. Now, I look back on those days longing to be able to hold him just one more time in my arms.

So, now that he was entering the big double digits, I wanted t omake sure his 10th birthday party celebrated everything about him that makes him who he is. I created his party theme around all his favorites. Favorite video games, favorite foods, favorite colors, favorite everything. So, I created this Video Game Arcade party full of his favorites and it was a blast. 

His party table consisted of his favorite video games, Mario Bros., Minecraft, and Plants vs Zombies with some XBOX items thrown in. Game controll cookies, pea shooter cupcakes, star shaped crispie treats, and a zombie garden made his theme come to life. Set against a brick backdrop, his name was front and center along with a custom made game banner.

Pirhana plants made from painted pvc pipes and paper were crafted and made a huge statement. Mario question mark blocks were made from tissue boxes provided another level for the pea shooter cupcakes to shine. Mini bomb cake pops gave guests another treat option and Minecraft toys were placed around for added decoration.

The chocolate Plants vs Zombies garden was delicious and everyone was in awe of the details. It was a perfect centerpiece for his video game party.

I decorated the table with a grass table cloth and black and white polka dot runner. His favorite chips and veggies filled the space to compliment his favorite food, hot dogs. Game controller cookies, crispie treat stars, bomb cake pops and pea shooter cupcakes rounded out the food and treats. Plus, all the sides and toppings you could ask for to top your hot dog.

Out side party guests were greeted to hanging Mario blocks, like in the video games, as party guests made their way to the video game truck for an hour and a half of video game play! Including a dance party!

Guests were sent home with video game themed bookmarks, controller erasers tucked into fabulous mini bags by The Purple Pug.

What an amazing birthday!! I still cannot believe he is 10 years old already. But, no matter how old he gets, he will always be my baby boy.


Join a New Adventure with a Recon 200 Gaming Head-Set

This shop has been compensated by BabbleBoxx, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Recon200GameLouder

Raising boys is an adventure, one that I am so glad to be able to be a part of. As my boys grow, so does their interests and we are now venturing into the world of video games, electronics and technology. We are living in an electronic world and my almost teen, young tween boys are slowly entering this techological world and are facinated with what awaits them. 

But, as a mom I need to be cautious of what goes on and what they choose to play, see and do. So, when we find something that fits all our check-boxes, I want to make sure they are having the best time immersing themselves into the futurisic worlds. That alson includes the best gear to enhance their experience. Turtle Beach Recon 200 gaming head-set provides them with a gateway into the world of video games. 

Turtle Beach Recon 200 head-set is made for XBOX ONE, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC and/or Mobile that helps transition between our gaming console as well as the computer or mobile device when needed. With a metal reinforced headband and a flip-up mic, my not so gentle guys will have no problem keeping their head-set in working order. 

The Recon 200 head-set comes equipped with a powerful amplified audio with high quality 40mm speakers that transports us into the game for optimal sound and is surround sound ready when we use our XBOX One. What more could you ask for from a gaming head-set?

Since my oldest son is still fairly young, even though being a pre-teen he thinks he is grown-up, it is important for him to have easy to use controls that are accessable while playing. I love that the volume controls are situated perfectly on back of the head-set for easy access when controlling volume and sound. Plus, I LOVE the flip up mic with variable monitoring. It's super easy to mute the mic when I don't want to share our conversation and he can control the volume of his own voice inside the head-set.

Want your own Turtle Beach Recon 200 Gaming head-Set? Get one for yourself on Amazon for only $59.99. These head-sets bring our gaming style to a new level and with Christmas coming it is absolutely a must-have item. Especially since he has a younger brother dying to try them out.


DIY Mother's Day Handprint Napkins

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HallmarkForMom #CollectiveBias

This year seems to be flying by. I cannot believe it is already May and Mother's day is just around the corner. Each year I celebrate all my favorite mom's with a backyard brunch full of delicious foods and their favorite drinks. That includes my mom, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, and my best friend. I try to mix it up each year with something a little different. This year I went for a garden theme full of flowers and bright colors. Plus, I added a personal touch by creating a handprint napkin they can use and/or keep as a gift and a beautiful signature card from Hallmark.

To create a special napkin for my mom and mother-in-law, I grabbed my boys to have them help me with this fun craft. It is a messy project, so we grabbed all our supplies and headed outside to get to work. It was a little tricky to get handprints for my sister-in-law and friend, so without them knowing I grabbed their kiddos handprints and created a napkin for them as well. 

Supplies you need:

  • Fabric paint in your choice of colors
  • Paint brush
  • Paint tray
  • Fabric napkins. I used flour sacks. Cheese cloths work as well
  • Wet wipes (to help clean up messy hands)
How to make:

1. Using fabric paint and paintbrush, paint the palm of the hand. Make sure it is painted on thick and heavy to get a good handprint.

2. Very carefully place palm, painted-side down, onto fabric napkin and press down firmly.
3. Gently lift palm up leaving behind handprint on the napkin.
4. Let dry completely, at least 24 hours, before use.

5. Wrap with faux flowers to create a special place setting for moms this Mother's Day.

I created our backyard brunch around this beautiful arrangement of pink peonies. I immediately knew I wanted that as my centerpiece. I placed them in a faux concete vase that fit perfectly and planned everything else to coordinate with it. Bright pink flowers wrapped around the handprint napkins, bright plates, water goblets, floral tablecloth, and food galore completed the set-up.

While shopping for the brunch, I headed over to the Hallmark card section to get the perfect card for my mom and mother-in-law. I searched for the new signature collection and found these amazing cards that fit in perfectly with my brunch theme. I love the thick cardstock and quality of these cards plus, the colors are perfect.

I wanted to make sure everything was perfect to celebrate each one of them. I place a beautiful signature Hallmark card with a handprint napkin at each of their place settings so when they sat down, they would have a special treat waiting for them.

I served just about everything I knew they would love. Blueberry muffins, doughnuts, croissants, a variety of bagles, cream cheese coffee cake, fruit, orange juice, milk, coffee, and of course homemade jelly and local honey.

Everyone loved everything and said it was the best surprise ever! Especially when they pulled out their napkins and saw the hand prints. No one wanted to use it in fear they would ruin it!! LOL

It's definately a treasure they will keep for a long time to come. To find more Mother's Day inspiration and digital coupon offers head HERE. Don't miss out on this IBOTTA offer!!!
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