Merry Christmas, From the Nuts Next Door #GoNutsForNuts

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
#GoNutsForNuts #CollectiveBias
#ad #GoNutsForNuts #CollectiveBias From the Nuts Next Door Gift Basket

We have the best next door neighbors. We really do! Whenever we need to borrow sugar, a tool or our dog get’s loose, our neighbors are always there to help us out. We definitely know that we should count ourselves lucky to have lucked out with them. So, every Christmas we make it a point to let them know how much we love and care about them by taking them a handmade gift.

Our neighbors, bless them, have to put up with a lot by having our family living next door to them.  We’ve got two kids, a dog, hot rods and various other loud outdoor toys. So this year, I decided to get a little bit creative and make them a nut themed gift with a tag that reads “Merry Christmas, from the NUTS next door.” Haha, I cannot wait to give it to them!! But before we deliver this gift to our neighbors, let me show you what fun nut inspired creations we placed within our basket.

#ad #GoNutsForNuts #CollectiveBias White Chocolate Nut Bark Recipe

I knew right away that I wanted to include something homemade and personal to our gift. I decided that the best recipe to go with, for this purpose, would be a nut inspired, white chocolate bark. Not only does it look beautiful, but it tastes amazing and it is super easy to make! Plus, It only takes about 5-10 minutes to prepare before cooling time. So just in case you are a last minute gifter, like this girl, this recipe wont set you back on a lot of time.

To make this bark, I used: 

– 12 oz. bag white chocolate morsels
– 1 cup Planters Deluxe Mixed nuts

Directions: 

Melt 12 oz. of white chocolate morsels on the stove using a double boiler. Stir continuously over low heat until melted completely.

Once melted, remove the chocolate from the heat and quickly mix in 1 cup of Planters mixed nuts.

Place a large piece of parchment paper on a flat surface and pour the chocolate mixture into the center. Spread mixture out into a thin layer and allow to cool. This can take about 30 minutes or longer, depending on how thick you made the bark.

#ad #GoNutsForNuts #CollectiveBias Nut Bark Recipe

Once the bark has cooled completely, break it into several little pieces with your hands and serve.

#ad #GoNutsForNuts #CollectiveBias Nut Bark

Or, bag it up and place it within a gift basket like I did. However, I did this not before sneaking a few pieces to “taste test”. Got to make sure it’s good, right? Oh, and believe me, it’s good. 🙂

#ad #GoNutsForNuts #CollectiveBias White Chocolate Nutty Bark
I wanted to fill our gift basket with various nut themed items, so also in our gift basket we included a bag of Brittle Nut Medley. From the beginning we were planning to make up a bag of nut mix to include in our gift basket. I had all of the single ingredients already in our shopping cart when I came across this Brittle Nut Medley. Upon finding it I put all of the other ingredients back because Planters already made the mix for us! Mmm, and it includes everything we wanted, plus more: honey roasted peanuts, yogurt flavored raisins, peanut brittle, pretzels and cashews. All I needed to do was pour it into a holiday bag and place it in the gift. Love it when it’s that easy! 
#ad #GoNutsForNuts #CollectiveBias Planters Nut Mix

To finish off our gift, we decided to included a Planters Holiday Collection keepsake tin, filled with assorted nuts, and a slice of our homemade rocky road fudge. Don’t worry, I’ll be posting the recipe for the fudge later on in the week (so keep an eye out).

Lucky for us, all of these supplies were easy found at Walmart, we just looked for the Planters holiday sleigh! Talk about a fun gift idea in a snap!

