Friday, February 28, 2014

J'Adore VoxBox and Peanut Butter Blossoms

I was excited to be chose to receive the J'Adore VoxBox from Influenster! There was some really fun stuff in there, but I bet you know what my favorite was..... the Hershey Kisses! I knew I could make my family very very happy by making them their favorite treat, Peanut Butter Blossoms!
If you haven't made them before, they are super easy!

You just need a peanut butter cookie mix (note that I did NOT use the snack size because I knew my family would be hungrier than that!) prepared based on the ingredients on the back. Create 1 inch balls and bake as directed. Some people roll them in sugar before they bake them, but it's no necessary- they are sweet enough as is.

Right when you take them out of the oven, be ready to press down an unwrapped Hershey Kiss in the middle of each cookie.

Here's my final product! Of course they were eaten super-fast. Next time I'm going to use a gluten free cookie recipe so I can join in too.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Reading Material

I absolutely love to read, but over the past few years haven't found much time to enjoy that hobby. I've been trying to read a bit before bed each night and am really enjoying getting back into it.
Here's a few books on my nightstand:
I enjoyed Melanie Shankle's Sparkly Green Earrings, so I was sure I'd love this one too. Excited to get started on it.
Last week I listened to a recorded Proverbs 31 call with Abby Rike, a former Biggest Loser contestant, and knew instantly I needed to read her book. What an amazing girl Abby is!
I know I'm behind the times, but I've been watching Jon & Kate Plus Eight on my Amazon Prime and wanted to know a bit of the back story on them. I know there is quite a bit of drama on down the road, but I'm still watching the first few seasons and those kids are so darn cute!
 Stress Free Kids: A Parent's Guide to Helping Build Self-Esteem, Manage Stress, and Reduce Anxiety in Children

And I'm *almost* done with this one, sent to me for review. Expect a review soon- I am really getting a lot of good info from this book!

From Kids today are more stressed, overwhelmed, and struggling with anxiety than ever before. Children are not born with the coping strategies needed to navigate today's increasing demands of technology, bullying, academics, and family dynamics. You yourself might wonder how your own stressed-out lifestyle is affecting your children. Based on Lori Lite's award-winning series, Stress Free Kids provides relaxation techniques you can use to free your child from stress.

What are you reading?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Update

Just a few updates on this beautiful Friday! We have a fun weekend planned and I am so looking forward to it. Tonight we are going to dinner with some friends while our kids attend Parents Night Out at our church. Reese and I have some booth sales planned with our Girl Scout troop, and Sunday night is our kick-off meeting for VBS leaders- I'm excited to hear what our theme will be this year and ready to get started planning.

1. Reese and I are ready for March and a new calendar page! This vulture was Mr. February on our Zoo Friends calendar and while I think all animals are beautiful and a gift from God, I have to admit his pic gives me a fright every time I go in her room! Ha!

2. Since I'm home now during the day, I'm obviously using our home computer much more. The set-up we had was slow and old so Mr. Sasha set this up for me last night and I am so glad to have 2 monitors again! I was so spoiled having this at work. You really don't realize how handy it is until you don't have it anymore! I'm hoping to making a trip down to IKEA next month and find a new desk. I love IKEA but hate that it is 3 hours away!

3. The amount of Legos that Will has is out.of.control. I'm not sure what to do about it. I'm thinking of putting up a shelving system on the wall in his room to store all these. Thoughts? IKEA?  He doesn't want to take them apart- he loves setting up battles and boy stuff like that with the completed sets.

4. If you are a fan of YA dystopian fiction (Hunger Games, Divergent etc) and you haven't discovered the Legend Trilogy , STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING and dive in. I think most people agree that the conclusion of the Divergent trilogy left something to be desired...... but I finished the last Legend audiobook last night and it was divine! Such a good book!

Hope you have a great day and a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dove Advanced Care Deodorant with Nutrium Moisture

Influenster recently sent me Dove's newest deodorant offering, Dove Advanced Care Deodorant with Nutrium Moisture, to try. I've been using it for about 2 weeks and am happy to report that I love it! It works so well and smells nice too. 

When I read the product stats, it was interesting to see that 36% of what you remove when shaving is SKIN! Since I do share under my arms every day, that's quite a bit of skin I'm losing. And the idea of using a lotion under my arms is just not something I'd consider. But a deodorant that provides moisture benefits? I was glad to try that.

If you visit this link at, there's a $2 coupon to print.

