Simple Homemade Caramels (And the cleanup hack that helps you finish the dishes before it’s even time to cut the caramels)

Scotch-Brite Scrubbing Dish ClothsThis shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ScrubSeason #CollectiveBias

Homemade caramels are so easy to make, and are a great Christmas treat or hostess gift! Plus, the cleanup is a cinch with this caramel clean up hack. #ScrubSeason [ad]

Car-mels? Care-a-mels? It’s been a pretty consistent argument in this household since we first started making the sweet treats… you’ll hear someone sneak into the fridge and grab a homemade caramel, only to hear “You know they’re called care-a-mels, right?!” Our family has a history of bickering over the pronunciation of words that can be pronounced either way, usually for the sole purpose of annoying each other to bits. But either way you pronounce it, these homemade caramels are simple to make, and the cleanup? It’s just as easy.

Read more

Things to Consider When Shopping for your Teen’s First Car

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group®  & Armor All but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #ArmorAllGiftPack          http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

When it comes to your teen's first car, there are a lot of things to consider, from mileage to the reliability of the person you're buying from... do you know how to guide your teen into picking the right first car, and then how to encourage them to take care of it for a long life? Here's some advice. @walmart #ArmorAllGiftPack #Pmedia #ad

Tis the season for a new car… whether you’re one of the families who presents your teen with a new car on Christmas with a big shiny bow, or your teen is painstakingly saving up Christmas money to buy it themselves, there are a few things to consider to make sure you’re choosing just the right car for your teen, and some ways to help them keep that car tidy and running for as long as possible.

Read more

Cranberries Forever

You all know that I love a good cranberry recipe. There’s just something about the tart flavor that just feels cool and crisp in the winter, making them so much fun to cook with. From braids to breads to just the color alone, there’s something beautiful about cranberries for winter time. You might remember I recently shared a recipe for a cranberry chocolate braid, and in the past I’ve shared some cranberry tea cake bars, but I just had to share some amazing cranberry recipes and ideas from other bloggers from around the web! I hope they’ll provide plenty of inspiration this winter.

Read more

Turkey Vegetable Soup (Made with Thanksgiving Leftovers!)

If you have a fridge full of Thanksgiving or Christmas leftovers, this soup is a perfectly delicious, convenient option for using them up. Turkey Vegetable Soup is hearty and easily made with whatever vegetables and meat you have on hand, making it versatile and a perfect dinner option.If you have a fridge full of Thanksgiving or Christmas leftovers, this soup is a perfectly delicious, convenient option for using them up. Turkey Vegetable Soup is hearty and easily made with whatever vegetables and meat you have on hand, making it versatile and a perfect dinner option.

Thanksgiving this year is going to be a little bit weird for us. Usually, we go out of town to visit my grandmother, and it’s always an amazing time. But to be honest, things with Ketchup have been a little iffy around here– with new therapies starting and old ones ending, he’s in such a great period of transition that we don’t really want to rock the boat. It’s going to be our first Thanksgiving in years being home for the holiday instead of visiting family, and honestly? We’re going out to eat. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t buy one of those delicious turkeys on sale… a good Thanksgiving-in-January preparation, if you will. But one thing I really love about Thanksgiving, regardless of where I spend it, is the leftovers. Then again, after a day or two, you really get tired of Turkey Sandwiches… that’s where this yummy soup comes in. It’s easy to make, it’s delicious, and it uses stuff you probably have on hand after Thanksgiving dinner– you can swap out any vegetables or meat you’d like, meaning this turkey vegetable soup could just as easily become a ham and potato soup, or a vegetarian hearty vegetable soup… the possibilities are endless, so let’s get cooking.

Read more

Chocolate Cranberry Braid (and the Science of Cranberry Sauce!)

Cranberry braids are really easy to make, and so delicious when you make homemade cranberry sauce, too! Plus, learn the science behind cranberry sauce and how to make it at home! It's part science experiment for kids and part delicious thanksgiving recipe!