#ad #GoNutsForNuts #CollectiveBias Planters at Walmart
Speaking of fun at the snap of a finger, have you heard of the new Blippar app? This was my first time using it and boy, is it fun! Simply download the app, either in the Play Store or iTunes, place it in front of a participating product and watch your phone come to life with interactive games, photo opportunities and/or product information. It works on most of the Planters holiday products and because of it I was able to snap this fun photo with Mr. Peanut! I also took a few selfies. Why wouldn’t I? You know you would too. 
#ad #GoNutsForNuts #CollectiveBias Blippar App

Want to re-create this gift for a neighbor of your own, maybe at home or at the office? If so, I’ve included the tag for free download below. Simply right click on the image, save it to your computer and print it off as necessary.

#ad #GoNutsForNuts #CollectiveBias

Here is also a more generic one. 

#ad #GoNutsForNuts #CollectiveBias Tag


Love the ideas in this post? You can PIN them for later! Simply hoover over the image and click on the Pinterest icon when it appears in the lower left hand corner of the image. It’s that simple!

 If you need more inspiration, check out the Cooking Up Good website. They have recipes, sweepstakes, loyalty programs, coupons and more! What’s not to love? If you’re looking for a new dinner idea or a chance to win some awesome prizes, be sure to check it out!

#ad #GoNutsForNuts #CollectiveBias Planters Christmas



Fun Holiday Decoration & Gift Ideas for Car People

So, today we are going to have just a little bit of fun. As my family was putting up our Christmas decorations, I realized that we decorate with a lot of car themed items. But hey, we like cars. So I figured that if we liked cars so much to decorate with them around the holidays, then other people may like them that much too. So I thought that today I would share with you a few of our fun holiday decorating ideas and simple gift ideas, for people who like cars. 🙂

This first one is actually a super easy DIY car ornament craft. You see, I can never find ornaments that I like in stores, but I can always find cool toy cars. . . so. . see where I am going here? 
All I used to make this ornament was: 
Vintage hot rod toy car   
Hot glue gun & glue 
Scissors 
Ribbon

Super easy, I just placed a dab of hot glue on the back of the car, tied a knot in my string and placed the end of it in the glue to dry. Then I tied a little ribbon into a bow around the hanging string and placed it on my tree. Besides my son wanting to take them down and play with them all the time, these little ornaments are perfect (and cheap).

Who says you can’t decorate with old license plates? I mean, what exactly are you supposed to do with them when they no longer have use on your car? Well, for me, I use them to decorate my living room. Nothing special here, just placed it on top of an old window and let it speak for itself. 
Curious about how I made the white wreath? Find that tutorial here: 

Now this little decoration is new to our house this year. As I was walking through the toy section the other day, I spotted this adorable vintage red pick up truck die cast. It was perfect and I knew that I wanted to use it in my holiday decorating. In order to make the truck more Christmas like, I grabbed a mini tree to place in the bed and voila!

We are using this one as a table centerpiece, but it could really go anywhere.

I “may” let my little boy keep this holiday decoration to play with after the holidays are over since he is being so good at not touching it while mommy is playing with it. 🙂 Poor kid. I know that this one is really tempting too.

That’s it for our holiday decorations this year so far, unless you count the old red gas cans sitting on our front porch. But before we leave I wanted to share with you a silly and fun little gift guide for people people who like cars, because I have had way too much fun browsing through online shopping not to share some of my favorites with you!

Happy Holidays! 

Buddy’s Pizza Gives Back with Buddy Bones {GIVEAWAY}

Disclosure: The giveaway in this post has been donated by Buddy’s Pizza. 

One of my favorite restaurants just got even better! Just in time for the holiday’s, Buddy’s Pizza has found a way to bake up their fresh, unused pizza dough at the end of each day into tasty, all-natural treats for dogs.

#ad @BuddysPizza Buddy Bones

Tomorrow, many of us will be celebrating Thanksgiving here in the U.S. and we will be dining on tons of great tasting foods. Those of us with dogs know what a struggle it can be to not allow them to join is our feast with us or throw them a scrap or two from the table. However, many of the foods we will be enjoying tomorrow are actually dangerous to dogs. So why not instead get them their own safe, all-natural treat and give back to help homeless animals at the same time? You heard me right, Buddy’s Pizza has partnered up with the Michigan Humane Society to use the proceeds from the sale of the Buddy Bones to help feed and care for the homeless animals in our very own community.