Here's some additional product info:

Introducing the best care ever for the armpit. NEW Dove® Advanced Care is the only (Anti-Perspirant) Deodorant formulated with NutriumMoisture™. NutriumMoisture™ is comprised of ingredients that are known to moisturize and nourish the skin. 
  • Armpit skin requires the same care and attention given to the rest of women’s skin
  • 36% of what you remove when shaving is skin (64% is hair)
  • As a result of the damage done by shaving, armpit skin loses 50% more moisture, which can lead to dryness and irritation
  • The NEW Dove Advanced Care deodorant provides softer, smoother armpit skin in just 3 days

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Busy Mom's Mani

OPI A Woman's Prague-ative
(3 coats)
from the Spring 2013 Euro Centrale Collection

I understand how hard it can be to find the time to pamper yourself with things like manicures. But over the years, I've developed a method that allows me to do a home mani in a short amount of time right before I go to bed. The secret is the fast-dry topcoat- my nails are completely dry by the time I hit the sack, and I don't get sheet marks at all! Start to finish, a mani takes me less than 20 minutes. Who doesn't have 20 minutes to pamper themselves?

And my secret to pretty nails? Always keeping them painted! It adds strength and keeps them from breaking.

So without further ado, here are my favorite nail products, shown in order of use for the perfect salon-quality mani. For all products, I start with the pinkie of one hand and continue on to the other hand before I move to the next step. And there's no need to let the coats dry in between steps- just start with the same nail each step.

1. Sally Hanson Instant Cuticle Remover. To have a long-lasting mani, you've really got to prep your nails. Removing cuticle overgrowth is a key step. I apply this all around my cuticles, wait a bit (you can wait longer that it says), then use the thumbnail of my opposite hand to push back/scrape the cuticles. I typically do this twice. Find this at drug stores and mass-market retailers like Wal-Mart and Target.

2. Orly Bonder. This rubberized basecoat overrides any oily residue on your nails and gives your polish something to stick to, another secret of a long-lasting mani. Find this at Sally Beauty.

2.5. Apply your favorite shade of polish. I'm a firm believer that if you use the right base and top coats, any brand of polish can work. Some of my favorites that vary widely in price are OPI, China Glaze, Sally Hansen and NYC.

3. NYC Grand Central Station. This is my new HG topcoat... it works just as well as the pricy Seche Vite, but it's only $2! You know I love a bargain. Find this at drug stores and mass-market retailers like Wal-Mart and Target.

4. Poshe Cuticle Care.  Keeping your cuticles neat and free of hang-nails is another secret to making your manicure last longer. This product is fabulous and I massage this into my cuticles twice a day to prevent hangnails and prevent cuticle buildup. Find this at Ulta for around $9.

5. Nail Polish Remover Dip-It. I change my polish pretty often, and this little treasure makes it quick and easy. Inside this tub are plastic bristles that really help scrub the polish off. Find this at mass-market retailers like Wal-Mart and Target for around $3.


Now, if you are trying to remove a glitterbomb polish, that's another issue, and you'll need to visit this post on my nail blog to see the trick for that.

Do you have any nail products to recommend to me? I love trying new products and would love to hear about your favorites!

Did you know I love nail polish so much that I've got a separate blog just for my nail polish reviews and pictures? Visit me at if you like nail polish as much as I do!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Oh friends! I have a had BIG life change! I am no longer working outside the home! 

After about 17.5 years with the same employer, Mr. Sasha and I decided in the fall that it was time for me to spend some more time concentrating on our family, and specifically, our kids. I resigned from my full-time position in September, but let them know I'd be open to staying on in a part-time position. So I've been working about 20 hours a week to help with the transition since then, and last week was my last week. Hallelujah! You've never seen someone pack their office so fast! Ha!

I've been having the best time getting our house decorated and organized. I'm embarrassed to say that we've been in this house since 2000 and it has always looked like we just moved in. Or were renting..... Not much on the walls, not much decorating.

But now! I have the gift of time!

Here is one of my first purchases: Will had this giant blank area next to his bed, and I found the perfect canvas at Hobby Lobby, in the clearance section no less. It adds so much to the room.

And don't you love my new dining room decorations? Ha! Those, my friends, are just part of the 200 cases of cookies Reese's troop ordered. I'm serving as Cookie Mom for the third year and so we operate a bit of a cookie store at our house. The kids love it and are learning so much about business. If you are local and need some cookies, you better believe I can hook you up!

So hopefully you'll be hearing a bit more from me. I  have lots of books to read and report on, lots of decorating projects, and lots of new recipes I am trying. I am so excited about this next chapter in my life!