I love cranberries. Something about that fall flavor just tastes awesome. That said, they can be pretty stinkin’ tart when you just taste one. The kiddo found out the hard way because when we cook together, he insists on tasting every single ingredient. It got me thinking about the science behind cranberries and a way we could learn by experimenting while we cook!

Read more

5 Life Hacks to Keep Losing Weight (Even During the Holidays)

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and the makers of alli® weight loss aid. All opinions are mine alone. #alliInMyLife #Final #CollectiveBias

Having trouble losing weight (or keeping the weight off) during the holidays? I can relate! Here are some life hacks that will help you keep the weight off during the holiday season. #AlliInMyLife [ad]

The past couple of months, I’ve been sharing my weight loss journey with you here. I have to admit, as excited as I’ve been about the results I’ve been seeing, I had my fears with the holidays approaching that I’d struggle to maintain my weight loss. But I remembered some foolproof ways that I’ve tried in the past– and succeeded– to keep the weight off, or even lose more weight, during the holiday season. With Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s coming up, there are plenty of ways you’ll be tested, but there’s also plenty of ways that you can fight back towards continuing your journey!

Read more

Corn Casserole for a Crowd

Corn casserole, corn pudding, whatever you call it, it's a staple in our house for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. Trust me, you'll love this corn casserole recipe because it's so easy to make-- pour, stir, bake. It's all in one pan!

Seasons come and go, but one thing that stays the same in my family is corn casserole. It’s a treat during the holidays, but it’s also a perfect duplicate for a delicious end-of-meal bite served at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Jose Peppers, so we make it year-round. Sometimes called corn pudding, this corn casserole is beyond easy to make– seriously, you dump, stir, and bake… the end. That’s why it’s a staple in our house, because there’s no hassle!

Read more

5 Ways to Play in Fall and Winter

Meteorologists are predicting the winter of 2016 to be a warm one! Take advantage of it with plenty of ways to play this fall and winter. #CLIFkids [ad]

Just a few days ago, meteorologists in Kansas City started releasing their weather reports for winter 2016. Most of them agreed– winter would be mild, and at times unseasonably warm, with little snow. While that may be a bummer for snow-lovers, it’s a great thing for everyone who loves to play outside! This fall and winter is going to be a great one for PLAY, and today, I’m sharing my 5 favorite ways to play in fall and winter (with a few tips on where to play in Kansas City, too)!

Read more

How to Throw a Smarty Pants Party!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Healthy4School #CollectiveBias

Do you have a Smarty Pants in your family? Celebrate school success and the back to school season with this Smarty Pants Party! It's complete with plenty of brain food, and goodie bags that are fun AND practical for staying stocked up on essentials for the school year. #Healthy4School [ad]

Do you have a smarty pants in your house? Maybe more than one? I love to celebrate school success during the back to school season with a fun party! It’s a great way to say “You’re doing a great job, and keep up the good work!” When you celebrate back to school and the success of your learner, you’re showing them that you’re proud of them! So, gather some goods and invite your learner’s closest friends over for a celebration.

Read more

Harvest Succotash

This harvest succotash is easy to make and contains all of your fall favorites-- okra, corn, zucchini, squash, and chicken-- in one delicious skillet! Trust me, you'll love using your fall produce to make this easy recipe!

Growing up, fall trips to Silver Dollar City were kind of a big deal. I mean, the Ozarks are just stunning in the autumn as it is– beautiful orange and red leaves, rolling hills, and just the smells of fall. One of those scents that I’ve tucked away in my memory is the wafting fragrance of the giant cast iron skillets of succotash… delicious squash, corn, chicken, and okra, all sauteed in the skillet with plenty of butter and served in bowls. It’s just one of those fall must-haves, and I was dying to replicate it at home when this year didn’t have a trip to Silver Dollar City in the cards.

Read more