#ad #Buddypizza

So, I know what you’re thinking. Where can I get these? I am happy to tell you that Buddy Bones are now available at each one of the Buddy’s Pizza locations. You can find them for donation by the registers.

Before we get to the giveaway, I wanted to share this photo with you because it always makes me laugh. This is our dog, Manson. He never likes it when his feet get cold in the snow. 🙂 Such a pampered pooch.

#ad

As much as our pup is part of our family, I am happy to find a treat that I can share with him this Thanksgiving that not only helps to reduce waste, but also gives back to other animals like him. This is such a great thing for Buddy’s Pizza to be involved with. Makes me even more proud to be a patron of the establishment. Read more about Buddy’s Pizza.

#ad Raising Dick and Jane @raisingdickjane

As a special added gift to you, Buddy’s Pizza has donated a $25 Buddy’s Pizza gift card and a bag of Buddy Bones to one lucky Raising Dick and Jane reader. Ready to win? Enter below.

Easy Retro Everyday Hair Styles #HeartMyHair

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
#ad #HeartMyHair #CollectiveBias Easy Retro Hair Styles @Raisingdickjane


Retro hair styles: they’re glamorous, stylish and well, let’s face it, a bit intimidating. After a night full of tossing and turning on my not to comfortable hair rollers, I can’t help but wonder how the ladies of the 40’s and 50’s did it! I mean, up until now my options for getting set in curls for the day was either pin curls, which usually fall out during the night, rollers, which are quite painful to sleep on or a thin standard curling iron, which can take a lot of time and cause my arms to go completely numb in the process. Plus, all but one of these options meant that I needed to shower the night before in order to have time for my curls to wet set overnight. I really hate doing that. I need my shower and my coffee in the morning in order to wake me up. But wait, did you read what I wrote very carefully? Check out this sentence again, “I mean, up until now my options for getting set in curls. . . “. That’s right! I found a set of products that can dry and set my hair in perfect curls for a vintage style hairdo in the morning before I have to head out the door! Before we get started with my favorite retro hairstyle tutorials, lets take a look at the products that I will be using as a base for all of the looks in this article. Since almost every retro hairstyle starts with a great curl, this piece of information is going to be pretty useful. 

#ad #HeartMyHair #CollectiveBias

Now, as promised, I am going to share with you a few of my favorite retro hairstyles that are perfect for everyday wear. You can check out a few of the after photos and then watch a video tutorial below. If at any time you have a question, leave it in the comments section at the end and I will get back with you as quickly as I can. 

#ad #HeartMyHair #CollectiveBias Everyday Vintage Looks


Let’s start with this basic look. This look I created using the Infiniti Pro by Conair® Curl Secret® to set my head full of curls. I have to admit, when I first took this hair styling tool out of the box, I was intimidated by it. It was different looking than a standard curling iron and I was a bit nervous about what would happen to my hair when it was drawn into the chamber for curling. However, after I read the directions carefully and followed them to a tee, I opened the chamber to find a beautifully curled strand of hair! I was smitten! Seriously, this casual retro look is just so easy to put together now. 

#ad #HeartMyHair #CollectiveBias Retro Hairstyles


Now that we have the basic vintage curled hair, making small adjustments can completely change the look. When I am going for an all out retro glam look, I like to throw in a few victory rolls to take it up a notch. These are not easy for a beginner, so if you’re having trouble getting them to work, just keep practicing. It took me a long time to get to where I am today and I still know that they could be better. Let’s check out a video I made that will walk you through the process of putting these looks together. 


I hope you liked my video. 🙂 Those are just a few of the every day retro hair styles that I love to rock on a regular basis. Be sure to let me know which look is your favorite in the comments! Also, you can find more information on the tools that I used to create the styles in these videos at the following links:

Infiniti Pro by Conair® Curl Secret®
Infiniti Pro by Conair® 3Q™ Brushless Motor Dryer
Conair 90 pack Bobby Pins

Conair Velvet Paddle Brush

All of these items can be easily found at Walmart. Just look for them in the hair accessories aisle. 

#ad #HeartMyHair #CollectiveBias @Walmart

Be sure to check them out. 🙂 You can also find more articles on these products by searching the following hashtags: #HeartMyHair #CollectiveBias. Enjoy! 


Volunteerism: Opportunities May be Closer Than They Appear #SimplyHealthy

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser and it is because of this sponsorship that we were able to turn around and make this story happen, so to these companies, we say thank you. All opinions are mine alone. #SimplyHealthy #CollectiveBias
#ad #simplyhealthy

The other day my daughter came home from school upset. The snack that I had been sending her to school with kept disappearing from her cubby and she was frustrated with what could be happening to it. Why would someone be taking her food? I grabbed my phone in my hand and immediately dialed up my mother to tell her my frustrations. I was hoping to get her advice on the matter before I started to over react. This was something I always did when I had a problem, call her AND over react. My mother always somehow has the best reasoning skills. When my mom answered the phone, I began to tell her about how I thought someone might be stealing her snack at school and asked her what she thought I could do about it. This time however, her good reasoning stopped me right in my tracks and could you believe that she did it with only three little words. “Maybe they’re hungry”. Geesh, I hadn’t thought of that. I broke down into tears. How foolish of me to jump right into the assumption that whoever was doing this was just being spiteful. This time of year everyone is talking about volunteerism and my kids and I are always happy to drop a few bucks in kettle as we walked by or donate our time to organizations in need of help, but now I was faced with a need right in front of me and I couldn’t believe that I was absolutely oblivious to it until now.

I know that my family doesn’t have a ton of money to donate, but I do know that when your heart is in the right place anyone can make a difference. I phoned my daughter’s teacher and without speaking any names, I asked if she had noticed any kids in the class who were going without a snack. She confirmed my intuitions. Some of the kids were hungry and this was an ongoing problem. My heart sank. Well, at least now that I knew the problem, I knew that I could do something to help it.

#ad #SimplyHealthy Sam's Club

I packed my kids up in the car and we headed off to our local Sam’s Club. I chose to go here because I wanted to be able to get the most product that we could for our money so that we could make the biggest difference we could make for some of the hungry kids in our community.

When we arrived at Sam’s Club, my kids and I found several big boxes of individually wrapped snacks that we could deliver to her school so they could easily be handed out to the kids in her class as they needed them. We decided on a few of our favorite snacks and placed them into our cart. After grabbing several large boxes, I calculated up our spending thus far and subtracted it from the budget that we set for the trip. I couldn’t believe it but we still had some money left over! We decided that with our leftover money we could also pick up a few other supplies for the classroom that would help the teacher out as well. Did you know that in some school districts the teachers need to use their own money to buy the supplies needed for their classrooms? Sad, isn’t it? We decided right then as a family that anything we could do to help sponsor this class and get them into a positive place for the year, we wanted to do it!

#ad #SimplyHealthy Sam's Club Giving Back

Off we headed a few aisles over into the office supplies. Here we were able to pick up pencils, file folders, construction paper and hand sanitizer with what was left of our budget. We considered all of these things which a classroom full of kids could go through rather quickly and also things which would be beneficial to not only the teacher but to the students as well.

#ad #SimplyHealthy Giving Back on a Budget with Sam's Club

Looking at our cart, I couldn’t believe how much we were able to get for our small budget of only $40. I smiled as I imagined what a difference our donation was going to make for this classroom and how thankful I was to have this opportunity to help. Thinking back on it now, when this whole situation started my stress levels were building. However, I remember that as my kids and I walked through the aisles, picking out what we thought would be most helpful, my heart grew, my stress floated away and on my face you could find a great big smile. Did you know that according to Healthy Living Made Simple online magazine, volunteering is a great way to beat stress, depression and anxiety? I didn’t either, but after this situation, I believe it to be true. I guess the old saying is correct, “For it is in giving that we receive.” – St. Francis of Assisi.

#ad #SimplyHealthy Healthy Living Made Simple App

I found Sam’s Club to be an amazing resource for buying the supplies we needed to help in this situation and the Healthy Living Made Simple magazine provided by Sam’s Club to be a great resource for learning more about volunteerism. If you are looking for ways that your family or yourself can give back to your community and feel healthier because of it, check out Healthy Living Made Simply’s article, Volunteering: A Gift to Yourselfonline or in the app store. Here you will find useful information delivered right to your computer , I-Pad or I-Phone on a bi-monthly schedule. You can also use the app to locate a Sam’s Club nearest you.

If this situation has taught me anything, it is that I don’t need to go very far away from home to find an opportunity to give back. You can easily find ways to give back to your community right in your very own backyard. Now I am not saying that everyone should run out and buy food and deliver it to the schools, because they probably wouldn’t accept it. What I am saying is that sometimes just taking a step back and looking at a problem in a different light can open your eyes to a hidden opportunity just waiting for someone to help.

Need help finding an organization or charity to volunteer with? Check out VolunteerMatch.org and search through local opportunities that are waiting for you to help, many of them right in your very own backyard.

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another” – Charles Dickens

Small Village, Big Traditions #MeetMeInMilford

#MeetMeInMilford Holiday

Last night my family and I attended the Big Reveal event in Downtown Milford. Tonight, I wanted to share with you the photos that I snapped at this event. I wanted to share these photos with you because something funny happened to me while I was there. It was sort of hard to explain, but while I was at this window reveal, in a pretty small village in Michigan, I felt the holiday spirit greater than I had ever felt before.

#MeetMeInMilford Christmas

For a lack of better words, I would describe this event as magical. The streets of the village were dressed in bright white lights and the business windows were all wrapped up like presents. Filling the streets were dozens of people, all of which seemed to appear from nowhere and all at once, holding hands and smiling. Around us the snow was swirling out of control like something out of a fairy tale. As the loudspeaker cracked, a countdown had began and all of the people joyfully counted along. Everyone was so happy and so excited. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before.

#MeetMeInMilford Window Reveal

ONE, shouted the voice over the loudspeaker. The sound of her voice speaking that word was like a snap of the fingers and I jumped back into reality as if I had been in a trance. I believe that I had been day dreaming for a short moment about the who’s in who-ville gathering around the tree singing Welcome Christmas, but I am not yet so sure it was a daydream. As I refocused my camera, I captured the final moments of all of the children in the streets tearing the wrapping paper down from the beautifully wrapped windows. I could hear gasps around me as the crowd was given first glimpse of the thoughtfully decorated window displays. Truthfully, I think I gasped the loudest out of them all. What I witness in the window displays and in the hearts of the people around me was truly breathtaking.

#MeetMeInMilford Window Holiday
#MeetMeInMilford Christmas at Bling Boutique Milford, MI
#MeetMeInMilford Holiday Window Display
#MeetMeInMilford Milford Window Display

I wanted to share these images with all of you because they touched me. They brought back that feeling of a nostalgic Christmas, one that I had been longing for. The vision of people coming together to enjoy each others company, to laugh and to walk hand in hand down a snow covered sidewalk and just dream. It was beautiful.

#MeetMeInMilford Downtown Milford, MI

I hope to remember this feeling throughout the entire holiday season this year and remember that Christmas is not just about the gifts, it is about so much more. Thank you Milford, MI, it’s been a pleasure.

If you would like to enjoy the nostalgia of downtown Milford, MI this season, here are a few other event’s that are coming up.

Nov. 20 – Dec. 18 – Dinner’s On Us – Any downtown restaurant
         Enjoy a complimentary meal in downtown Milford! From 5:30-9 pm each Thursday between
         the dates above a few happy elves representing downtown businesses and community
         neighbors will stop by Main street restaurants and pick up the tabs of randomly selected
         patrons.

Nov. 29th – Gobbler Gallop and Christmas Parade – 440 N. Main Street
         1 mile run starts at 8 am.
         4 mile walk/run starts at 8:30 am.
         Parade begins at 10 am.

Dec. 4th – Christmas Open House – Main Street between Summit and Canal streets
         Santa Claus is coming to town during Milford’s annual Christmas open house. Also find
         strolling entertainment, caroling, and special deals and promotions at local stores and  
         restaurants.
         5:30-9 pm

Dec. 4 – Dec. 20 – Visit with Santa – Village Center Mall
         7-9 pm Thursday, Dec. 11 and 16
         11 am to 1 pm Saturday, Dec. 6, 13 & 20

Learn more about what this village has to offer and how you can win free prizes from the area businesses using #SantaAlert at www.MeetMeInMilford.com.

Have you ever been to Milford, MI? What are your favorite memories? If you’ve never been before, would you like to visit? Tell us about it in the comments. 

A New Reason to Gather Around the Television as a Family #LeapTV

Disclosure: I received free products in order to host the LeapFrog sponsored MommyParty. The opinions expressed here are my own.
#ad #LeapTV #Mommyparties
Yep, it’s cold outside. I mean REALLY cold. So I ask you, what is a mom supposed to do with kids indoors that can burn energy, is fun, and is most importantly educational? Well, unfortunately for us, our television set no longer streams shows, unless you count what we can get to come in with our rabbit ears. <– We cancelled our service a long time ago (and I’ve never looked back). However, even though we rarely use our television to watch T.V., we still held on to our television set. Why? For family movie nights and fun products such as these. Check out this new kid centered gaming system and a new reason to gather around your television as a family. 

#ad #LeapTV New Educational Gaming System for Kids
I will be the first to admit that this new gaming system is pretty cool. It is absolutely perfect for my young children’s gaming abilities and different learning levels, plus it is educational centered. With this new system from LeapFrog, each kids profile is set with their age, so my four year old’s questions aren’t quite as challenging as my seven year old’s questions are. <—Smart.  And while my kids are having a blast jumping around, climbing ropes and dancing in a dance party, they are also answering math problems, word combinations and other age appropriate questions. Oh, and how could I forget the coolest thing yet, they can see themselves on t.v.! 
#ad #LeapTV See Yourself on TV
In order to give this new product a workout, we decided to bring it to Sunday supper at my mothers house and let all of the kids have at it, because between my sisters and I and all of the neighborhood kids who come over, we have no shortage of kids. 🙂 Having all of these kids all together every Sunday is LOUD, but it’s fun. 
#ad #LeapTV #MommyParties Leap TV party

As you can see, everyone had a blast with this new gaming system from Leapfrog and I am sure that after this party a couple of Santa’s wish lists will be getting a new addition.

#ad #LeapTV #MommyParties Gaming System for kids

The Leap TV gaming system retails for $149.99 and is designed specifically for kids ages 3-8. It is available wherever LeapFrog is sold. I’ve found it both online and in my local big chain stores.

Want to pin this idea for later? Hoover over the image below and click on the PIN IT logo as it appears in the lower left hand corner.

Do you play with video games with your kids? What types of things do you look for in gaming systems when considering purchasing them for your kids? Tell me your thoughts in the comment section below. 

Celebrating Another Year Older with a Throwback Movie Night #MovieNight4Less

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
#ad Throwback Movie Night Ideas #MovieNight4Less #CollectiveBias

Well, here it is again, my birthday. You know, it seems to me like birthday’s should be celebrated even MORE as you gain in age instead of being celebrated heavily as a child and then taper off as we get older. I mean, wow, you made it another year! That’s pretty awesome! So this year, for my birthday, I decided to invite a few of  my friends and family over for a retro themed movie night to celebrate. Why a movie night? Well for starters, it is REALLY cold outside in November and being snuggled up on the couch just seemed like a pretty good option. Reason #2, Walmart has a great deal right now on movie night supplies such as Orville Redenbacher’s popcornM&M’s® and Warner Bro’s so this little party wasn’t going to break the bank and I could just enjoy the time spent with friends.

#ad Orville Redenbacker's Movie Night #MovieNight4Less #CollectiveBias

Preparing for this party was a blast and if there is anything that you should know about me it is that I adore vintage marketing, a great story line and yummy food. So, it just seemed right to bring all of these things together for a night with friends to commemorate my birthday. 
We all have unique characteristics, don’t we? Why not embrace them?
So as I was gathering up supplies for the evening and picking out the movie choices, I decided that I needed to also come up with a snack that would put a new spin on the traditional movie theater snacks. Because there’s no use being boring, is there? Check out what I did. 
Popcorn Treat Bars
Oh yeah! These flavor packed treats are a combination of everything that I love about going to the movies all wrapped up into one easy to eat treat: popcorn, M&M’s®, butter and marshmallows. Happy birthday to me! And let me tell you, these little bars were the perfect combination of salty, buttery and sweet. The only problem with them? I didn’t make enough to match demand and this entire serving was gone within three seconds of being sat down on the coffee table. I guess I’m not the only adult who likes revamped throwback treats. 🙂 

#ad Popcorn Treat Bars - a new spin on the popcorn ball #MovieNight4Less #CollectiveBias
So, I’ve got your mouth watering with that last pic, don’t I? Ok, I’ll spill the beans, here is how I made them. It’s simple. 
Ingredients: 
1/4 cup butter
1 bag of Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn – popped
10 oz. of mini marshmallows
large handful of M&M’s®

#ad #MovieNight4Less #CollectiveBias
Directions: 
Melt butter in large sauce pan or pot over medium heat. Once the butter has completely melted, pour in the marshmallows. Stir continuously over medium/low heat until all of the marshmallows have melted. While the marshmallows are melting, pop the popcorn in the microwave then transfer the popped popcorn to a new bowl. Shift the popcorn around to try and drop the unpopped kernels to the bottom of the bowl (you want to try and avoid mixing these into your treats). Remove the melted marshmallows from the heat and quickly drop in handfuls of popcorn and stir to coat. Be sure not to over-stir the popcorn. Next transfer the popcorn to an 8×8 greased dish. Press the mixture into the dish slightly. For best results, top the bars with the M&M’s® while the popcorn mixture is still warm. 

#ad Retro Movie Night Treats and Recipes #MovieNight4Less #CollectiveBias
Now, the snacks are out, the decorations are up, so the only question is which movie should we watch first? Which would you choose? 
#ad Movie Night Party Ideas #MovieNight4Less #CollectiveBias

You can find all of the supplies you need to get started with your very own movie night by looking for the kiosk below in your local Walmart store from November 11th – 24th. There are some really great deals here for a super fun (and cozy) movie night at home with friends. Have fun!

#ad #MovieNight4Less @Walmart
Want to pin these ideas for later? Simply hoover over the image below and click on the Pinterest icon as it appears in the lower left hand corner. Thanks for sharing! 
#ad Retro Movie Night Party Ideas and Recipes #MovieNight4Less #CollectiveBias
#MovieNight4Less #CollectiveBias


Gourmet Green Bean Casserole {Recipe}

Gourmet Green Bean Casserole
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and yes, I’m ready. I am ready for this day only partially for the feast, but the other reason is because I love spending time with my friends and family. I love sitting together on the couch, warm drinks in hand, chatting and laughing about anything and everything that crosses our minds. I love the sound of excitement as distant family arrives at the door.  I love hearing all of the kids running through the house in a tornado of play and I love the feeling of contentment as I am surrounded by the people I love, without the feeling of being rushed. I love the feeling of being together. 
This year, I am so excited that I get to share our family Thanksgiving and this feeling of togetherness with all of you as well. So in order to get you  prepared, I decided that I would share with you one of my families most beloved recipes of our Thanksgiving feast: gourmet green bean casserole. 

Green Bean Casserole with Cheese

This recipe is actually quite easy to make. Many of you have probably made something similar before. However, what makes this recipe different is its addition of cheese and bacon. Yep, I said it. . bacon.

So before we get started here is the recipe ingredients needed to make this dish.

– 1 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
– 1/2 cup whole milk
– 2 cans of cut green beans
– 1 cup cheddar cheese
– 4-6 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled
– 1 small can french fried onions
– 1 container of  fresh mushrooms – sliced

Green Bean Casserole

Creating this dish is easy, simply combine all of the ingredients (except for half of the french fried onions) in an 8×8 glass baking dish and stir to combine. Bake mixture at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until nice and bubbly. Remove from oven, top with remaining french fried onions and bake another 5 minutes to crisp top. Serve warm.

Green Bean Casserole with cheese and bacon

Mmm. . it’s so gooey and crunchy, all at the same time!

Gourmet Green Bean Casserole recipe

Does your family have a favorite Thanksgiving dish? Share it with me in the comments section and it just make it onto our holiday table next week!

Buy a Belt, Give $1 to Help Fight Poverty and Hunger #MissionBelt

Disclosure: Product was provided for this post as part of an opportunity with The Brand Connection. All opinions are our own. All questions or concerns should be directed to the manufacturer. 
#ad Mission Belt Co.
With Thanksgiving and the holiday season quickly approaching, I thought that it would be the perfect time to introduce you to a company that not only sells a really great product, but a company who sells a really great product with a mission. Meet Mission Belt Co. 
Mission Belt Co. is a belt manufacturer who gives $1 from every belt sale to people in need through Kiva, an organization who manages micro-lending. 

What is micro-lending? 
Micro lending is a helping hand, not a hand out. This program helps to fight poverty and hunger by lending people the money they need in order to start their own small businesses anywhere throughout the world, whether it be to buy a cow or buy the supplies they need just to get the ball rolling. Through this initiative Mission Belt Co. gives people the jump start they need in order to create their own jobs and to restart their lives without charging them any interest on the funds they receive. Plus, once the recipient has found success and has paid back their loan, the money is then able to be lent out again and again to other deserving recipients. So instead of helping just one family with your purchase, the money provided through this campaign can continue to impact more and more lives as long as the mission continues. 

Learn more about their mission here
So, what else is so great about Mission Belt Co.? Well, for starters, it has no holes. Which brings me to my other point about why I wanted to introduce you to this belt around the holidays. No holes means that it is easily adjustable. . . . just saying. 🙂
Check out how the Mission Belt works. #MissionBelt
So, what’s better than getting holiday shopping done AND giving back at the same time? To me, it’s the perfect combination. Plus, looking at this product from a mother’s perspective, I especially love that this belt is available in children’s sizing. It not only grows along with my kids as they jump through new pant sizes in what seems like a month, but it is also super easy to put on and take off. This has made is so much easier for my little man to get dressed or go to the bathroom all on his own and he totally loves it. He wears this belt everyday, everywhere and with everything. Just a quick push of a button and it’s off! 
Awesome belt. . awesome mission. 
#ad Mission Belt Co. review

Where can I get one? 

Mission Belt’s are available for purchase online through their website. Also be sure to check out Mission Belt Co. and learn more about their mission on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

What do you think of this belt or this mission? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.